Los Angeles, May 1945, World War II is over. A young German-American by the name
of Louis Adlon Jr.is conscripted into the army. Newspaper magnate William R. Hearst
sends him to devastated Berlin to serve as overseas correspondent. His task is to
deliver sensational stories about the whereabouts of Nazi greats and other news from
a dying Germany. There is no better place to find information than in the world famous
hotel Adlon. Miraculously, it has not been ravaged by war. Louis who spends a pampered
life as a companion to stars and starlets in Hollywood grew up in this hotel.
When he arrives in Berlin the hotel has burned down. Russian soldiers have put fire
to it in the first few days after the war ended. Louis is deeply shocked. When he
recovers his composure, his childhood memories assail him. He settles in the staff’s
quarters in a part of the building which has withstood the fire and begins to write...
An afternoon tea and dance, a love affair, an oyster dinner, family stories, divorce,
debts, scandal. Very vivid memories, some of them captured only on photographs, in
silent film footage, in stories by an old waiter, a telephone operator, guests --
Richard Tauber, Josephine Baker, Thomas Mann, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich.
He sees his grandfather up close, who has been granted an audience with Wilhelm II,
trying to convince the Emperor that Berlin needs a world class hotel. He sees the
helplessly stumbling patent leather shoes of his father... to whom he couldn’t say
good-bye. He recalls the delicate colors of hotel rooms with marble columns, polished
brass, mahogany, silk, wide-ranging views, frescoed, vaulted ceilings: suspended
elegance, vanished. Shortly after his return to Los Angeles, Louis Adlon Jr. dies
of a broken heart at the age of 39. He is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery amongst
his friends from the world of film.
Written and directed by Percy Adlon
Producer - Eleonore Adlon
TV Producer - Benigna von Keyserlingk
Director of Photography - Judy Irola, ASC
Production Designer - Anina Diener, Nanci Roberts
Costumes - Maria Schicker
Editor - Illa von Hasperg
Music by - Salon Orchester Berlin, Tailed Comedians, Madeleine Lienhard
A pelemele Film/Leora Films Production
Filmed on 16mm Kodak in Santa Monica, Hollywood, Pasadena and Berlin June/December
1995, post-production on DigiBeta.
Presented at the International Forum of the Young Film at the Berlinal 1997, and
the Jerusalem International Film Festival.
BAVARIAN TELEVISION AWARD 1997
Video (Digital Beta), in German and English with subtitles, 74 minutes