By Terry Trucco
As Alfred Hitchcock knew, a movie cameo can make a big impression, even if it’s over in a blink. Consider the brief appearance of the Berlin Hilton in Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg’s clear-eyed dramatization of a Cold War spy exchange that’s nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Production Design.
The scene unfurls in the hotel dining room where Tom Hanks as James Donovan, Brooklyn insurance lawyer turned master negotiator, briefly sits down to an American breakfast before being spirited away to a clandestine meeting. The hotel looks stylish and energetic, a symbol of West Berlin’s burgeoning recovery and a dramatic contrast to the war-torn appearance of East Berlin.
And that’s how the hotel really looked, says Mark Young, Director of Hotel Industry Archives at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Restaurant Management. “The Berlin Hilton scene is short but convincing.” (more…)