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Based on a 1936 Polish best-seller, Hotel Pacific is set in a large European hotel in the 1930s. Roman Boryczko. a teenage boy, has a job as a dish-washer. He works his way up to errand boy, waiter's mate, and eventually, waiter. But his attempted romantic liaisons present difficulties. His first love, Zoska. is sacked because the owner will not tolerate affairs among his employees. The owner is ably assisted by a bullying head-waiter, Fornalski, who threatens to report any 'improper behaviour'. Boryczko is bullied and beaten up by Fornalski, who then tries to bribe him in order to buy his silence The two reach an uneasy compromise in their day-to-day relations within the hotel, until Boryczko (earns that Fornalski has reported his latest romance to the boss. Boryczko determines to go to the owner and reveal what he knows about Fornalski's fraudulent practices. He leaves while Fornalski waits in terror. But the interview comes to an unexpected conclusion.