One of the crowning achievements of the German expressionist movement, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH stars Emil Jannings as an aging doorman whose happiness crumbles when he is relieved of the duties and uniform which had for years been the foundation of his happiness and pride. Through Jannings's colossal performance, THE LAST LAUGH becomes more than the plight of a single doorman, but a mournful dramatization of the frustration and anguish of the universal working class. Restored in 2003 by Luciano Berriatúa and the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, this edition is the definitive version of a silent masterwork, presented with unprecedented clarity and a new orchestral recording of the original 1924 score.
Cast & Crew
- Awards & Accolades
- Top Foreign Films Kinema Junpo Awards 1926
Reviews(see the best reviews)
I found it depressing.
Der Letzte Mann is one of the finest, most groundbreaking films. It is not a wonderful silent film, it is a wonderfully powerful film period. Murnau was an inovator in the craft of storytelling by the fluid use of the camera, liberating it from a stationary position. It is also a most subtle film in the storytelling as it is able to communicate the story elements and character development without the use of title or diologue cards. Janning gives a masterful performance showing the highs of conceit and the lows of shame. The scene when he shows the unbelief that his daughter is marrying touches every parent who has had a child marry. His transformation as he realizes he has been replaced is also profound without being overdone. By the extravagant movement of the camera, and the lack of dialogue cards in some ways are forshadow the advances in film presentation, camera and audio, that Citizen Kane did 17 years later. The moving of the camera through the glass door when Jannings is reading his demotion notice in the bosses office is similar to Well's movement of the camera through a gate and glass in Kane. The cameral movement showingJannings's being drunk was also groundbreaking. A truly special film that still resonates in story and presenation today.
The film in which Murnau took the camera off the stand and let it soar. This film was famous for Murnau, as was his nature, experimented tirelessly throughout the film's making, coming across a dozen or so lasting innovations in the process. As a film itself it has its moments. Most memorable to me for Emil Jannings, who has begun to intrigue me a lot. After his turns in this film and THE LAST COMMAND I am very impressed with his restrained acting, and his slightly artificial appearance suits the role. The imposed happy ending was a bit bothersome but Murnau did a valiant job of selling it.