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The Last Laugh (1924)
"Der letzte Mann" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 January 1925 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 7,136 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 53 critic

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

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Title: The Last Laugh (1924)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hotelportier [Hotel Doorman]
Maly Delschaft ...
Seine Nichte [His Niece]
Max Hiller ...
Ihr Bräutigam [Her Bridegroom]
Emilie Kurz ...
Tante des Bräutigams [Bridegroom's Aunt]
Hans Unterkircher ...
Geschäftsführer [Hotel Manager]
Olaf Storm ...
Junger Gast [Young Guest]
Hermann Vallentin ...
Spitzbäuchiger Gast [Potbellied Guest]
Georg John ...
Nachtwächter [Night Watchman]
Emmy Wyda ...
Dünne Nachbarin [Thin Neighbor]
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Storyline

The experienced doorman at the Atlantic Hotel is quite proud of his position, his responsibilities, and his uniform. One busy, rainy night, he has to take a short rest after lugging a heavy suitcase in from the rain. Unfortunately, his manager comes by during the short time when he is not performing his duties. The next day, when the doorman arrives for work, he learns that he has been replaced as doorman, and has been re-assigned to the less strenuous but purely menial position of washroom attendant. Stunned and humiliated, the old man struggles to carry on with his life. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | uniform | rain | humiliation | dream | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

5 January 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Laugh  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first "dolly" (a device that allows a camera to move during a shot) was created for this film. According to Edgar G. Ulmer, who worked on the film, the idea to make the first dolly came from the desire to focus on Emil Jannings' face during the first shot of the movie, as he moved through the hotel. They obviously didn't know how to make a dolly technically, so they created the first one out of a baby's carriage. They then pulled the carriage on a sort of railway that was built on the studio. See more »

Goofs

When the porter loads the trunk on his back in the rain, the rain isn't falling on it. Once he takes a couple of steps, it is. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life Goes On (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
uniform vs identity
4 December 2001 | by (istanbul) – See all my reviews

There can be no doubt that costumes were highly important in The Last Laugh. The topic was actually build upon a costume anywise. The doorman's uniform was a symbol for prestige, high-honor, the key to be well treated in every situation. He was giving extreme importance to his outlook while he was working as a doorman. We saw this when he was twisting his mustache in front of the hotel. Not only him but also his family and his neighbors even show great respect to his uniform as well. Neighbors stop patting their carpets not to spread dust on his uniform, men bow and take out their hats when he passes by, at home niece's mother sews the button of the uniform with great care... It seems that by doing all this, they are appreciating the prestige the costume has brought to their lives and in a way showing appreciation by keeping it in perfect shape. Last Laugh there wasn't much of a contrast in terms of colors. The contrast was in terms of the different treatment the doorman received after his job loss. It was clear that after the loss of his job, nobody was friendly to him anymore. Also the contrast between the rich and the poor was underlined. There was a parallel editing of the ex-doorman drinking his soup in the toilet and the rich people having their dinner at the hotel's restaurant.

There were lots of dolly ins and outs, tracking movements, dialectical montage, close-ups and parallel editing in it. Dollies are often used in shocking situations. It is used when the ex-doorman's relative sees him working at the toilet. As it is a shocking situation, camera dollies-in very fast to the woman's horrified face. The same function of dolly-in occurs when the ex-doorman comes to the hotel in the morning and sees from far away the new doorman. It is a fast dolly as well. With these unexpected dollies, the audience is always kept tense knowing that the reality may strike at any moment. Dialectical montage is seen quite a lot of times as well. It occurs when the doorman looks left and then we see the wedding dress. Therefore we understand that it is the dress he is looking. On the whole doorman's uniform seems to be controlling his life and that he is blindly obeying what the uniform brings to him. In this way, he is like a citizen unquestioning the authority of the government. Finally, Last Laugh is a classics which have influenced and will continue to influence other artistic works through generations.


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