IMDb > The Last Laugh (1924)
Der letzte Mann
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The Last Laugh (1924) More at IMDbPro »Der letzte Mann (original title)

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Carl Mayer (written by)
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Release Date:
5 January 1925 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A classic movie from the silent era that is well worth hunting out See more (53 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Emil Jannings ... 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]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

O.E. Hasse ... Small Role (uncredited)
Harald Madsen ... Wedding Musician (uncredited)
Neumann-Schüler ... Small Role (uncredited)
Carl Schenstrøm ... Wedding Musician (uncredited)
Erich Schönfelder ... Small role (uncredited)

Directed by
F.W. Murnau 
Writing credits
Carl Mayer (written by)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Original Music by
Giuseppe Becce 
Timothy Brock (1992)
Florian C. Reithner 
Karl-Ernst Sasse (1996)
Werner Schmidt-Boelcke 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund (camera)
Film Editing by
Elfi Böttrich (new version)
Production Design by
Edgar G. Ulmer 
Art Direction by
Robert Herlth 
Walter Röhrig 
Costume Design by
G. Benedict (uniforms' designer)
Makeup Department
Waldemar Jabs .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edgar G. Ulmer .... assistant director
Special Effects by
Ernst Kunstmann .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Baberske .... assistant camera
Günther Rittau .... camera operator
Hans Natge .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
David Beck .... musician: violoncello 1992 score
Timothy Brock .... conductor: 1992 score
Detlev Glanert .... composer: additional music
The Olympia Chamber Orchestra .... music performers: 1992 score
Frank Strobel .... conductor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der letzte Mann" - Germany (original title)
See more »
77 min | Germany:101 min | Spain:90 min (DVD edition) | USA:90 min | Argentina:101 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Finland:S (1967) | Portugal:M/6 (DVD rating) | Spain:T | UK:U (DVD) | USA:Not Rated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: A hand-cranked camera is reflected in a glass door.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Life Goes On (2002) (TV)See more »


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31 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
A classic movie from the silent era that is well worth hunting out, 14 December 2004
Author: Lunar Jetman from United Kingdom

Warning - Possible spoilers lie within.

This is the first silent movie I have watched in its entirety, having previously found myself becoming restless and distracted, I normally find them quite difficult to watch. I came across the Criterion edition of the movie in a large collection of Laserdiscs that I purchased recently, and decided to give it a try. I was speechless.

'The Last Laugh' (or 'The Last Man', as its translation would lead you to believe, is a touching story from director F.W. Murnau about an un-named Hotel Porter & Doorman (played excellently by Emil Jannings) who, through no fault of his own, is demoted to Lavatory attendant, and we hereby watch as his life collapses around him. It's an incredibly emotional story - during his downfall, as his friends and family mock him, Jannings' depressed, hunched-over figure can be painfully sad to watch. I found myself filling up in the scene when he finally hands his beloved porter's uniform over to the night watchman.

A landmark in the era of silent films, Murnau used some very clever camera tricks (such as smearing vaseline on the camera lens for 'dream' sequences). It was also one of the first films to use a completely free moving camera with no tripod, testimony to the success of this can be seen immediately in the first scene as the film starts. There are also no title cards in the film. Nor are they needed - The story is carried perfectly by the actors and on no occasion do you feel that you don't know what is going on.

I won't give anything away here, but there are some people that may feel the ending is a little out of place - However, I had grown so fond on Jannings' character that in a way, I was relieved to see the film move on from the final scene where he is sat hunched on the seat in the washroom - and for him to finally have 'The Last Laugh' so to speak :o)

If you have any interest in old cinema, and have not seen this, or just fancy a change from all of the samey Hollywood flicks being churned out right now, I suggest you hunt out a copy right away. Highly recommended.

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