The story takes place in Milwaukee during the early 1900s with a bank clerk named August Schiller who is happy with both his job and his family. He is tasked with transporting $1,000 in ... See full summary »
A decorated, aristocratic Czarist General is reduced to penury after the collapse of Imperial Russia. An old adversary, now a successful director hires the general to re-enact the revolution which deposed him. Written by
W. Louis <email@example.com>
EMIL JANNINGS -- World's finest dramatic actor in a brilliant successor to "The Way of all Flesh" -- and "Variety." You'll be amazed with Janning's tremendous role of the mighty general!...with men...women...a whole nation at his feet! Through flaming love...adoration...hate! To...! The most terrific climax the screen has ever known!
Rumors have circulated that this film had originally been nominated for Best Production during the Academy's first year. However, this has never been confirmed, and the Academy claims that it had never been a Best Production nominee. See more »
Member of General Staff:
[Listening at the door to what he perceives to be the Duke's seduction of Natali]
That sort of thing should always be done after caviar.
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I had little experience of silent films except few and far between until I saw The Last Command. With the great Josef von Sternberg directing and Oscar winning performance by Emil Jannings, I knew I could expect something memorable and I was richly rewarded in experience when I viewed it. Now I have no qualms about silent films and have become something of a fan of them. Three other silent films of equal caliber came to my mind when I watched this film; The Passion of Joan of Arc,Nanook of the North and Battleship Potemkin I noted that to bring the full effect of a movie's message and produce entertainment as well, it is a much harder task for the performers than with sound and dialog. In this film, Jannings outdid himself and absolutely deserved the Oscar, the first for a foreign actor in Oscar history. His haughty bearing as the imperial Russian general and appropriate facial expressions were totally convincing and he appeared taller and grander than himself in real life. Then again, as the devastated,humiliated extra in the Hollywood Bread line he was just as superb. he was able to project that false dignity even as he was dressed up in the uniform of his former rank in the Russian army for the part he was asked to play. The last few minutes of this movie brought to memory his depiction of Emmanuel Rath in the other great movie he made with Marlene Dietrich, Blue Angel, but in Last Command he was even more admirable. One gets deeply into the atmosphere of the scenes, the story and the music when one watches this film. For that, the credit goes to Sternberg as much or more than to the principal actors. The music score was also so very beautiful and made for a great total effect.Performances by Evelyn Brent and William Powell were also superb. Brent did a great job both as the delicate beauty as well as the vicious turn coat in her role.
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