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The Last Laugh (1924)

Der letzte Mann (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 5 January 1925 (USA)
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.

Director:

F.W. Murnau

Writer:

Carl Mayer
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Cast

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

Emil Jannings is the doorman of the elegant Atlantic Hotel. He is proud of his uniform and function, and respected by his community. When he reaches the old age, he has difficulties to carry trucks and suitcases. The hotel manager decides to change his function to washroom attendant. This apparently simple action is enough to destroy him as a human being. He loses his self-respect and when his neighbor finds that he is janitor of the hotel, he loses the respect of his neighbors and friends. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

5 January 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Laugh See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$94,812, 31 December 1925
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When the porter comes home with the stolen coat, the third button down (which fell off earlier) is still there until a close-up of him at the door. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Der letzte Mann - Das Making of (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Citizen Kane of its time
9 November 2007 | by thaoSee all my reviews

The camera work and the sets in this film where so breathtaking and powerful that they changed the film language forever. It is in many ways the Citizen Kane of its time.

It was so revolutionary that Hollywood (Fox) tried desperately to get Murnau to work for them and teach them how to do all these things (which he did some years later). The main revolutionary thing was the fluidity of the camera (or the unchanged camera, as it was called). There was no steady cam at this time, but still they managed to strap the camera to the body of the cameraman without getting a shaky pictures.

The set is just amazing. It is difficult to believe that this is not a real city. All the special effects help also to make this believable (special effects that are still today astonishing and believable).

The makeup is also great. Emil Jannings was only 40 years old when he made this film but he really looks like an old man (and acts like one too).

But the greatest thing about this film is how much Murnau manages to say with out the help of inter titles. This is visual storytelling at it's best.

Murnau had come a long way from Nosferatu but he still had a long way to go and a lot to teach us before his untimely death. The Last Laugh is not only one of his best films, it is also most likely his most important one, and one of the most important films in film history.


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