Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • The Last Laugh (1924) - Plot Summary - German silent film, directed by F.W. Murnau. Starring Emil Jannings as a declining doorman at a fancy, bustling hotel - - in his brass buttoned uniform and cap, his lavish mustache well attended, he struts as proud as a peacock home from work each day. But seen as aging and frail after being observed exhausted after carrying a heavy trunk, he is reassigned - as lowly attendant in the men's washroom! Alone in the quiet, lower level washroom while all above is well-heeled clientele in lively hotel atmosphere, our man takes this demotion very, very hard. He even steals his old uniform and goes home wearing it, not wanting his family - in the midst of his daughter's wedding - to know the truth. When the wife brings food for him as a surprise the next day, she screams in horror (an interesting shot!) and soon his whole neighborhood of gossips has found out the truth. Devastating. POSSIBLE SPOILER SPOILER: A happy ending gives a much needed anecdote to all this depression, I must say.

    Review - The photographic style of this film is very interesting to look at - it is filmed without any intertitles, with the exception of a couple of letters and writing on a cake, so the story is almost completely told visually. There are interesting shots of the rainy streets seen through the large hotel revolving door, and a few imagination/dream sequences. The film is somewhat depressing, I must say, as our lead man is mainly seen looking deeply saddened and sort of on his last legs. The version I saw was on Kino DVD, the German restored version with a very nice sounding orchestral score and fab looking black and white print. Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: F.W. Murnau
    Film Genre: Melodrama
    Film Runtime: 90 minutes
    German Original Title: Der letzte Mann

Links / Resources

Film review The Last Laugh


10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Copyright 2004-2013 Silent Movie Crazy. This site is an original work including all reviews, artwork, information and articles. Please do not copy or use any written or visual content unless granted permissions. PRIVACY POLICY - No personal information is collected or used by this site.

create counter