The Last Laugh (Digitally Mastered from 35mm Archive Materials)
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: June 5, 2001
- Originally Released: 1924
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Digital Stereo Orchestral Score
- Additional Release Material:
- Bonus Footage from Alternate Versions of the Film
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- Production Photo Gallery
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Performer:||Hermann Vallentin, Olaf Storm, Hans Unterkirchner, Maly Delschaft & Emilie Kurz|
|Directed by||F.W. Murnau|
|Screenwriting by||Carl Mayer|
|Produced by||Erich Pommer|
|Director of Photography:||Robert Baberske & Karl Freund|
"...A study in contrasts....Somehow it all works..." -- Rating: A-
"...It is certainly the film that made the most spectacular early use of movement....Murnau's technical mastery makes all of his films exciting to see..."
"German director F.W. Murnau's second masterpiece is the film that liberated silent pictures from title cards..."
"[A] masterpiece of psychological acuity. It's also a masterclass in screen acting by Emil Jannings..."
"A masterpiece of the German silent cinema....[Featuring] Murnau's innovative camera movements: sustained tracking and crane shots with a marvelous fluidity that helped establish an aesthetic alternative to the American montage style..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Emil Jannings stars in the bleak fable of an aging doorman whose happiness crumbles when he is relieved of the duties and uniform which had for years been the foundation of his identity and confidence. Through Janning's colossal performance, The Last Laugh becomes more than the plight of a single doorman, but a mournful dramatization of the frustration and anguish of the universal working class, a phenomenon further enhanced by the contribution of Murnau and cinematographer Karl Freund.
Murnau (Nosferatu) and Freund (cinematographer on Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula) tempered their realistic depiction of the laborer's downfall with sequences of bold expressionistic design, contorting the doorman's angst into a nightmarish spectacle of mocking, leering faces and imposing tenement buildings that surround him on his long, shameful walk back to his apartment...a daily stroll that had once been a gratifying source of self-esteem.
Music composed and conducted by Timothy Brock, performed by the Olympia Chamber Orchestra.
- A silent film with musical score.
- The original film score, composed by Giuseppe Becce, was lost. The new score was composed by Timothy Brock and recorded with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra in 1993.
- Part of Kino Video's "Treasures from the Weimar Republic" series.
- According to Georges Sadoul in his "Dictionary of Cinema", studio head Carl Laemmle has one problem with the film's popularity: "Everybody knows that a lavatory attendant makes a lot more money than a doorman."
Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 23 ratings.