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Der Letzte Mann (1924)

Directed by:
F. W. Murnau
COUNTRY
Germany
GENRE
Drama/Comedy
ENGLISH TITLE
The Last Laugh
RUNNING TIME
77 minutes
Produced by:
Erich Pommer
Written by:
Carl Mayer


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Hotelportier Emil Jannings

 

Review

Pride is one of those human values that can be said to have changed immensely during the last hundred years. Today, social and economic freedom makes this simple word so much different than it used to. Friederich Murnau's Der Letzte Mann is a movie about the significance of a uniform and a social position. But even though Emil Jannings is just a doorman, his fate can be transferred into many situations.

Murnau's silent is completely without title cards and much of the story is told through Murnau and cameraman Karl Freund's brilliant cinematography. But the real treat here is Emil Jannings whose mimicry makes his character vivid and extremely expressful (when sacked, his face looks thwarted like a dog's). Der Letzte Mann is a silent classic, but due to a quarrel with the production company, the ending is somewhat different to the one Murnau had in mind. It affects the overall effect of the film, but in which direction remains arguable.

Copyright 16.12.2004 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]