Der Letzte Mann (The Last Laugh)
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F.W. Murnau's German silent classic The Last Laugh (Der Letze Mann) stars Emil Jannings as the doorman of a posh Berlin hotel. Fiercely proud of his job, Jannings comports himself like a general in his resplendent costume, and is treated like royalty by his friends and neighbors. The hotel's insensitive new manager, noting that Jannings seems winded after carrying several heavy pieces of luggage for a patron, decides that the old man is no longer up to his job. The manager demotes Jannings to men's washroom attendant, and the effect is disastrous on the man's prestige and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The 1924 film in which F.W. Murnau freed his camera from its stationary tripod and took it on a flight of imagination and expression that changed the way movies were made."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"One of Murnau's classic silent films features a great performance from Emil Jannings, who three years later became the first Best Actor Oscar winner."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A Murnau silent classic featuring strong Emil Jannings performance."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Walk a mile in my shoes"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"One of the darkest commentaries (intra- and extratextually) on the cost of comfort and compromise in art and life."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"There are no titles in this film -- merely a few inserts to guide the viewer. And yet one is never in doubt as to the action of this admirable picture, which is a remarkable piece of direction, with exquisite lighting effects."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"Karl Freund's ground-breaking and historically important cinematography can still take the breath away."
‑ Alan Morrison, Empire Magazine
"It ends with an unconvincing cop-out happy ending."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Même après plus de 80 ans, The Last Laugh demeure un film qui ne vieillit tout simplement pas."
‑ Jean-François Vandeuren, Panorama
"I'll make the radical claim that losing around ten minutes would have made the film flawless. But it's almost made up for by that ending..."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"The film would be famous just for its lack of titles, and for its lead performance by Emil Jannings, which is so effective that both Jannings and Murnau were offered Hollywood contracts and moved to America at the dawn of sound."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"...can still pierce a hardened heart - especially these days, when demotions and layoffs have become a daily occurrence and the streets are full of forlorn former doormen."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"The Last Laugh can really best be understood as a horror story."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine
"Widely regarded as an expressionist masterpiece."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The film is notable for its smooth, moving, tracking camera and its complete lack of intertitles, making it a true universal experience."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Der Letzte Mann (The Last Laugh) on Rotten Tomatoes