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Der Letzte Mann (The Last Laugh)

Der Letzte Mann (The Last Laugh) (1925)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Movie Info

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


Art House & International, Drama

Carl Mayer

Nov 11, 2003

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (0) | DVD (9)

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.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 4, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Karl Freund's ground-breaking and historically important cinematography can still take the breath away.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

...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.

March 29, 2009 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

A Murnau silent classic featuring strong Emil Jannings performance.

March 14, 2009

It ends with an unconvincing cop-out happy ending.

October 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The Last Laugh can really best be understood as a horror story.

September 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Walk a mile in my shoes

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: JWR

Même après plus de 80 ans, The Last Laugh demeure un film qui ne vieillit tout simplement pas.

July 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Panorama

Widely regarded as an expressionist masterpiece.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the darkest commentaries (intra- and extratextually) on the cost of comfort and compromise in art and life.

April 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

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...

October 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

The film is notable for its smooth, moving, tracking camera and its complete lack of intertitles, making it a true universal experience.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

One of the most influential films of the 1920s....As Eisentein in Russia was to silent-era editing, Murnau was his counterpart in virtuoso camerawork.

March 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

the true star remains Murnau's remarkable camera work

February 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

The film was liberated enough to need only one narrative title board to help tell its story, it proved an important development towards the director's purist, set-free chiaroscuro in Faust.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

It's easy to both overrate and underrate F.W. Murnau's The Last Laugh at the same time.

July 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Der Letzte Mann (The Last Laugh)

a groundbreaking film in nearly every possible way and one of the finest achievements of the silent era. it's broadly played but flows beautifully and contains only one title card! magnificent!
August 3, 2011
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Great lighting and high contrast German silent film. It's a nice slice of life in 1924 Berlin. The famous director F.W. Murnau evokes many emotions. It's a work of art to look at. It feels really long and is sad. I felt sorry for the old walrus-moustached hotel doorman who lost his proud position.
November 12, 2010

Super Reviewer

A brilliant movie with great actors, director, and story. A classic.
September 3, 2010

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]With exquisite production design to accentuate the vast differences between the worlds of the luxury hotel and working classes, "The Last Laugh," directed by F. W. Murnau, is a heartbreaking movie about a hotel porter(Emil Jannings) who has been working for the same hotel for decades and takes great pride in doing his job. For him, his work is simply everything. On a day like any other, he takes a heavy trunk off an automobile unassisted in a driving rain storm. It is only understandable that after such an arduous task that he requires a little breather afterwards. But the hotel manager(Hans Unterkircher) does not see it the same way, replacing the porter with a younger man the next day and demoting the former porter out of sight downstairs to attend to the restroom. Like so many, he is simply pushed to the side at the end of his career.[/font]
December 16, 2008
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der letzte Mann (DE)
  • The Last Laugh (Der letzte Mann) (UK)
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