The Last Command 1928

The Last Command

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 632
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Movie Info

Tsarist general Sergius Alexander (Emil Jannings) is basking in the glory of imperial Russia. After sending the revolutionary Lev Andreyev (William Powell) to prison, he starts romancing Andreyev's girl. But when the Bolsheviks seize power, the tide turns for Alexander, and he flees Russia. Years later, Alexander, broke and working as a bit player in Hollywood, bumps into Andreyev, who is now a director. Andreyev casts his old nemesis as a Russian general, intending to humiliate him on set.

Cast & Crew

Emil Jannings
Gen. Dolgorucki , Grand Duke Sergius Alexander
Evelyn Brent
Natalie Dabrova
William Powell
Lev Andreyev
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News & Interviews for The Last Command

Critic Reviews for The Last Command

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (19)

Audience Reviews for The Last Command

  • Jul 19, 2016
    It may be American but Sternberg's German roots shine through.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2011
    In "The Last Command," Andreyev(William Powell), a movie director, is preparing to film his magnum opus about the Russian Revolution. In casting the role of a Russian general, he finds the real deal in Sergius Alexander(Emil Jannings), the late Tsar's cousin and former commander-in-chief, now forced to work as a film extra for $7.50 a day. While trying on his costume, Sergius remembers happier days back in his native Russia, commanding troops while having to deal with an insurrection. In the process, he arrests two revolutionists, Andreyev and Natalie(Evelyn Brent). Towards the beginning, "The Last Command" might seem like just a predictably poignant story of the plight of a fallen man.(Emil Jannings had played a character with a similar arc previously in "The Last Laugh.") Rather, the movie excels in using its enthralling story to provide an expert deconstruction that is far ahead of its time. The shift between Sergius in 1928 and 1917 is so abrupt that I assumed at first that it was the fiction of Andreyev's movie instead of the facts of Sergius' life. Thus "The Last Command" takes full aim at not only Hollywood's problems with the truth but also quite possibly Soviet propaganda like "Potemkin" that this movie shares a similar style with in certain scenes. The point is that the world is much more complex than just black and white with Sergius being a good man on the wrong side of history.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2008
    One of the best lead performances in a silent drama I've seen, plus an undeniably powerful ending. But I prefer my silents a bit more stylized -- Von Sternberg's direction basically just gets the job done, minus a few tracking shots of note (particularly when scanning behind a row of windows that's issuing costumes to film extras). I also grew impatient with a long stretch that did little beyond flatly establishing the main character's past stature as a revered Russian general. I would have enjoyed more material set in the Hollywood present. Emil Jannings' frozen expressions of suffering will stick with me, however.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2007
    Tragic story. In a slight way, the story is similar to the film The Last Emperor.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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