The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann) Reviews

  • Mar 04, 2018

    Arguably Murnau's best work.

    Arguably Murnau's best work.

  • Sep 18, 2017

    *Spoiler Warning* This movie does a great job at getting you to sympathize with the main character by showing the struggles he has to face. Due to all the poor treatment he undergoes, it makes it a deeply powerful film. I also liked the body movement the doorman made. As he worked in the bathroom, he would often slouch and move around slowly. This was a great way of showing his misery. I also liked that the film had no title cards (except for one near the end, which I'll get to soon). I prefer silent films which feature no title cards as they're usually more immersive experiences since they use visuals and facial expressions to tell their story. Also, the camerawork was impressive. In the opening scene, the camera shows the doorman from a low angle. This highlights his superiority. After he gets fired, however, that style is gone. I also liked how scenes from the hotel were juxtaposed with scenes from the bathroom. Additionally, several facial close-ups made me feel like I was viewing the world from the doorman's point of view. As for the single title card near the end, it serves as a prelude to a major tonal shift with the movie. I thought about it for quite some time as I wasn't sure what to think of it. However, I have to admit it was flawed. It served as a deus ex-machina. Not only that, but it was drawn out to be much longer than it needed to be. The restaurant scene was also over-the-top in the way of the food served. Since Murnau appeared to apologize for it with the title card, it's clear that it's not meant to be taken seriously and that it's a comical ending. However, this is another flaw since the film which came before it was serious. It didn't fit the movie in my opinion. That might not have been too spoiler-y, but close enough. Despite the ending, however, I still enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It's essential viewing for silent film fanatics.

    *Spoiler Warning* This movie does a great job at getting you to sympathize with the main character by showing the struggles he has to face. Due to all the poor treatment he undergoes, it makes it a deeply powerful film. I also liked the body movement the doorman made. As he worked in the bathroom, he would often slouch and move around slowly. This was a great way of showing his misery. I also liked that the film had no title cards (except for one near the end, which I'll get to soon). I prefer silent films which feature no title cards as they're usually more immersive experiences since they use visuals and facial expressions to tell their story. Also, the camerawork was impressive. In the opening scene, the camera shows the doorman from a low angle. This highlights his superiority. After he gets fired, however, that style is gone. I also liked how scenes from the hotel were juxtaposed with scenes from the bathroom. Additionally, several facial close-ups made me feel like I was viewing the world from the doorman's point of view. As for the single title card near the end, it serves as a prelude to a major tonal shift with the movie. I thought about it for quite some time as I wasn't sure what to think of it. However, I have to admit it was flawed. It served as a deus ex-machina. Not only that, but it was drawn out to be much longer than it needed to be. The restaurant scene was also over-the-top in the way of the food served. Since Murnau appeared to apologize for it with the title card, it's clear that it's not meant to be taken seriously and that it's a comical ending. However, this is another flaw since the film which came before it was serious. It didn't fit the movie in my opinion. That might not have been too spoiler-y, but close enough. Despite the ending, however, I still enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It's essential viewing for silent film fanatics.

  • May 11, 2017

    A masterpiece. A masterwork from the Master. It feels so fresh and powerful, it's not surprising that it is an innovative cinema, this is visible to the naked eye. German cinema of the 20s was so powerful and enriching for the cinema. I sometimes wonder what cinema would have been liked without this influence. It's just make me sad that cinema doesn't evolve anymore. This story of a man obsessed with his uniform that he values more than anything else is simple but highly effective and make a strong statement of anti militarist sentiment or any other institutions that empower people with all that nonsense.

    A masterpiece. A masterwork from the Master. It feels so fresh and powerful, it's not surprising that it is an innovative cinema, this is visible to the naked eye. German cinema of the 20s was so powerful and enriching for the cinema. I sometimes wonder what cinema would have been liked without this influence. It's just make me sad that cinema doesn't evolve anymore. This story of a man obsessed with his uniform that he values more than anything else is simple but highly effective and make a strong statement of anti militarist sentiment or any other institutions that empower people with all that nonsense.

  • Feb 16, 2017

    A poor but proud doorman loses his prestigious job on the same day his daughter weds, leading him into a shameful road of theft and regret as his neighbors revel in his misery. As the title proclaims, though, he gets his comeuppance when a rich man dies in the bathroom he's now attending. Although the ending seems a hurried afterthought, this Murnau classic has both revolutionary camera work & emotional merit.

    A poor but proud doorman loses his prestigious job on the same day his daughter weds, leading him into a shameful road of theft and regret as his neighbors revel in his misery. As the title proclaims, though, he gets his comeuppance when a rich man dies in the bathroom he's now attending. Although the ending seems a hurried afterthought, this Murnau classic has both revolutionary camera work & emotional merit.

  • Dec 20, 2016

    A Murnau silent classic featuring a strong Emil Jannings performance.

    A Murnau silent classic featuring a strong Emil Jannings performance.

  • Oct 25, 2016

    This German Expressionist film from F.W. Murnau who also did "Nosferatu" is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the silent film art-form. It is a very stylish film with an emotional story. Starring Emil Jannings in a captivating performance, this film tells the story of a doorman at a prestigious Berlin hotel who is demoted and therefore loses his standing and respect within his community and family, thus beginning a downward spiral. Anyone seriously interested in film should check this out!

    This German Expressionist film from F.W. Murnau who also did "Nosferatu" is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the silent film art-form. It is a very stylish film with an emotional story. Starring Emil Jannings in a captivating performance, this film tells the story of a doorman at a prestigious Berlin hotel who is demoted and therefore loses his standing and respect within his community and family, thus beginning a downward spiral. Anyone seriously interested in film should check this out!

  • Aug 25, 2016

    One of the greatest treasures of world cinema

    One of the greatest treasures of world cinema

  • Apr 11, 2016

    The Last Laugh is a disappointing movie. On the technical side, the film is gorgeous with just fantastic cinematography with some great camera movements and with a visually appealing look to it, but the film lacks in character work and plotwise with a very abrupt cop-out happy ending and I do think that the use of more intertitles would have strengthened both of those aspects. It is in the end a solid film, but far from I expected from it.

    The Last Laugh is a disappointing movie. On the technical side, the film is gorgeous with just fantastic cinematography with some great camera movements and with a visually appealing look to it, but the film lacks in character work and plotwise with a very abrupt cop-out happy ending and I do think that the use of more intertitles would have strengthened both of those aspects. It is in the end a solid film, but far from I expected from it.

  • Mar 20, 2015

    "Der Letzte Mann" is a 1925 German film directed by F.W. Murnau. It is about a doorman, played by the incredible Emil Jannings, who is demoted to bathroom attendant because of "age and frailty." So proud of his doorman position, complete with a dapper uniform, he is thrown into despair and his descent into sadness is quick and mean. Emil Jannings is so wonderfully expressive in both facial expressions and his posture. There is a fantastic scene late in the movie when we see by shadow how his posture changes as he pretends to his family and friends that he is still a doorman. Inevitably, someone finds out he is a bathroom attendant and vicious rumor spreads quickly, suggesting that he was never a doorman in the first place. Shunned by family and friends, the movie seems to end on a depressing note. However, the director is not done with the audiences. In a horrifying happy ending full of slapstick, an alternative ending is providing for the man. It overturns the sad ending, but in the process allows a fascinating critique of society. This twist, I think, is part of what makes this movie a masterpiece, because it says "here's your happy ending, but I'm really going to make you think about how such happy endings really don't happen. This is The Last Laugh." Oh, my goodness. So incredible. I highly recommend!

    "Der Letzte Mann" is a 1925 German film directed by F.W. Murnau. It is about a doorman, played by the incredible Emil Jannings, who is demoted to bathroom attendant because of "age and frailty." So proud of his doorman position, complete with a dapper uniform, he is thrown into despair and his descent into sadness is quick and mean. Emil Jannings is so wonderfully expressive in both facial expressions and his posture. There is a fantastic scene late in the movie when we see by shadow how his posture changes as he pretends to his family and friends that he is still a doorman. Inevitably, someone finds out he is a bathroom attendant and vicious rumor spreads quickly, suggesting that he was never a doorman in the first place. Shunned by family and friends, the movie seems to end on a depressing note. However, the director is not done with the audiences. In a horrifying happy ending full of slapstick, an alternative ending is providing for the man. It overturns the sad ending, but in the process allows a fascinating critique of society. This twist, I think, is part of what makes this movie a masterpiece, because it says "here's your happy ending, but I'm really going to make you think about how such happy endings really don't happen. This is The Last Laugh." Oh, my goodness. So incredible. I highly recommend!

  • Mar 08, 2015

    Although I typically do not like silent films, this movie was an exception. The overemphasis on body language that is characteristic of silent films, oddly, did not bore me but rather kept my interest throughout the film. Because I am from a digital generation, I think it is difficult for most of today's viewers to keep attention when watching a silent film, and therefore the fact that I liked this film so much proves that this movie is truly creatively done. At the beginning of the movie, there is a moving camera in front of a bicycle, which was a highly innovative technique for 1925, and this is just one of the many reasons that I love this movie. Watch it!

    Although I typically do not like silent films, this movie was an exception. The overemphasis on body language that is characteristic of silent films, oddly, did not bore me but rather kept my interest throughout the film. Because I am from a digital generation, I think it is difficult for most of today's viewers to keep attention when watching a silent film, and therefore the fact that I liked this film so much proves that this movie is truly creatively done. At the beginning of the movie, there is a moving camera in front of a bicycle, which was a highly innovative technique for 1925, and this is just one of the many reasons that I love this movie. Watch it!