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The Last Laugh [DVD]

The Last Laugh [DVD]

Emil Jannings stars in the bleak fable of an aging doorman whose happiness crumbles when he is relieved of the duties and uniform which had for years been the foundation of his happiness and pride. Through Jannings’s colossal performance, The Last Laugh becomes more than the plight of a single doorman but a mournful dramatization of the frustration and anguish of the universal working class, a phenomenon that was further enhanced by the contribution of the director and cinematographer Karl Freund.

Murnau (Nosferatu) and Freund (cinematographer of Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula) tempered their realistic depiction of the laborer's downfall with sequences of bold expressionistic design, contorting the doorman's angst into a nightmarish spectacle of the mocking, leering faces and imposing tenement buildings that surround him on his long, shameful walk back to his apartment...a daily stroll that had once been a gratifying source of self-esteem.

Directed by F.W. Murnau
Germany, 1924
91 minutes
Black and white
German language with English subtitles
Kino Video

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