The Everett Collection
Tim Purtell
September 30, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Last Laugh

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
90 minutes
performer
Maly Delschaft, Emil Jannings
director
F.W. Murnau
genre
Drama

We gave it an A

Don?t be put off by the arcane, old-world premise of The Last Laugh: A pompous, aging doorman (a remarkable Jannings) at a luxury Berlin hotel is stripped of his prestigious uniform and demoted to handing out towels in the men’s room. F.W. Murnau’s tearjerker — with its ironic happy ending, groundbreaking camera work, and innovative lack of intertitles — was rightly praised by Alfred Hitchcock as ”almost the perfect film.” Aside from a handsomely restored print, Kino’s two-disc package includes a nifty doc demonstrating how cinematographer Karl Freund and the set designers achieved some of the movie’s entrancing effects. A

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