Review Movie The Last Laugh 2019 by Greg Pritikin Jannings’ character is a doorman for a famous hotel, who takes great pride in his work and position.
His manager decides that the doorman is getting too old and infirm to present the image of the hotel, and so demotes him to a less demanding job, of washroom attendant.
He tries to conceal his demotion from his friends and family but, to his shame, he is discovered. His friends, thinking he has lied to them all along about his prestigious job, taunt him mercilessly while his family rejects him out of shame.
The doorman, shocked and in incredible grief, returns to the hotel to sleep in the washroom where he works.
The only person to be kind towards him is the night watchman, who covers him with his coat as he falls asleep.
Following this comes the film’s only title card,
which says: “Here our story should really end,
for in actual life, the forlorn old man would have
little to look forward to but death. The author
took pity on him, however, and provided quite
an improbable epilogue.”
The Last Laugh (German: Der letzte Mann, transl.
The Last Man) is a 1924 German silent film directed
by German director F. W. Murnau from a screenplay
written by Carl Mayer. The film stars Emil Jannings and Maly Delschaft.
Stephen Brockmann summarized the film’s plot as, “a nameless hotel doorman loses his job”.
It is a cinematic example of the Kammerspielfilm or “chamber-drama” genre, which follows the style of short, sparse plays of lower middle-class life that emphasized the psychology of the characters rather than the sets and action.
The genre tried to avoid the intertitles (title cards) of spoken dialogue or description that characterize most silent films, in the belief that the visuals themselves should carry most of the meaning.
In 1955, the film was remade starring Hans Albers.
At the end, the doorman reads in the newspaper that he inherited a fortune from a Mexican millionaire named A. G. Money, a patron who died in his arms in the hotel washroom.
The doorman returns to the hotel, where he dines happily with the night watchman who showed him kindness. On their way to the carriage, the doorman gives tips to all the service personnel from the hotel, who quickly line up along his way.
In the final scene of the film, when both the doorman and the night watchman are in the carriage, a beggar asks the doorman for some money.
The doorman invites the beggar to the carriage and even gives a tip to the new doorman, who is now in charge of bringing the guests inside.