The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau
The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau
The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Last Laugh

F.W. Murnau | Germany | 1924 | Unclassified (15+)

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Wed 9 Nov 2022

This giant among silent film classics, documenting the fall and eventual “rise” of an ageing hotel doorman, was scripted by Carl Mayer, directed by Murnau, co-photographed by Karl Freund, production designed by Edgar G. Ulmer and boasts an outstandingly expressive lead performance by Emil Jannings. Eschewing intertitles and featuring “unchained” camerawork of unprecedented agility, this is one of the most lasting, influential and dazzling of silent films and a landmark in the integration of expressionist techniques with more naturalistic forms of cinema.

Format: 35mm
Language: Silent with English Intertitles
Source: NFSA
Courtesy: National Film and Sound Archive, Australia
Runtime: 90 mins

Event duration

90 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 9 November

About the program

The Brink of Life: F.W. Murnau, Cinematic Visionary

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (1888–1931) was a perfectionist, an aesthete and, in many ways, a visionary, whose poetic, painterly, literate and highly cinematic sensibilities brought to the golden age of German cinema new concepts of film form based on a synthesis of all the elements then in vogue – from Caligari-like horrors to an expressionist use of actors’ bodies through to a rugged, sometimes optimistic naturalism (especially in his American period).

Read the full program notes
F.W. Murnau directing

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Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

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