The Last Laugh

Director: F. W. Murnau
Year Released: 1924
Rating: 4.0

There's no such thing as delicacy or subtlety in this Murnau silent: after getting demoted from his job as Professional Door Opener to Bathroom Attendant (a job I've actually had), Emil Jannings is clubbed over the head by everyone that passes him by, causing further agony and torment - such is German Expressionism. Jannings delves into the despair of the middle act, overdoing the pain by walking like a hunchback, contorting his face and causing his body to shudder; the third act takes an unrealistic twist 'redeeming' the main character but is (somehow) the most spectacular thirty minutes in the entire film. This movie could be labeled as 'camp,' but what gorgeous, inspired camp it is - it's a flamboyant masterpiece.