Starring Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent and William Powell
March 1928

In this, his second American-made picture, Emil Jannings lives up to the high standards his former picture have led us to expect of him. As Sergius, Jannings makes a complete departure from the type of character he portrayed in "The Way of All Flesh." This, however, is an unusual portrayal.

As favourite cousin of the Czar and Grand Duke of Russia, Sergius Alexander was easily the most important man in the Russian army. Imperious of necessity, he made bitter enemies. He falls in love with a beautiful woman revolutionist, Natacha, but strikes and arrest her companion, Leo. When the revolution comes, Natacha helps the general escape, but she is killed.

Poor, humiliated, beaten, grief-stricken, he searches the world over for Natacha, finally landing in Hollywood among the extras forking for $7.50 a day. Leo, meanwhile, ha become a famous director, and now has his revenge, which you must see. As the all-powerful leader of the Russian army and as the pathetic movie extra man, his fine shadings of different emotions are perfect. Evelyn Brent acquits herself most creditably and displays enough beauty and brains to disturb an army.

Joseph (sic) von Sternberg, who also directed "Underworld," proves again how well he can handle tremendous crowds or single individuals.

Von Sternberg gives us in this picture the best inside portrayal of studio activity that has ever been put on the screen; also, tremendously realistic background both in studio and behind the scenes on Russian front. A thrilling melodrama.

Starring Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent and William Powell
May 1928

The pathetic porter of "The Last Command" and the ruined reveler of "The Way of All Flesh" dons a Russian uniform for this one and becomes a General, a Grand Duke, a cousin of the Czar - and a motion picture extra. In a word, Emil Jannings compromises with Hollywood. The result, while neither fish, flesh nor fowl, is nevertheless fairly satisfactory.

In any event, the story offers the usual opportunity for the star's transition from the top to the bottom of the social heap. And this time, there is a touch of palsy thrown in for good measure. The climactic scene is that in which Jannings, cast in pictures in a role he has enacted in life, is deceived by his shock-and-sorrow seared brain into believing that he is again at the head of his Emperor's troops. "The Last Command" is to charge the enemy. Having given it, the hero drops dead.

For more information, see "The Last Command" as our "Feature of the Month"

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