- The Last Performance
name = The Last Performance
imdb_id = 0020078
Walter Anthony James Ashmore Creelman
Conrad Veidt Mary Philbin
released = 1929
runtime = 69 min.
language = English
country = USA
amg_id = 1:98776
"The Last Performance" was the last American silent film
Conrad Veidtfeatured in before he returned to Germany. Two versions were made - a silent version and Movietone version complete with music, talking sequences, and sound effects. The silent version was first played at the Variety at the Little Carnegie Theaterin New Yorkin November 1929.
The film was shot on the same set as the The Phantom of the Opera, and contained an early use of zoom effects.
The film received mixed reviews. While Photoplay wrote "Conrad Veidt as a magician in a much over-acted and over-directed film", The
New York Timeson 8 November 1929 wrote [cite web
author = John DeBartolo
title = "The Last Performance" (1929)
year = 2002
url = http://www.silentsaregolden.com/DeBartoloreviews/rdblastperformance.html
language = English
accessdate = 2006-07-20] :
"Dr. Fejos has handled his scenes with no small degree of imagination. Mr. Veidt's clever acting and Mary Philbin's captivating charm, this picture holds one's attention. Moreover, the narrative is developed with a certain force and skill. While some of the straight camera work is not up to scratch, there are a number of photographic feats that are quite effective. It is a picture that looks older than it really is, especially in the tinted portions where one goes from an amber interior scene to an azure blue night in the open."
In the film, Conrad Veidt stars as Erik the Great, a sinister stage Magician who falls in love with a woman half his age, Julie, played by
Mary Philbin. A young thief, Mark Royce (played by Fred MacKaye) is caught stealing from Erik's apartment and is taken in at Julie's suggestion. Secretly she falls in love with the new apprentice. However, Erik's other apprentice, Buffo (played by Leslie Fenton) becomes aware of Julie's love for Mark, and driven by jealousy tells his master. Buffo is later found killed, and Mark is the prime suspect.
William H. Turner
Sam De Grasse
* [http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=98776 New York Times - plot description]
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