The Last Laugh is more than a cinematic tour-de-force, it was an attempt by F.W. Murnau to find a universal language for the cinema and to expand the expressive qualities of the camera. The Last Laugh tells the story of the emasculating downfall of a doorman at a fancy hotel.
The experienced doorman at the Atlantic Hotel is quite proud of his position, his responsibilities and his uniform. One busy night, he has to take a short rest after lugging a heavy suitcase in from the rain. Unfortunately, his manager comes by during the short time when he is not performing his duties. The next day, he learns that he has been replaced as doorman, and has been re-assigned to the purely menial position of washroom attendant. Stunned and humiliated, the old man struggles to carry on with his life.