Emil Jannings won the first best actor Academy Award for his passionate, heartbreaking performance as a sympathetic tyrant, an exiled Russian military officer turned Hollywood actor whose latest partâa czarist generalâbrings about his emotional downfall. With its brilliantly realized Russian Revolution sequences, virtuoso camera work, and grandly designed sets and effects, Josef von Sternbergâs The Last Command is a gripping silent melodrama that grapples with tumultuous recent history, as well as a striking portrait of one manâs increasing blurring of the line between fantasy and reality.
- Six scores: one by Robert Israel for each film; two by the Alloy Orchestra, for Underworld and The Last Command; and a piano and voice piece by Donald Sosin for The Docks of New York
- Two new visual essays: one by UCLA film professor Janet Bergstrom and the other by film scholar Tag Gallagher
- 1968 Swedish television interview with director Josef von Sternberg, covering his entire career