The Last Warning
1929, Paul Leni, USA, ca. 90 min. With Laura La Plante, John Boles.
- Sat, Sep 3rd 3:00pm
"Merrily rifling through a whole bag of tricks, from animated intertitles to careening camera movements, director Paul Leni seems to anticipate the cinematic exuberance of Orson Welles... Secret passageways, trapdoors, a masked villain, clutching hands — THE LAST WARNING has them all, served up in high style." — Dave Kehr, program notes for Il Cinema Ritrovato
One of the silent cinema’s most innovative stylists, Paul Leni’s career was cut short by his death (from blood poisoning) at age 44, shortly after the release of this, his last film. Leni’s background as a set designer and leading director in the German Expressionist Cinema was successfully applied to his Hollywood career, notably in the hugely popular THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1927). THE LAST WARNING reworks CAT’s mixture of comedy, mystery, and haunted-house thriller, adding extra helpings of visual flair, with Leni’s camera constantly roving, darting, and bringing significant objects into the extreme foreground. The old dark house of CAT becomes an old dark theater, shuttered after a mysterious onstage murder and now reopened several years later, when an attempt to restage the original, fatal play brings forth an onslaught of apparitions, strange noises, and deadly “accidents.” Made at the end of the silent era, THE LAST WARNING was released in two different part-sound versions; this is a 2K DCP digital restoration (based on a 35mm nitrate negative from the Cinémathèque française) of the long-unseen original silent version, from NBC Universal Distribution. (MR)
SEPTEMBER 3: Silent film with live piano accompaniment by Dave Drazin.
WEEKEND DOUBLE-BILL DISCOUNT!
Buy a ticket at our regular prices for the first Recently Restored film on any Saturday or relevant Sunday in September or October, and get a ticket for the second Recently Restored film that day at the discounted rate with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second feature only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)