The Last Performance
Poster of the movie The Last Performance.jpg
Directed by Paul Fejos
Written by Walter Anthony
James Ashmore Creelman
Tom Reed
Starring Conrad Veidt
Mary Philbin
Music by Sam Perry
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) November 1929
Running time 69 min.
Country US flag 49 stars.svg.png [[|]]
Language English

The Last Performance (1929) was the last American silent film featuring Conrad Veidt 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 Theater in New York in November 1929. The silent version of the film was released by the Criterion Collection on Blu-ray and DVD with Paul Fejos' "Lonesome" in August 2012.

The movie was shot on the same set as the 1925 film 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 Times on 8 November 1929 wrote:[1]

"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.

Supporting CastEdit


External linksEdit

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