The Last Warning (1929)

87 mins | Mystery, Melodrama | 6 January 1929

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HISTORY

The Last Warning was the final film of German-born director Paul Leni (1885--1929), who died in Los Angeles on 2 Sep 1929. In 1939, Universal produced another film based on the novel and play. That film, entitled The House of Fear , was directed by Joe May and starred William Gargan and Irene Hervey (See ... More Less

The Last Warning was the final film of German-born director Paul Leni (1885--1929), who died in Los Angeles on 2 Sep 1929. In 1939, Universal produced another film based on the novel and play. That film, entitled The House of Fear , was directed by Joe May and starred William Gargan and Irene Hervey (See Entry). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
13 Jan 1929.
---
New York Times
7 Jan 1929
p. 36.
Variety
9 Jan 1929
p. 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Universal-Jewel
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
Dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Scen
Adpt
Story supv
Dial
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The House of Fear by Wadsworth Camp (New York, 1916) and the play The Last Warning by Thomas F. Fallon (New York, 24 Oct 1922).
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 January 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 December 1928
Copyright Number:
LP25937
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Talking seq, sound effects and music score by Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si; 7,731 ft.
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in feet):
7,980
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During a theatrical performance, Woodford, the play's leading man, is murdered. The theater is immediately closed, and suspicion is directed toward both the play's leading lady and the slain actor's understudy. After 5 years, a producer decides to reopen the closed theater by putting on a production of the fatal play, using what is available of the original cast. Rehearsals start, and with them strange happenings (falling scenery and weird voices) seemingly calculated to frighten off the company, Woodford's ghost appears and issues a last, unheeded warning to close the theater. On opening night the stage is suddenly plunged into darkness; when the lights come up, the leading man is nowhere to be found. Finally the guilty parties are disclosed, and the leading lady and the understudy are at last free to find happiness with each ... +


During a theatrical performance, Woodford, the play's leading man, is murdered. The theater is immediately closed, and suspicion is directed toward both the play's leading lady and the slain actor's understudy. After 5 years, a producer decides to reopen the closed theater by putting on a production of the fatal play, using what is available of the original cast. Rehearsals start, and with them strange happenings (falling scenery and weird voices) seemingly calculated to frighten off the company, Woodford's ghost appears and issues a last, unheeded warning to close the theater. On opening night the stage is suddenly plunged into darkness; when the lights come up, the leading man is nowhere to be found. Finally the guilty parties are disclosed, and the leading lady and the understudy are at last free to find happiness with each other. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.