1924's "The Last Laugh" is a short, simple, direct tale of an elderly hotel doorman. Becoming complacent, he is smugly replaced by a younger man, and assigned to work in the washroom. Shocked and ashamed, he steals his old uniform to hide his fate from family and friends. A whirlwind of symbolism, the opening scene dances down a moving, mechanical elevator. Director F.W. Murnau tosses in multiple-image montages(all composed in the camera), hallucinatory lighting effects, scenes filmed through glass, and what is probably the first portable, hand-held camera shots. "The Last Laugh" was written by Carl Mayer. Paul Rotha's "Film Till Now" relates that Mayer "was a careful, patient worker. He would take days over a few shots. He would rather return the money than be forced to finish a script the wrong way. Film mattered most. His little money he gave away to make others happy". "The Last Laugh" was an unequaled example of universal co-operation: Director F.W. Murnau, cameraman Karl Freund(who filmed "Dracula" 7 years later), Carl Mayer, and the great German actor Emil Jannings. "The Last Laugh" DVD contains the unusual "happy", alternate ending, chapter stops, and several photo stills. After "Faust" in 1926, Murnau was whisked away to America, where he bought extravagant autos and a racing yacht. Talking movies emerged in 1927, but Murnau's final effort, "Tabu", contained no dialogue. F.W. Murnau's sound-film talents will never be known. A car crash took his life near Santa Barbara in 1931. Greatness suddenly became memory. But oh, what a memory.