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THE LAST COMMAND

USA, 1928 (MIFF 1978, American Silent Classics)

Director: Josef von Sternberg

Print courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Paramount and CIC.

General Dolgorucki is first seen as a quivering recluse, hiding in a rented room in Hollywood and struggling against old age. By chance, the Russian director, Leo Andreyev sees his photograph while casting for a new film, and recognizes the old man as the ex-Chief of the Russian Imperial Staff, cousin of the Czar, the general who knew Andreyev as a revolutionary in wartime Russia, and caused,the death of his lover and colleague, Natacha.

Andreyev casts him as the general in a war drama, but the old man, blind to the irony, imagines he is back on the Russian front a decade before.He gives his last command, leads his false army of extras against the phantom mob that surrounds him, dies.

, He was a great actor The assistant director concedes

He was more than that Andreyev says He was a great man

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