Jannings won the first Best Actor Oscar for his performances
in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh (pictured).
performance as a Russian general in The Last Command is available
on video, but no prints of The Way of All Flesh are known to exist. In The
Way of All Flesh,
Jannings plays a respected bank cashier who is ruined after being seduced
a tramp named Mayme, a role that is reminiscent of his star-making performances
in The Last Laugh (1924) and Variety (1925), and of his most famous role in The Blue Angel (1930).
of Jannings' Best Actor-winning films were listed as Best Picture nominees
until the mid 1970s, when the Academy reviewed the earliest nominations
Last Command and The Way of All Flesh from the "official" record of
Best Picture nominees, although most listings still include both
films in that category.
starred in another lost Best Picture nominee, The Patriot. Only
of the Ernst Lubitsch film is known to survive (preserved at the Portuguese
despite receiving the most nominations in 1928/29, including a Best Actor
nomination for Lewis Stone in the supporting role of Count Pahlen
(supporting Oscars would not be awarded until 1936). Stone's nomination
(and Jannings' omission) is regarded with some puzzlement today, as Jannings'
performance in the lead role of Czar Paul I was considered to be not only
strongest performance in the film by the film's contemporary critics,
one of the greatest performances in the history of silent cinema.
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