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Universal Pictures and Flicker Alley present Universal Pictures' new 4K restoration of the 1929 silent classic, The Last Warning, accompanied by a newly recorded score from Arthur Barrow. Adapted from Thomas F. Fallon's 1922 Broadway play of the same name, The Last Warning is based on the story The House of Fear by Wadsworth Camp and centers on an unsolved murder that occurs during a live Broadway performance. When the victim's body goes missing, the death remains unsolved and the theater is condemned. That is, until years later when a suspicious new producer arrives to restage the play with the original cast and crew. As one of the last silents Universal produced, The Last Warning was later released as a part-talkie with roughly sixty feet of sound scenes added.
The Last Warning was Paul Leni's final film before his untimely death, and a prime showcase for Universal's 1920s leading lady, Laura La Plante. An artist at his creative directorial peak, Leni's camera never stops shifting, offering cutaways and trick shots involving nervous could-be culprits, a highly suspicious sleuth, and cast members who suddenly disappear in the darkened theater. The result is a cinematic funhouse that restlessly cross-examines the suspense of the story's stage play against the real murder mystery saga, all unfolding amid the outstanding production design of Charles D. Hall.
Part of Universal's ongoing silent restoration initiative, The Last Warning honors the studio's rich film history that has spanned more than a century. Universal's team of restoration experts conducted a worldwide search for The Last Warning's available elements, ultimately working with materials from the Cinémathèque française, and the Packard Humanities Institute Collection in the UCLA Film & Television Archive. NBCUniversal's restoration team was able to stabilize and deflicker the film as well as repair scratches, warps, and dirt. The 4K digital restoration was completed by NBCUniversal StudioPost.