Josef von Sternberg's strange drama revolves around an old Russian general (Emil Jannings) who, exiled by the Bolshevik Revolution, makes a living as an extra in Hollywood. In an art imitates life plot, the general is asked to appear in a film that recreates the events of the Revolution, and descends into madness and insanity.
German actor Emil Jannings became the first Oscar winner of the Best Actor Award, when he was singled out for this as well as his role in "The Way of All Flesh." However, the coming of sound cut his career short and he returned to Germany before the Oscar ceremonies, in May 1929.
Oscar nominations: 3
Picture, Paramount Famous Lasky Actor: Emil Jannings Original Story: Lajos Biro
Jannings is best-known for his role as the professor in "The Blue Angel" (1930), the film that made Marlene Dietrich an international star.
Reportedly when the Allied Forces invade Germany and Jannings, a supporter of Hitler, was found and investigated, the first thing he showed was his Oscar statuette. He died in 1950.