The Last Warning is a 1929 American mystery film directed by Paul Leni, and starring Laura La Plante, Montagu Love, and Margaret Livingston. Its plot follows a New York producer’s attempt to re-stage a play five years after one of the original cast members was murdered in the theater. The film is based on the 1922 Broadway melodrama of the same name by Thomas F. Fallon, which in turn was based on the story House of Fear by Wadsworth Camp, the father of the writer Madeleine L’Engle.
Conceived as a followup to Leni’s wildly successful 1927 production The Cat and the Canary (also starring La Plante), the film was produced by Universal Pictures under Carl Laemmle. Principal photography took place in Los Angeles in the summer of 1928 on sets recycled from Univeral’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925). It premiered on Christmas Day 1928 before expanding in January 1929, and was released as both a part-sound as well as a silent film; the silent version is the only known extant version. It was the final film directed by Leni before his death from blood poisoning on September 2, 1929.
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