Crew members prepare Emil Jannings for the scene in Faust (1926, dir. F.W. Murnau) in which Mephisto’s wings obscure the sky as he hovers above a city.
Emil Jannings, as the demon Mephisto, spreads his wings over the Earth & sows the seeds of plague in Faust (1926, dir. F. W. Murnau)
Jannings’ character, the doorman for a famous hotel, is demoted to washroom (bathroom) attendant, as he is considered too old and infirm to be the image of the hotel. He tries to conceal his demotion from his friends and family, but to his shame, he is discovered. His friends, thinking he has lied to them all along about his prestigious job, taunt him mercilessly while his family rejects him out of shame. The man, shocked and in incredible grief, returns to the hotel to sleep in the bathroom where he works. The only person to be kind towards him is the night watchman, who covers him with his coat as he falls asleep.
Following this comes the film’s only title card, which says: “Here the story should really end, for, in real life, the forlorn old man would have little to look forward to but death. The author took pity on him and has provided a quite improbable epilogue.”
At the end, the doorman inherits a fortune and is able to dine happily at the same hotel he used to work for.