Beggars of Life [DVD] [1928]

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Special Features

  • Audio commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society
  • Audio commentary by actor William Wellman, Jr.
  • Digitally restored from 35mm elements preserved by the George Eastman Museum
  • Musical score compiled and performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, employing selections from the original 1928 Paramount cue-sheet


Beggars of Life
Wallace Beery appeared in this silent film with intertitles, a dark drama of hobo life. Jim (Richard Arlen), a wanderer, comes upon young Nancy (Louise Brooks), who has just killed the guardian who was trying to rape her. Disguised as a boy, she takes off with Jim and rides the rails to a hobo camp led by Arkansas Snake (Robert Perry). When Oklahoma Red (Beery) takes over the camp, he begins to pursue Nancy, but before he can take her from Jim, the detectives show up to arrest her. He engineers a daring escape that nearly kills them all, but allows Nancy and Jim to get away -- but Red is still interested in her, and still following them; as resourceful as ever, he steals a car and some girl's clothes for Nancy, to throw the police off the trail, and tries to convince Jim to light out on his own. When he sees how much they actually love each other, however, he suddenly decides to let them go. But Red knows that the police won't give up their pursuit of an accused murderer, unless they think she's dead -- and he plans one last, very risky ruse to get the detectives to walk away. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Wallace Beery
    Wallace Beery - Oklahoma Red
  • Louise Brooks
    Louise Brooks - Nancy
  • Richard Arlen
    Richard Arlen - Jim
  • Blue Washington
    Blue Washington - Mose
  • Mike Donlin
    Mike Donlin - Bill

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