Beggars of Life (1928) - Rotten Tomatoes

Beggars of Life (1928)

Beggars of Life

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Jim Tully, Benjamin Glazer, Julian Johnson
In Theaters:
Runtime:

Cast

Wallace Beery
as Oklahoma Red
Robert Brower
as Blind Sims
Andy Clark
as Skelly
Bob Perry
as Arkansas Snake
Guinn 'Big Boy' Will...
as Baker's Cart Driver
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Beggars of Life

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (1)

Though the sentimental spark of love may conquer all, Wellman leaves a sour air of disgust on the dusty trail.

Full Review… | April 27, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Beggars of Life

½

a gritty and fascinating study of hobo life on the rails. louise brooks plays a girl who kills her abusive guardian and goes on the run dressed as a boy in the company of a young tramp. their journey through hobo jungles and hopping freights was mostly filmed on location with some great stuntwork. this was an experimental sound film but the brief talking sequences, and even a song by wallace beery, are now lost. wellman reportedly invented the boom mike on this picture. a forerunner of the depression era cinema and louise turns in an affecting performance, considered her best in an american film. it was her biggest part to date and her last before leaving for europe to make her mark in the films of georg wilhelm pabst. this film is on the internet archive in decent quality

rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

½

I enjoyed the first half well enough, with Brooks and Arlen just walking together and hopping trains. The scene in the haystack was really great. The more plot heavy 2nd half didn't interest me as much, and Beery's sudden change of heart is unconvincing. It would have been better without all the heroics at the end, which was actually not bad for its unsentimental ending. Louis Brooks was great here, especially dressed as a man. Even though the print was atrocious and really hurt the film's visual appeal, the night scenes early on were beautifully shot.

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