Beggars of Life (1928)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Oklahoma Red
as Blind Sims
as Arkansas Snake
as Baker's Cart Driver
Critic Reviews for Beggars of Life
Though the sentimental spark of love may conquer all, Wellman leaves a sour air of disgust on the dusty trail.
Audience Reviews for Beggars of Life
A little thin on plot, but seeing Louise Brooks helps make up for that. We feel her vulnerability and the danger of rape that she faces from the scowling men in the film, first her adoptive father, and then a group of hobos she meets while on the run with Richard Arlen. Director William A. Wellman does a good job of making us feel the grit and grime of this world, and gives quite a few train stunts as well, with people jumping aboard moving trains, decoupling cars, and slipping off perilously at various times. In her auto-biography â~Lulu in Hollywoodâ(TM), Brooks says that Wellman convinced her to take the place of her stunt double and hop aboard a fast-moving boxcar and that it nearly sucked her under its wheels, so it was interesting to look for that scene. The film loses momentum in the middle and has some silly scenes with the hobos (a free-for-all and a mock trial come to mind), but finishes reasonably well, and has a touch of sweetness to it. Watch it for Brooks, and Wellmanâ(TM)s train scenes.
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
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