Beggars of Life

Movie Information

In Brief: One of director William Wellman's best early pictures — and certainly one of his most socially conscious in its early representation of rape culture — Beggars of Life (1928) is a powerful film pulled from a pulpy story that could have amounted to little more than a vagrant-centric exploitation flick in lesser hands. Louise Brooks stars as a young woman who hits the road with handsome hobo Richard Arlen to avoid the cops after murdering her pervy foster father. The two run afoul of hobo king Oklahoma Red (a fantastic Wallace Beery) as they try to make their way north to Canada, and Wellman manages to develop some genuinely disturbing atmosphere along the way. Following the director's historic Academy Award win for Wings in 1927, Beggars of Life was another chance for Wellman to display his technical prowess, and while a hastily amended musical number featuring Beery singing was added to capitalize on the advent of sound synchronization, only the silent version is known to still exist.
Genre: Drama
Director: William Wellman
Starring: Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Robert Perry, Roscoe Karns, Edgar (Blue) Washington
Rated: NR

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Beggars of Life on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. 


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