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Beggars of Life (1928)

After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Benjamin Glazer (adaptation), Jim Tully (book)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Oklahoma Red
Louise Brooks ... The Girl - Nancy
Richard Arlen ... The Boy - Jim
Blue Washington ... Black Mose (as Edgar Washington Blue)
Kewpie Morgan ... Skinny (as H.A. Morgan)
Andy Clark ... Skelly
Mike Donlin ... Bill
Roscoe Karns ... Lame Hoppy
Bob Perry Bob Perry ... The Arkansaw Snake (as Robert Perry)
Johnnie Morris Johnnie Morris ... Rubin
George Kotsonaros George Kotsonaros ... Baldy
Jack Chapin Jack Chapin ... Ukie (as Jacques Chapin)
Robert Brower ... Blind Sims
Frank Brownlee ... Farmer
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Storyline

After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police, and reach Canada. Written by Kevin Coughlin <starmist@buffnet.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mendigos da Vida See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (sound)

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone) (talking sequences and musical score)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thanks to a few lines of dialog being added to the music/special effects track (similar to Warners' The Jazz Singer (1927)), this was Paramount's first feature with spoken words. The studio's first all-talking feature, Interference (1928), would be released at the end of 1928. Wallace Beery's bawdy song as he walks down the street was shot post-production and became Paramount's first-ever dialogue. Neither director William A. Wellman nor producer David O. Selznick liked the idea. See more »

Quotes

The Boy: Ain't it funny when you think of the millions o' people in warm houses and feather beds, an' us just driftin' 'round like the clouds? But I guess it's about even when you boil it down. Even them people in feather beds ain't satisfied - we're all beggars of life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

On the movie's title card the order of the star cast names is as follows: Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Louise Brooks. In the cast list the order is: Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen. See more »

Connections

References The Sheik (1921) See more »

Soundtracks

Beggars of Life
Music by Karl Hajos
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan
See more »

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User Reviews

Luminous Brooks shines in her best "serious" American film role
4 January 1999 | by pooch-8See all my reviews

While she is known primarily for her work for G.W. Pabst in the German films Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl, Louise Brooks is phenomenal in William Wellman's movie of a young girl on the run after she murders her sexually abusive guardian. The opening scene, in which the murder takes place, is gorgeously imagistic and ranks (for me) as one of the most indelible moments in all of cinema. Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery are very good in their roles, but the movie belongs to Brooks, whose ability to underplay in the silent era -- when mugging and exaggeration were more the rule than the exception -- makes her seem ultra-contemporary. It is little wonder Brooks has such resonance with modern audiences.


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