The Street of Forgotten Men (1925)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  24 August 1925 (USA)
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Easy-Money Charley, the best fake crippled beggar in New York, loses his beloved dog and adopts a dying prostitute's daughter to fill the empty place in his heart. But his fellow crooks and... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Percy Marmont ...
Philip Peyton
Mary Vanhern
John Harrington ...
Bridgeport White-Eye
Juliet Brenon ...
Portland Fancy
Josephine Deffry ...
Dutch Molly
Riley Hatch ...
Diamond Mike
Agostino Borgato ...
Albert Roccardi ...
Adolphe's Assistant
Dorothy Walters ...
Widow McKee


Easy-Money Charley, the best fake crippled beggar in New York, loses his beloved dog and adopts a dying prostitute's daughter to fill the empty place in his heart. But his fellow crooks and dissemblers mock him for sentimentality, and he disowns the child in order to bring her up secretly in the safety of a distant suburb. He brings her up as a young lady in ignorance of her true history or of his; but when he discovers that her affections have taken an unexpected slant, it brings about an end to their tranquil life, a crisis of conscience, and an opportunity for the sinister 'White-Eye' to take a hand... Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BLIND ALLEY (original poster - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

24 August 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'école des mendiants  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Louise Brooks as a Moll. See more »


A Moll: [title card] You're just wonderful, Whitey!
Drunk: [title card] You'll never touch that graft, Whitey!
See more »


Featured in Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

The Street of Forgotten Men
31 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a fairly pedestrian melodrama. However, it does showcase the talents of an otherwise forgotten English born performer, Percy Marmont (as Easy Money Charlie) and his engaging ward/'daughter', Mary Brian (as Fancy Vanhern).

The story has a political message - the end of the Great War had led to the return of a great many servicemen, many of whom became unemployed when the postwar boom turned sour (in 1920-21). A number of these were wounded. However, because of America's comparatively brief participation in the war effort, there were many more able bodied unemployed ex-soldiers than there were disabled (certainly the ratio of able bodied to disabled was far greater than in France, Britain or Germany). Public sympathy for returned soldiers was rather limited, and this caused a great deal of bitterness. This meant that able bodied ex-servicemen had sometimes to resort to impostures, and over time these had the effect of increasing public suspicion of any form of mendicancy by disabled people - whether or not they suffered from any real disability. This story plays with that theme, although the war is never mentioned.

There is the usual interesting 1920s exterior footage - here we get the chance to see what I imagine to be a genuine New York Easter Parade from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

This film is only remembered today because it marks the Paramount screen debut of Louise Brooks (credited as a 'moll'). She had impressed executives Walter Wanger and Townsend Martin by her performances at the Ziegfeld Follies and encouraged her to have a go in this picture, directed by the autocratic, but very capable Herbert Brenon. However, her appearance is not especially impressive.

Even so, Marmont, Brian and John Harrington (as Bridgeport White-Eye, a phoney whose imposture becomes a reality) play well together and with feeling. It may not be to the taste of an audience that has long sloughed off any sympathy for outright sentimentality, but if the viewer makes any attempt to reconstruct the mentality of the average cinema attendee of 1925, s/he will find this film rewarding.

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