Down 4,228 this week

Beggars of Life (1928)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 468 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

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 »



(adaptation), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 97 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
a list of 45 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
a list of 295 titles
created 12 Jul 2012
a list of 338 titles
created 06 Apr 2013
a list of 73 titles
created 11 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Beggars of Life" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Beggars of Life (1928)

Beggars of Life (1928) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Beggars of Life.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A beautiful showgirl, name "the Canary" is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and with that she ends up dead. But who killed "the Canary". All the suspects knew and were ... See full summary »

Directors: Malcolm St. Clair, Frank Tuttle
Stars: William Powell, Jean Arthur, James Hall
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Frankie Darro, Rochelle Hudson, Edwin Phillips
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A dead criminal's daughter falls in love with a small-time crook and tries to get him to reform before he winds up like her father.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Clara Bow, Richard Arlen, Helen Lynch
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The tale of two sisters with the older one pledged to look after the younger one that transpires between a department store, NYC's Central Park and a boarding house. THe older one is the ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Evelyn Brent, Lawrence Gray, Louise Brooks
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Aleksander Ford
Stars: Tadeusz Lomnicki, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Tadeusz Fijewski
The Show Off (1926)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A blowhard who poses as a railroad executive (but is really just a $30-a-week clerk) catches a young bride and then drives her family's finances to the brink of ruin.

Director: Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Ford Sterling, Claire McDowell, Charles Goodrich
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it's firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Riccardo Freda
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Irasema Dilián, Gino Cervi
Samson (1961)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Serge Merlin, Alina Janowska, Elzbieta Kepinska
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Riccardo Freda
Stars: Vittorio Gassman, María Mercader, Yvonne Sanson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Werner Hochbaum
Stars: Gina Falckenberg, Friedrich Gnaß, Wolfgang Zilzer


Complete credited cast:
Oklahoma Red
The Girl (Nancy)
The Boy (Jim)
Blue Washington ...
Black Mose (as Edgar Washington Blue)
Kewpie Morgan ...
Skinny (as H.A. Morgan)
Andy Clark ...
Mike Donlin ...
Lame Hoppy
Bob Perry ...
The Arkansaw Snake (as Robert Perry)
Johnnie Morris ...
George Kotsonaros ...
Jack Chapin ...
Ukie (as Jacques Chapin)
Robert Brower ...
Blind Sims
Frank Brownlee ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | based on novel


Adventure | Drama





Release Date:

22 September 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mendigos da Vida  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (sound)

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone) (talking sequences and musical score)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Thanks to a few lines of dialog being added to the music/special effects track (similar to Warner's 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. See more »


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 »


References The Sheik (1921) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Visual Appeal
8 September 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Artfully photographed, dark and riveting silent film following the story of a handsome tramp (Richard Arlen) who has entered a house looking for work, finds a man slumped over at the table and discovers he has been shot to death. A young lady (Louise Brooks) appears at the top of the stairs dressed in male clothing - she admits she killed the man (he "adopted" her from the orphanage two years before - okey dokey), but reasons that she did it to protect herself from being raped. So - they run off together and hitch a ride on a rail car to get out of town. The two of them soon arrive at a side of the railyard hobo camp where they encounter one really hardened, bully of a hobo (Wallace Beery) who actually ends up helping them. When she is recognized by one of the hobos as being a woman, the bunch want to get her away from her fellow and have her for themselves - oh dear, that struck me as a pretty bad/scary situation for a female to find herself in (the looks on these men's faces as they stared in lust at this poor girl were enough to frighten anyone)! Later "Wanted" posters begin to appear on signposts, as they discover she is now wanted for murder with a $1,000 reward offered for her capture.

I found this to be a very interesting and enjoyable film, full of some beautifully photographed scenes - Brooks and Arlen in close-up as they hide out one night in a hay loft, Brooks falling from a train into a grassy field, a montage of images in the beginning showing the decadence of the girl's "father" as he paws and pursues her. The plot is, in a few ways, reminiscent of the early 40s comedy "Sullivan's Travels" - the female dressed in male clothing stealing rides on rail cars with a male friend/lover, the hobo camp, etc. Interestingly, I thought Louise Brooks looked even more beautiful dressed as a boy than when she puts on a dress! All in all, this is a visual treat and a highly entertaining film.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
New Forest showing 24 September 2010 jo-839-242311
Downloaded copies from Internet Archive? danostrife
Discuss Beggars of Life (1928) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: