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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The cinematography and editing in BEGGARS OF LIFE are quite striking, although there are also a number of scenes shot and edited in a pedestrian manner, perhaps reflecting talking sequence retakes. I cannot agree with the other two reviewers on this page - I find Louise Brooks to be dull, dull, dull. She sleepwalks through this. Yes, she is not an "exaggerated" silent actress, but she shows no life at all here, approaching the character in a very passive way. The plot twist in the end with Beery endearing himself to the audience as well as the fleeing lovers did provide a bit of interest. Arlen is very likeable and charming in the lead and Beery does what he does best, play Beery.
Note: Avoid the Grapevine Video release - it is deplorably bad. 85% of it is so dark (and a good deal of it is shot at night) you can neither read the titles, nor see what is going on on screen. A pristine print of this film shows some very subtle night lighting but all of this is lost on the Grapevine transfer. Personally, I would have nixed the release - the result is that poor.
All in all, visually interesting, but not great cinema.
10 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?