Beggars of Life (1928) - News Poster


Beggars of Life

A happy discovery! This is a major late- silent-era gem on the order of Von Sternberg’s Docks of New York — a special treat that will please fans of director William Wellman — he revisited parts of it in a later talkie. It’s also a key movie in our education/adoration of the maverick actress Louise Brooks, the erotic sensation too hot and too independent for Hollywood.

Beggars of Life


Kino Classics

1928 / B&W / 1:33 Silent Aperture / 81 min. / Street Date August 22, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Louise Brooks, Blue Washington, Roscoe Karns, Robert Perry, Guinn ‘Bog Boy’ Williams.

Cinematography: Henry Gerrard

Film Editor: Alyson Shaffer

Assistant Director: Charles Barton

Music: The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Written by Jim Tully and Benjamin Glazer from a novel by Jim Tully

Produced by Jesse L. Lasky, Adolph Zukor, William A. Wellman

Directed by William A. Wellman

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Will Women's Right to Vote Signal the End of the Family?: Socially Conscious Rarities

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Hepburn Day on TCM: Love, Danger and Drag

Katharine Hepburn movies. Katharine Hepburn movies: Woman in drag, in love, in danger In case you're suffering from insomnia, you might want to spend your night and early morning watching Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" series. Four-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn is TCM's star today, Aug. 7, '15. (See TCM's Katharine Hepburn movie schedule further below.) Whether you find Hepburn's voice as melodious as a singing nightingale or as grating as nails on a chalkboard, you may want to check out the 1933 version of Little Women. Directed by George Cukor, this cozy – and more than a bit schmaltzy – version of Louisa May Alcott's novel was a major box office success, helping to solidify Hepburn's Hollywood stardom the year after her film debut opposite John Barrymore and David Manners in Cukor's A Bill of Divorcement. They don't make 'em like they used to Also, the 1933 Little Women
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Why movie scores sound better live

Film scores aren't just for playing in the background any more. Ivan looks at how they're taking centre stage...


Film soundtracks have always been a strange medium. The music relies on movies for their full meaning. They're so integral to a film and its mood that to listen to them away from the big screen can seem strange to many. Others, meanwhile, take the chance outside of the cinema to pore over them in detail, or use them for background music while running or working (How to Train Your Dragon's on now, if you're wondering). It's only in recent years that another way of listening to them has become popular again: with your eyes.

Do a quick Google for "film with live score" and you'll discover a whole heap of events currently happening around the UK in which orchestras accompany a screening. Why the sudden trend? Is it
See full article at Den of Geek »

Festival radar: Hippodrome festival of silent cinema

Scotland's only silent film festival was born of the determination of a Bo'ness local to bring the big screen to his doorstep

Festival name: Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema

Location: Bo'ness, Falkirk


Dates: Annually, mid-March

About: With the best will in the world, Bo'ness seems an unlikely venue for a film festival, even something as quaint-sounding as a silent movie festival. But Bo'ness, a town with a population of about 14,500, perched on the banks of the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh and Falkiri, is the home of Scotland's only silent film festival. And it's all in honour of a local hero.

Louis Dickson, an electrical engineer turned cameraman, was a big noise in the early Scottish film business, grandly named the official "Kinematographer" of the Scottish National Exhibition in 1908. While he went on to take other official positions within the national film industry, Dickson's heart
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

International Women's Day, 1982 Rulez: this week's new film events

International Women's Day | Under The Skin + Jonathan Glazer Q&A | 1982 Rulez | The Hippodrome Festival Of Silent Cinema

International Women's Day, Bristol & London

Bristol's Translation/Transmission takes International women's day at face value with a documentary survey of women's activism around the world. The scope is equally diverse, from a 1970s deconstruction of Rapunzel to poet Audre Lorde's Berlin years. Each screening is accompanied by discussions and/or introductions. Taking a different tack, April's Birds Eye View film festival launches with a BFI screening of doc Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines, a celebration of female super-empowerment taking in the likes of Xena, Riot Grrrl and, of course, Lynda Carter.

Watershed, Sun to 30 Mar; BFI Southbank, SE1, Sat

Under The Skin + Jonathan Glazer Q&A, London

Blending his visual virtuosity with a mystifying Scottish sci-fi story, Glazer's latest movie is beguilingly strange and highly anticipated. But the questions just
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Orson Welles and a Spanish Snow White make for a diverse Pordenone

This year's edition of the silent film festival featured Welles' previously-thought-lost Too Much Johnson amid a typically irreverent and varied selection

Orson Welles's first professional film discovered in an Italian warehouse

• Review: Peter Bradshaw on Blancanieves

The first full day of the 32nd Giornate del Cinema Muto, the world's most prestigious silent-film festival, took place exactly 86 years after The Jazz Singer premiered in New York. There were no mournful faces in the town of Pordenone, Italy, where the Giornate is held, however. In this corner of the world, for one week only, it is not quite as if the talkies never arrived, but rather that they failed to stop the party. Silent cinema continues to reinvent itself, to surprise even its most protective guardians, and to multiply.

The opening gala night of the festival featured a recent film that paid tribute to European silent cinema, Pablo Berger's invigoratingly
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Hollywood’s Hobo In Residence

Had I not been lucky enough to see William Wellman’s 1928 silent film Beggars of Life years ago, or read the works of Gene Fowler, I might not know about Jim Tully, the scrappy Irish-American who became celebrated for writing about the subject he knew best: the hardscrabble life of an orphan turned boxer turned “road kid.” His most successful book (an autobiography in novel form), Beggars of Life came to the screen with Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, and Louise Brooks in the leading roles…and ironically, the onetime hobo spent the last twenty years of his life in Hollywood, paying the bills by writing first for Charlie Chaplin, and then for a variety of fan magazines...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Open thread: what films have you been watching?

The good, the bad, and the blockbusters … whatever you've seen recently, we'd like to hear about it

What films have you seen recently? Whatever you've been watching, we'd like you to tell us about it.

You can either leave a comment in the thread below, or tweet your thoughts with the hashtag #gdnreview. We'll pick the best and show them off here once a week.

Here's what some @guardianfilm followers had to say about recent films they'd seen:


Damsels in Distress: witty, whimsical and deeply offbeat, it grew on me, mainly thanks to the wonderful Greta Gerwig


Sticky sweet & naughty with lashings of humour & a sprinkling of nineties nostalgia: everything an American Pie Reunion should be!


Lockout: Ott action sci-fi. Very 90s vibe, in a good way. See if you like Timecop or Sudden Death (who doesn't?)


Drive. Beautiful aesthetics and faux-retro sound juxtaposed
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Good, the Bad and the Multiplex by Mark Kermode – review

Mark Kermode's polemic is both endearing and informative

Mark Kermode, history will relate, is a man with an appropriately cinematic origin: his name, look, and place in cultural life are clearly the result of a failed experiment with a matter transporter in which the genomes of Frank Kermode and Mark Lamarr were accidentally spliced. Here is an erudite critic with a proper appreciation of schlock; a celluloid-loving fogey who candidly prefers Breathless to À Bout de Souffle; and a man with the vanity to sport a quiff, yet who identifies himself as a jowly doppelgänger for Richard Nixon. This is the book of his mid-life crisis. If he's been a film critic for a quarter of a century (and, what's more, the "most trusted" in the UK according to a 2010 YouGov poll), what's the point of his existence when Sex and the City 2 is a smash hit?

See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Pianists play it again at the silent movies

Musical accompaniment enhanced the mood of silent films, as this year's British Silent Film festival made loud and clear

Harpo Marx lasted just two weeks as a silent film pianist – and it's no wonder. The poor bloke only knew two songs (Waltz Me Around Again, Willie and Love Me and the World is Mine), which he would rotate, speeding up or slowing down his fingers in hopes of fitting the music to the action on the screen. Luckily, not all players had such limited repertoires, and the 14th British Silent Film festival (held over the weekend, at the Barbican, BFI Southbank and Cinema Museum in London) explored the forgotten quirks and grand achievements of silent film accompaniment.

Whether gathering testimony from filmgoers, or unearthing old scores in archives, the project to discover what cinemas in the silent era really sounded like is a vast one. Evidence is hard to find,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery’s Beggars Of Life Screening

Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen, Beggars of Life William Wellman‘s 1928 silent classic Beggars of Life, starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, and Louise Brooks, will be screened at the 23rd edition of The Hollywood Heritage‘s "Silents Under the Stars" at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, northwest of Los Angeles. Michael Mortilla will provide live musical accompaniment. Though hardly a masterpiece, Beggars of Life is an interesting melodrama (with comedic touches) featuring the iconic Louise Brooks as a young woman who attempts to pass for a boy (major suspension of disbelief required) in order to flee the country after killing her abusive stepfather. Richard Arlen, who the year before had starred in William Wellman’s World War I drama Wings — the first movie to win a Best Picture Oscar — plays Brooks’ romantic interest. Future Oscar winner Wallace Beery’s characterization as a scraggly hobo is
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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