Louise Brooks’ best American film was made shortly before she left for Germany and found everlasting fame in G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Here she plays a young woman who flees her cruel stepfather and, dressed in boy’s clothing, rides the rails with hobos. Wallace Beery and Richard Arlen co-star. At the time of its release, the Cleveland Plain Dealer described Beggars of Life as "a raw, sometimes bleeding slice of life." This silent film presentation has a new music score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque is one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters, according to The New York Times. Founded in 1986, the alternative film theater shows classic, foreign, and independent films 50 weekends of the year. The Cinematheque offers discounted tickets to all CIA students and contributes to the richness of the college’s public programming in the arts.
Want to learn more about this acclaimed film ? Check out my new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film. This first ever study of Beggars of Life looks at the film Oscar-winning director William Wellman thought his finest silent movie. Based on Jim Tully's bestselling book of hobo life-and filmed by Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win the Best Picture Oscar), Beggars of Life is a riveting drama about an orphan girl (screen legend Louise Brooks) who kills her abusive stepfather and flees the law. She meets a boy tramp (leading man Richard Arlen), and together they ride the rails through a dangerous hobo underground ruled over by Oklahoma Red (future Oscar winner Wallace Beery). Beggars of Life showcases Brooks in her best American silent. Copies may be purchased through amazon.com, B&N.com, or through select independent bookstores. The new digital restoration of the film has just been released by Kino Lorber on DVD / Blu-ray.