Beggars of Life (1928)

80 mins | Drama | September 1928

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HISTORY

According to the 1 Feb 1928 Var, Paramount Pictures was currently negotiating with Jim Tully for the rights to his 1924 novel, Beggars of Life. At that time, Tully was expected to adapt the screenplay. However, Benjamin Glazer received credit for the adaptation.
       Following the acquisition of film rights, Louise Brooks and Richard Arlen were announced as lead actors, and principal photography was expected to begin in Apr 1928, with Willaim A. Wellman as director.
       On 1 Apr 1928, FD noted that Jim Tully would be appearing onscreen, but he was not credited in film reviews.
       The 24 May 1928 FD stated that principal photography had begun on Beggars of Life. More specifically, according to a studio directory in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 19 May 1928. The 3 Jun 1928 FD reported that a seventy-five member production team was on location in Jacumba Hot Springs, CA, near the Mexican border. According to the 7 Jun 1928 FD, railroad sequences were amongst the scenes being filmed at that location.
       The 18 Jun 1928 FD and the 30 Jun 1928 Motion Picture News announced that actors Budd Fine, Daniel Dix, and John Webb Dillon had been cast as detectives in the film, although none of the men were listed in reviews.
       The 27 Jun 1928 FD stated that the crew had returned to Hollywood, CA, after three weeks in Jacumba Hot Springs. The 27 Jun 1928 Var indicated that the return marked the end of production, and announced that ... More Less

According to the 1 Feb 1928 Var, Paramount Pictures was currently negotiating with Jim Tully for the rights to his 1924 novel, Beggars of Life. At that time, Tully was expected to adapt the screenplay. However, Benjamin Glazer received credit for the adaptation.
       Following the acquisition of film rights, Louise Brooks and Richard Arlen were announced as lead actors, and principal photography was expected to begin in Apr 1928, with Willaim A. Wellman as director.
       On 1 Apr 1928, FD noted that Jim Tully would be appearing onscreen, but he was not credited in film reviews.
       The 24 May 1928 FD stated that principal photography had begun on Beggars of Life. More specifically, according to a studio directory in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, production began 19 May 1928. The 3 Jun 1928 FD reported that a seventy-five member production team was on location in Jacumba Hot Springs, CA, near the Mexican border. According to the 7 Jun 1928 FD, railroad sequences were amongst the scenes being filmed at that location.
       The 18 Jun 1928 FD and the 30 Jun 1928 Motion Picture News announced that actors Budd Fine, Daniel Dix, and John Webb Dillon had been cast as detectives in the film, although none of the men were listed in reviews.
       The 27 Jun 1928 FD stated that the crew had returned to Hollywood, CA, after three weeks in Jacumba Hot Springs. The 27 Jun 1928 Var indicated that the return marked the end of production, and announced that director William A. Wellman had departed to Boston, MA, where he would spend a month-long vacation with his family.
       According to a theater listing in the 5 Sep 1928 Var, the film was in release at that time at the Indiana Theatre in Indianapolis, IN.
       Reviews were mixed. The 26 Sep 1928 Var review deemed Beggars of Life “not an exceptionally good picture,” citing the pointlessness of the story.
       A silent version of the film was also released, at a length of 7,504 feet.
       Beggars of Life was fully restored by The Film Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 by director Martin Scorsese. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
26 May 1928
p. 102.
Exhibitor's Herald-World and Moving Picture World
30 Oct 1928
p, 51.
Film Daily
1 Apr 1928
p.11.
Film Daily
24 May 1928
p. 6.
Film Daily
3 Jun 1928
p. 12.
Film Daily
7 Jun 1928
p. 8.
Film Daily
18 Jun 1928
p. 6.
Film Daily
27 Jun 1928
p. 7.
Film Daily
30 Sep 1928
p. 8.
Motion Picture News
30 Jun 1928
p. 2212.
New York Times
24 Sep 1928
p. 25.
Picture-Play Magazine
Nov 1928
pp. 49-50, 109.
The Film Spectator
27 Oct 1938
pp. 6-7.
Variety
1 Feb 1928
p. 81.
Variety
15 Feb 1928
p. 12.
Variety
27 Jun 1928
p. 19.
Variety
5 Sep 1928
p. 60.
Variety
26 Sep 1928
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A William A. Wellman Production
B. P. Schulberg, Gen. Mgr, West Coast Productions
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Beggars of Life by Jim Tully (New York, 1924).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1928
Premiere Information:
Indianapolis opening: week of 5 September 1928
New York City opening: week of 22 September 1928
Production Date:
19 May--late June 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 September 1928
Copyright Number:
LP25642
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Talking seq, mus score, and sd eff by Movietone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,560
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Nancy lives in mortal fear of her foster father and, when he attacks her, she kills him in a moment of panic. The murder is discovered by Jim, a young hobo, who helps her to escape. Nancy dresses in men's rough clothes, and she and Jim hop a freight; thrown off by the brakeman, they take refuge in a hobo camp, the leadership of which is bitterly contested between Arkansas Snake and Oklahoma Red. The encampment is broken up by detectives, and Jim and Nancy take refuge with Mose and a seriously ill tramp in an abandoned shack. Red unexpectedly shows up with a stolen car and women's clothing for Nancy, helping her and Jim to escape in the car. The sick tramp dies, and Red, dressing him in Nancy's rough clothes, places his body in a lumber car which he sets aflame. The pursuing detective kills Red, and Jim and Nancy (who is declared to be officially dead by the police) hop a passenger train for ... +


Nancy lives in mortal fear of her foster father and, when he attacks her, she kills him in a moment of panic. The murder is discovered by Jim, a young hobo, who helps her to escape. Nancy dresses in men's rough clothes, and she and Jim hop a freight; thrown off by the brakeman, they take refuge in a hobo camp, the leadership of which is bitterly contested between Arkansas Snake and Oklahoma Red. The encampment is broken up by detectives, and Jim and Nancy take refuge with Mose and a seriously ill tramp in an abandoned shack. Red unexpectedly shows up with a stolen car and women's clothing for Nancy, helping her and Jim to escape in the car. The sick tramp dies, and Red, dressing him in Nancy's rough clothes, places his body in a lumber car which he sets aflame. The pursuing detective kills Red, and Jim and Nancy (who is declared to be officially dead by the police) hop a passenger train for Canada. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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