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The Photoplay Edition of "Beggars of Life"


Return to the Louise Brooks Collection.

Louise Brooks appeared with Richard Arlen and Wallace Berry in Paramont's Beggars of Life, based upon the novel of Jim Tully (1888-1947), subtitled A Hobo Autobiography (New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1924). The 1928 motion picture was publicized in part with a Grosset & Dunlap "photoplay" reprint (OCLC numbers 19810921 and 19820127).

'Beggars of Life' dust wrapper
The dust wrapper has drawings of the stars on its front and a photograph of Brooks and Arlen on the back.

The back dust jacket copy reads:
"'The best book of its kind I have ever encountered,' says H. L. Mencken. Tully, the ex-tramp who has startled the literary world with five successful novels, has sketched the dramatic story of his colorful career with a gripping, graphic realism. It's a bitter drama of the roaring rails, of side car Pullmans and back door handouts, of hobo 'jungles' and jungle justice. And Paramount have [sic] made a powerful picture of it, directed by William Wellman, the man who made Wings. Wallace Beery as 'Oklahoma Red,' Louise Brooks as 'Nancy' and Richard Arlen as 'Jim' are the stars."

The dust jacket front flap reads:
"Kicked, cuffed, beaten, hounded--but finding adventure at every turn, wanderers drifting around, beggars of life.

"This is the tale of the hobo--strong, hard, raw, stark--a living scene lifted from the colorful past of one of the most picturesque characters of our times. Son of an Irish ditch-digger, Jim Tully's love of the beautiful and his wild, free spirit caused him at the age of twelve to run away from the orphan asylum and hit the long, high road of adventure.

"For eight years Tully rode the beams, camped out under the stars, begged handouts at back doorsteps. For even longer he was a prize fighter. But through all richly romantic years the freckled- faced, red-headed youth retained his burning desire to write. And finally success came to him.

"'A bitter drama of the roaring rails,' says one reviewer . . . 'a cross section of the life of America' . . . 'the Odyssey of a nonchalant Irish rover' . . . 'the brilliant, fascinating story of creatures who once were men--and still are'."

'Oklahoma Red Tells Jim That He Wants Nancy for Himself'
Other photographs of Brooks include the frontispiece, "Oklahoma Red Tells Jim That He Wants Nancy for Himself."

'Jim's Love for Nancy Is Awakened As He Bandages Her Injured Ankle.'
Opposite page 152 is "Jim's Love for Nancy Is Awakened As He Bandages Her Injured Ankle."

'The Scheme to Dress the Dead Tramp in Nancy's Clothing.'
Opposite page 272 is "The Scheme to Dress the Dead Tramp in Nancy's Clothing."

Brooks does not appear in the still opposite page 72, "The Hoboes' Court."

Links to related sites

Last Modified: Jan 12, 2007 - 09:58
http://library.pittstate.edu/spcoll/beggars.html

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