Richard helps Louise escape the law after she kills her brutal foster father.
One of director William Wellman's rare remaining silent films, BEGGARS OF LIFE is one of Hollywood's first sympathetic looks at fugitives on the run. When Nancy (Louise Brooks) kills her brutal stepfather, a vagrant (Richard Arlen) steps up and helps her elude the police. At first the two seek refuge in a group of hoboes but soon find them to be as hostile as the law they are trying to dodge. This drama is packed with notable character turns in the smaller roles, including a fine performance by Wallace Beery, who is particularly formidable as the ultrarandy sentimental bully Oklahoma Red, the hoboes' fearless leader. A 22-year-old Louise Brooks is radiant even while fleeing the scene of the crime, disguised as a boy, after her stepfather's attempt to rape her. After shooting this film she went directly to Germany to star in PANDORA'S BOX.
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