Unboxing the Silents: “Beggars of Life” with Louise Brooks on Bluray

This new restoration of Beggars of Life, a 1928 drama starring Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery and directed by William Wellman, has been making the festival rounds but this is you chance to own it. I’ll be going through the contents of this disc and showcasing what it has to offer.

A huge thanks to Kino Lorber for providing me with an early review copy.

Beggars of Life will be available on DVD and Bluray from Kino on August 22, 2017. Please note that older public domain DVD releases DO NOT feature restored footage and will not be of the same image quality. The Bluray is region A.


This edition features 35mm elements preserved by the George Eastman House. The film looks good, Arlen looks good and, despite being saddled with one of the most ridiculous bonnets in film history, Brooks looks good.

As always, I have cropped the pillarboxes but have not otherwise altered the screencaps in any way.


The score is by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and uses selections from the film’s original cue sheet.


The film includes commentary tracks from William Wellman, Jr. and Louise Brooks Society founder Thomas Gladysz. (Gladysz has also published a companion book to the film.) We also get a booklet with an essay on Beggars and hobo films by Nick Pinkerton.

As with Kino’s previous Brooks Bluray, Beggars comes with reversible cover art, so that’s pretty fun.

Regular Front
Reversed Front

Availability: The film will be released on DVD and Bluray on August 22, 2017. You can learn more and pre-order here.


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  1. Javier

    I am looking forward to this release, major improvement over the previous editions. This has been a great year for silent films so far. Zaza, Marion Davies’ restorations and coming up to round up this year, Old Ironsides, and The Covered Wagon just to name a few. Great news for us silent film lovers.

    1. Steve

      Just read today (Nitrateville) about a November release of Old Army Game (1926) W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks – Running Wild (1926) Starring W.C. Fields from Kino/Lorber Classics…..More Louise coming soon….Yeah

  2. Thomas Gladysz

    Fans of Louise Brooks and this film may be interested to know I have just authored a new book, “Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film”, which goes beyond my commentary to detail everything I could find out about this classic film. And what’s more, the book features more than 50 images, many of them rare. The book is available through amazon.com, B&N, and select independent bookstores.

  3. Scott Lueck

    What, you don’t like the bonnet? I think Louise Brooks really rocks the Laura Ingalls look…

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to this one, I’m always happy to see another restored film, and I thought Wallace Beery’s performance was amazing.

  4. richardsd3

    I caught this on the big screen (AFI/Silver Spring?) and was mightily impressed by all aspects of it, although in a few scenes Wallace Beery seemingly mugs forever.

  5. Javier

    Perhaps, unrelated to this thread and the mention of the book by Thomas Gladysz, but the Criterion DVD of Pandora’s Box, includes the documentary Looking For Lulu, and it’s missing footage from the VHS release. It makes me wonder why, the more we can get of Louise Brooks it is always a win win situation for us fans.

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