My new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, is now available. In short, it is 100+ pages, with 15,000 words and more than 50 little seen (and some never before published) images. And, it features a foreword by William Wellman, Jr. I believe this book breaks new ground, and should prove to be essential reading for those interested in Louise Brooks and silent film.
The book description: "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—a film the Cleveland Plain Dealer described as “a raw, sometimes bleeding slice of life.”
The first blurb: "I can say (with head bowed modestly) that I know more about the career of director William A. Wellman than pretty much anybody anywhere -- always excepting my friend and co-author John Gallagher -- but there are things in Thomas Gladysz's new book on Wellman's Beggars of Life that I didn't know. More important, the writing is so good and the research so deep that even when I was reading about facts that were familiar to me, I was enjoying myself hugely." -- Frank Thompson, film historian and author
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