Thursday, August 10, 2017

Early reviews of Beggars of Life, the book and DVD (starring Louise Brooks)

Both the KINO Lorber DVD / Blu-ray of Beggars of Life, as well as my book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, are receiving good early reviews.

Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant wrote that the new Beggars of Life DVD was "A happy discovery!" and "a major late-silent-era gem on the order of Von Sternberg’s Docks of New York," adding it "has a rich pre-Code feel." Erickson noted, "It’s also a key movie in our education/adoration of the maverick actress Louise Brooks, the erotic sensation too hot and too independent for Hollywood," and stated, "Kino and their producers Robert Sweeney and Bret Wood have given us an exemplary disc of a great silent movie."

Regarding the bonus material, Erickson added, "Two academic commentaries are in place. William Wellman Jr.’s track is of course centered on his father’s career, while Thomas Gladysz of the Louise Brooks Society, takes his commentary into star-worship mode. Gladysz also contributed a track for Kino’s Diary of a Lost Girl, and is no slouch with the facts. It’s a very good listen."

Gary Tooze of DVDBeaver also reviewed the new KINO Lorber release, stating that Beggars of Life was "An American silent film classic" and "an essential American original," while adding " I was very impressed. I thought it was quite brilliant.... Very strongly recommended!"

DVDBeaver had this to say about my contribution: "Kino adds two commentaries - the first by William Wellman, Jr. who discusses his director father and the making of the film. I thoroughly enjoyed all the details exported in the second commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society. It is fascinating."

My new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, has also been receiving good reviews. By the way, the book is available on as well as through select independent bookstores.

"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, co-author of the forthcoming Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman

"Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is a quick, satisfying read, illustrated with promotional material, posters and stills as well as press clippings. In these pages, Gladysz takes us through the making and the reception of the film and clears up a few mysteries too.... Beggars of Life is a fascinating movie, made by some of the silent film industry's most colourful characters. This highly readable book will deepen your enjoyment and understanding of a silent Hollywood classic." — Pamela Hutchinson, Silent London

"I cannot help but give this an enthusiastic two thumbs up.  It really is the perfect companion, before or after you have seen the film.  The volume might be slim, but, it is packed with information and rare photographs.  It has been impeccably researched and beautifully executed.... This is a thorough examination of the film from start to finish and written in a breezy style that is not only informative, it is a very entertaining read." — Donna Hill, Strictly Vintage Hollywood

"Read your book. I love it. It is thorough and extremely interesting. The art work is compelling." — William Wellman, Jr., author of Wild Bill Wellman

courtesy of DVDBeaver

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