Monday, July 12, 2021

New release - Beggars of Life out on DVD and Blu-ray in Spain

I've just noticed that the 1928 film, Beggars of Life, has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray in Spain under the title Mendigos de Vida, which was the title the film was originally shown under in Spain and much of Latin America. 


I don't know much about this release except for what I can gather from the backs of the DVD and Blu-ray version. Though released as both a silent and sound film in the late 1920s, this new Spanish release is a silent film. It runs 81 minutes, and includes both Castilian and English subtitles. (The Kino Lorber version, the best there is, also runs 81 minutes, while the Grapevine DVD is said to run 83 minutes.) There is no indication that there is any kind of musical accompaniment, though Karl Hajos, the original composer for the film, is credited on the back of the release. (Should anyone get a hold of this version, I would be interested to know if there is any sort of musical soundtrack.)

Pictured below are the front the backs for both the DVD and Blu-ray releases. I show them both because they are slightly different in layout. Another curiosity is the fact that Wallace Beery, the star of the film, has been eliminated from the packaging imagery (though he is listed in the credits and given top billing).

Here is a newspaper advertisement for the film dating from 1930 when it showed at the Palacio de la Musica in Madrid, Spain. Louise Brooks is given second billing, with Wallace Beery listed third. Richard Arlen, who shares a significant amount of screen time with Brooks and was likely considered better looking than Beery by the senoritas, is given top billing

Beggars of Life is the subject of a chapter in my forthcoming two volume work, Around the World with Louise Brooks, which looks at the way this and other of the actress' films were received all over the world. The acclaimed William Wellman film was also the subject of my 2017 book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, which can be purchased on amazon all around the world.




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