SHANGHAI EXPRESS
1932, Universal, 80 min, USA, Dir: Josef Von Sternberg

“It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily.” Fallen woman Marlene Dietrich just happens to run into her former boyfriend, British army captain Clive Brook, on a train hurtling through wartime China, in what many consider the high point of the Dietrich/Von Sternberg cycle. Along for the ride are some of Hollywood’s greatest supporting players of the day: lovely Anna May Wong, bullfrog-voiced Eugene Pallette and Warner Oland (doing a sinister spin on his Far East Charlie Chan persona).


BEGGARS OF LIFE
1928, Kino Lorber, 100 min, USA, Dir: William A. Wellman

Rough-and-tumble writer Jim Tully’s autobiography served as the basis for what many consider Louise Brooks’ best American film. She plays a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and hits the road (in the company of Richard Arlen) hoping to make it to safety in Canada. Wallace Beery delivers a memorable performance as hobo Oklahoma Red in this beautifully shot silent.


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