Still from "Palms"


1. PALMS  (Ladoni)  1993 - Russian - Artur Aristakisyan, director. The greatest and most difficult (in an artistic sense) of all homeless films.
"There is no other film like "Palms". Made as Aristakisyan’s graduation film, this address to his unborn son was filmed among the beggars and homeless community in the town of Kishinev. It is a film populated with outcasts and survivors, the maimed and the damaged. This is deliberate - any contact with ‘the system’ leads to compromises and the loss of spiritual salvation. If freedom of the spirit comes at the price of complete rejection, then so be it. Anarchistic, apocalyptic even, this unique film gives bourgeois tastes nothing to congratulate themselves on and nothing to recognize. The experience is dizzying and discomforting, as if all the solid ground beneath your feet has turned to jelly.
With a remorseless logic that leads into the abyss, Aristakisyan concludes that the only hope for his son to remain untainted in his spirit is to become a beggar. ‘Unite your destitution with your virginity’ he says, ‘it’s all I can advise you.’ Once seen, Palms cannot be forgotten." (Graeme Hobbs) watch
2. The Films of Pier Paolo Pasolini - Even though his films do not technically deal with the issue of homelessness. In many of his films, he would often use actors fresh off the streets to play extras and supporting roles. Just look at a film like his masterpiece The Gospel According to St. Matthew and be stunned at the close-ups of the faces of the apostles, who Jesus Called from the simple and the homely. His first film, Accatone, is also replete with the "disposables" of society, the impoverished. Never before or since has a director conveyed such love and respect for the lowest classes. Also recommended viewing Oedipus Rex, Medea, Hawks and Sparrows. watch "Gospel"
3. THE SEASONS  (Pelechian 1975) The greatest and most poetic depiction of man's merging with nature, with the elements. The beautiful people featured in this film are Armenian peasants. They are people who know how to live on the Essentials, both materially and spiritually. watch (part 2) 
4. The Films of Vittorio De Sica. Like Pasolini, another great exponent of Italian Neo-Realism, which features non-actors, on-location shooting and natural lighting. Many of his early masterpieces feature people poverty-stricken after the destruction of WWII. Heartfelt and heartbreaking viewing: Bicycle Thief, Umberto D., Shoeshine, and Miracle in Milan. watch Bicycle Thieves (last scene),
watch Umberto D. (final sequence) 
5. LOS OLVIDADOS The Young and the Damned (Luis Bunuel 1950) Poetic cinema from a master filmmaker just starting his career. The films depicts the harsh reality and corruption of life on the streets of Mexico, as a group of children struggle to survive. Way ahead of its time for 1950. Bunuel would feature many homeless characters throughout his career, most notably the "last supper" scene in Viridiana. watch (excerpt)
6. ANDARILHO (Cao Guimarães - Brazil 2007) "Documentary about loneliness: between Montes Claros and Pedra Azul, in northeastern Minas Gerais, three lonely drifters travel different paths, relating to, each in its own way, with the elements of a world where everything is transient." watch
7. DARK DAYS (Marc Singer - USA 2009) Amazing documentary about a homeless underground tunnel neighborhood in NYC. watch (first 10 minutes))
8. OLIVER TWIST (David Lean - Great Britain 1948) Atmospheric version of classic Dickens novel starring Sir Alec Guinness as Fagin. Oliver Twist is an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. Charles Dickens populated his novels with homeless characters and treated them with tremendous compassion and dignity. In real life, Dickens worked to help destitute girls and young women in mid-eighteenth century London. With support from the millionairess Angela Burdett Coutts, he established a 'safe' house for young women in Shepherd's Bush where they were taken from lives of prostitution and crime and trained for useful employment. watch
9. CHILDREN UNDERGROUND (Edet Belzberg - USA 1991) Overwhelming documentary about 5 children who live in a subway station in Bucharest, Romania.    Wikipedia    watch
10. RECYCLED LIFE (Leslie Iwerks - USA 2006) Award winning film about the "thousands of adults, children, and generations of families who have been living and working in the largest and most toxic landfill in Central America, the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, over the last sixty years."
 Also NEVER WALK AWAY (Jeff Hess - USA 2009)
                                                                     Still from "Palms"
The following complementary list is from:

À Nous la liberté (France, 1931)
Directed by René Clair. Cast: Henri Marchand, Raymond Cordy, Rolla France, Paul Olivier, André Michand, Germaine Aussey, Jacques Shelly, Leon Lorin, William Burke, Vincent Hyspa. A landmark film in early sound production this is a left-wing satirical comedy about two ex-convicts, one of whom works his way up from salesman to factory owner. He oversees a highly mechanised operation where the workers are reduced to mere automatons. Blackmailed over his past, he joins up with his old cellmate, and the pair take to the road as tramps. Frequently acknowledged as the inspiration for Chaplin's "Modern times." Special feature: Entr'acte (1924), the classic surrealist short by Clair and artist Francis Picabia. 83 min. DVD 1274; vhs 999:98
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Kramer, S.P. "René Clair: Situation and Sensibility in A Nous la Liberté." (Article). Literature/Film Quarterly XII/2, Apr 84; p.142-144.

René Clair bibliography

The Adventures of Billy(1911)
Directed by D. W. Griffith. Cast: Donald Crisp, Edna Foster, Joseph Graybill, Dell Henderson, Claire McDowell. The second in a series of rare silent films from the early film-making period of 1911-1915. Billy witnesses two tramps accidentally kill someone during a robbery. The tramps lock him up and decide that he must be killed, too. 18 min. DVD 8450; vhs 999:573
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

D.W. Griffith bibliography

Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Morocco / Tunisia / France / Belgium, 2000)
Directed by Nabil Ayouch. Cast: Mounim Kbab, Mustapha Hansali, Hicham Moussoune, Abdelhak Zhayra, Said Taghmaoui, Amal Ayouch, Mohamed Majd, Hicham Ibrahimi, Khalil Essaadi, Abdessamad Tourab Seddam. Ali, Kwita, Omar, and Boubker are a group of street urchins living in the hard streets of Casablanca. In order to survive they create a bond of friendship and family between them. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, who would have the boy buried in a potter's field. Instead they decide to give him a worthy burial, to bury Ali on the private island he so often dreamed of. Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances. 99 min. DVD 1905
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Battler(TV, 1955)
Directed by Arthur Penn. Cast: Dewey Martin, Paul Newman, Phyllis Kirk, Frederick O'Neal, Richard Collier. A television drama about a young man leaving home to go "on the bum," who meets a crazed punch-drunk fighter and his giant companion. The story of how the fighter and his companion met and how the fighter went downhill fast after his wife left him creates a starkly realistic portrait of a way of life. Based on the short story The battler by Ernest Hemingway. Originally presented on Playwrights 56, October 18, 1955, NBC-TV. Video/C 9688

Beggars In Ermine (1934)
Directed by Phil Rosen. Cast: Lionel Atwill, Betty Furness, Henry B. Walthall, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Jameson Thomas, James Bush, Astrid Allwyn. John Dawson loses control of his factory when he is crippled in an accident caused by a rival. Destitute and reduced to panhandling, he travels the country organizing the homeless to help him regain control of his steel mill. Based on the novel by Esther Lynd Day. 70 min. DVD X6040
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Beggars of Life(1928)
Directed by William A. Wellman. Cast: Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen, Blue Washington. After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police, and reach Canada. 104 min. DVD X3097
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Biao (The Watch) (China, 1949)
Directed by Zuo Lin. Cast: Zhao Qiansun, Han Mingde. Tells the story of a homeless orphan and the valuable watch he stole and how the watch affects those who come in contact with it. 98 min. DVD 9434

Boudu sauvé des eaux (Boudu Saved From Drowning) (France, 1932)
Directed by Jean Renoir. Cast: Michel Simon, Marcelle Hainia, Severine Lerczynsha, Jean Gehret, Max Dalban, Jean Baste, Charles Granval. A well-off bookseller rescues a tramp from a suicidal plunge into the Seine and his family dedicates itself to reforming him. He shows his gratitude by shaking the household to its foundations, challenging the hidebound principles of his hosts. Special DVD features: Archival introduction by Jean Renoir; excerpt from a "Cineastes de notre temps" program, featuring Renoir and Michel Simon; new video interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin; archival interview with Eric Rohmer; interactive map of 1930s Paris, featuring locations for the film; a new essay by Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner. 87 min. DVD 4359; vhs 999:118
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Bound for Glory(1999)
Directed by Hal Ashby. Cast: David Carradine, Ronny Cox, Melinda Dillon, Gail Strickland, Randy Quaid. Set against the grim backdrop of depression America, this film joyously celebrates the life of Woody Guthrie, America's great folk balladeer and poet. As he traveled across America his buoyant spirit and soul-rousing music surrounded him with a quiet strength enabling him to do battle with the social injustice which surrounded him. 149 min. DVD X1038; vhs 999:1749
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Friedman, Lester. "America Finds Its Voice: Bound for Glory." In: American cinema of the 1970s : themes and variations / edited by Lester D. Friedman. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 2007. (Main Stack PN1993.5.U6.A8577 2007)
Green, Jim. "Bound for Glory." Cineaste, Summer77, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p36-37, 2p
Kauffmann, Stanley. "Bound for Glory." New Republic; 11/27/76, Vol. 175 Issue 22, p18-40, 2p

Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cast: Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Barry Primus, Bernie Casey, John Carradine. Based on characters in the book Sister of the road, which is the autobiography of Bertha Thompson. Set in the 1930's, a homeless woman (Bertha) and an union organizer team up on a crime spree to get revenge from a railroad company. 88 min. DVD 3302
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Catching Out: A Film About Trainhopping and Living Free [Documentary]
In this engaging film, several contemporary hobos embrace an American tradition by traveling on the rails for free. The film features a seasoned eco-activist named Lee, a young nomad named Jessica, and a tramp couple known as Switch and Baby Girl. In three interwoven stories, Catching out follows these trainhoppers as they navigate between the constraints of society and the freedom of the road. Special features: Trailer; "All lit up" music video; The journey: making-of featurette; alternate/deleted scenes; production stills; poster. A film by Sarah George. 2002. 80 min. DVD X262

Central Station (Central do Brasil) (Brazil, 1998)
Directed by Walter Salles. Cast: Fernanda Montenegro, Marilia Pera, Vinícius de Oliveira. When a young Brazilian boy witnesses his mother's accidental death, a lonely retired school-teacher reluctantly takes the child under her wing. Although they initially distrust each other, the two form an uncommon bond as they venture from the bustling city to Brazil's barren and remote northeast region in search of the boy's father. 106 min.DVD 8547; vhs 999:2446
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database


British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - Best Foreign-language Film
Golden Globes, USA - Best Foreign Language Film
National Board of Review, USA - Best Foreign Language Film

Kaufman, Anthony. "Sentimental journey as national allegory: an interview with Walter Salles." Cineaste Winter 1998 v24 i1 p19(3)

La Ciudad (The City) (1998)
Directed by David Riker. Filmed through intensive collaboration with the New York Latino immigrant community over a five-year period, La Ciudad tells four stories about recently arrived illegal immigrants from Mexico and Latin America to New York City weaving a rich narrative tapestry of present day immigrant life. The film's four stories center on a group of day-laborers scavenging for bricks; two teenagers from the same hometown who meet in the projects and fall in love; a homeless father who tries to enroll his daughter in school; and a garment worker who seeks justice in the sweatshops. 88 min. DVD 4833; vhs 999:2755
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Comportamento Humano (Brazil, 1995)
Directed by Flavio Leandro de Souza. A short film depicting the lives of homeless children in Rio de Janeiro. Silent film, not subtitled. 15 min. vhs 999:1991

De la calle (Street Lives)) (Mexico, 2001)
Directed by Gerardo Tort. Cast: Luis Fernando Peña, Maya Zapata, Armando Hernandez, Mario Zaragoza. Tells the story of homeless children living on the streets and in the sewers of Mexico City wandering in packs, stealing, using drugs, and hoping for a better life someday. 81 min. DVD 9456
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Crainquebille (France, 1922)
Directed by Jacques Feyder. Cast: Maurice de Feraudy, Françoise Rosay, Felix Oudart. In this great satirical classic of the French cinema a Parisian street merchant is unjustly accused and jailed but afterwards finds happiness as a tramp. 77 min. DVD 6474
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Diary of a Lost Girl (Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen) (Germany, 1929)
Directed by G.W. Pabst, G.W. Thymiane Henning (Louise Brooks), an innocent young girl, is raped by the clerk of her father's pharmacy. She becomes pregnant, is rejected by her family, and must fend for herself in a harsh, cruel world [Internet Movie Database] 99 min. DVD 1173; vhs 999:127
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Louise Brooks Society web site

G.W. Pabst bibliography
Lulu in Berlin. Video/C 1849

A Dog's Life (1918)
Directed by Charlie Chaplin. Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Tom Wilson, Sidney Chaplin, Albert Austin . "Poor Charlie lives in a vacant lot. He tries to get a job but when he gets to the head of the employment line the jobs are gone. Back "home" he rescues Scraps, a bitch being attacked by other strays. Together they manage to steal some sausages from a lunch wagon. They enter a dance hall where Edna is a singer and unwilling companion to the clientele. He is thrown out when he can't pay. Back "home" Scraps digs up a money-filled wallet buried by crooks. They return to the dance hall to find Edna fired. The wallet goes back and forth between Charlie and the crooks. Charlie, Edna and Scraps end up very happily." [IMDB] DVD 284; DVD 13
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Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
Directed by Paul Mazursky. Cast: Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss, Evan Richards, Elizabeth Pena. Rescued from drowning in the swimming pool of a Beverly Hills couple, a disconsolate bum brings startling and hilarious changes to the entire household, including the family dog, Matisse. 103 min. DVD 6065
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Morgan, Janice. "From Clochards to Cappuccinos: Renoir's Boudu is "Down and Out" in Beverly Hills."Cinema Journal, Winter90, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p23-35, 13p UC users only
Vestrich, Roy M. "The Culture-Clash Comedies of the 1980s." In: Beyond the stars: Plot conventions in American popular film / edited by Paul Loukides and Linda K. Fuller. Bowling Green, Ohio : Bowling Green University Popular Press, c1990 Main (Gardner) Stacks; Moffitt PN1995.9.C36 B49 1990)

The Dreamlife of Angels (La Vie rêvée des anges) (France, 1998)
Directed by Erick Zonca. Cast: Elodie Bouchez, Natacha Regnier, Gregoire Colin. Optimistic hobo Isa, with her life in her backpack, has a gritty existence on the road, going from one town to another through northern France, working factory jobs and selling cards. After she loses a garment-factory job, her coworker Marie lets Isa share space in her Lille living quarters, an apartment belonging to a hospitalized mother and daughter. Isa goes through two tempestous relationships, while becoming fascinated with the girl who lived in the apartment but now lies in a coma at the hospital. 113 min. DVD 180
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Cannes Film Festival - Best Actress (Élodie Bouchez and Natacha Régnier)
César Awards, France - Best Film; Best Actress (Élodie Bouchez; Most Promising Actress (Natacha Régnier)

Hardwick, Joe. "Fallen angels and flawed saviours: marginality and exclusion in La Vie de Jésus and La Vie rêvée des anges." Studies in French Cinema; 2007, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p219-230, 12p UC users only
Harris, Sue. "Dispossession and Exclusion in La Vie rêvée des anges." In: Possessions : essays in French literature, cinema, and theory / Julia Horn & Lynsey Russell-Watts (eds.). Oxford ; New York : P. Lang, 2003. (Main Stack PQ31.C36 2001)
Orr, Christopher. ""A Working Class Hero(ine) Is Something to Be": Affliction, The Dreamlife of Angels, and the Naturalist Tradition." Film Criticism. Fall 2002. Vol. 27, Iss. 1; p. 36 (15 pages) UC users only
Smith, Gavin. "The Dreamlife of Angels." Sight and Sound. Nov 1998. Vol. 8, Iss. 11; p. 64 (2 pages)

Emperor of the North (1991)
Directed by Robert Aldrich. Cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Keith Carradine, Charles Tyner, Malcolm Atterbury, Harry Caesar, Simon Oakland. A legendary depression-era hobo and his young accomplice battle a sadistic railroad worker in a determined bid to hitch a ride. 120 min. DVD X1765
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The Fisher King(1991)
Directed by Terry Gilliam. Cast: Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Jeter. A shock radio deejay who finds himself penniless is plucked from disaster by a homeless history professor, who lives in a fantasy world full of castles, Red Knights and damsels in distress. Together they begin a modern quest for redemption and the Holy Grail. 138 min. DVD 989
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database


Academy Award - Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA - Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical (Robin Williams); Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mercedes Ruehl)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Best Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Venice Film Festival - Silver Lion

God Bless the Child (TV, 1988)
Directed by Larry Elikann. Cast: Mare Winningham, Grace Johnston, Dorian Harewood. When Theresa Johnson is abandoned by her husband and forced to live on the streets with her daughter Hillary, she struggles to survive in filthy shelters and in constant fear. But the struggle becomes too great when Hillary's life is threatened and Theresa realizes she can no longer care for her daughter. Faced with the most devastating choice, Theresa must put her daughter before herself--at any cost. 93 min. DVD X4182
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Great McGinty (1940)
Directed by Preston Sturges. Cast: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff. In this comedy Dan McGinty is a hungry hobo who wows the ballot-stuffers by voting 37 times in an election for mayor. He immediately becomes the protege of a political boss. The boss guides and schemes McGinty to alderman, mayor and ultimately governor. McGinty flees the country and winds up as a bartender in a seedy Central American dive where the tale has a gleeful surprise ending. 82 min. DVD 6582; vhs 999:810
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933)
Directed by Lewis Milestone. Cast: Al Jolson, Madge Evans, Frank Morgan. Songs and musical dialogue by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. For Bumper, life is just a bowl of cherries. Living in New York City's Central Park, the happy-go-lucky hobo king spends his time singing and enjoying himself without a care in the world. But when he rescues a beautiful amnesiac from a park lake, his cares suddenly increase. Not only has he fallen in love with the pretty blonde, but he has also discovered she's the missing sweetheart of Bumper's good buddy, the Mayor of New York. Can a whimsical tramp compete with his playboy pal for the heart of their lady fair? 83 min. DVD 1766
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The Hero (O Heroi) (Angola, 2004)
Directed by Zeze Gamboa. Cast: Oumar Makena Diop, Milton Coelho, Maria Ceica, Neuza Borges, Patrcia Bull, Ral Rosario. Luanda, capital of Angola, is a huge city trying to cope with and overcome the profound legacy of a civil war that lasted for nearly 30 years. Vitorio has just been discharged after almost 20 years of fighting in the war. During his last military assignment he stepped on a land mine and lost a leg. After recuperating, he finds himself alone, unemployed and homeless. He, along with the people that he encounters, attempt to build new lives at the same time as their country reconstructs in the postwar era. In Portuguese with English subtitles. 97 min. DVD 5305
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Heroes for Sale (1933)
Directed by William A. Wellman. Cast: Richard Barthelmess, Aline MacMahon, Loretta Young, Gordon Westcott, Robert Barrat. "What isn't Heroes for Sale about? Within its 71-minute time frame, this film (co-written by "professional cynic" Wilson Mizner) tackles such issues as disenfranchised war veterans, misguided hero worship, drug addiction, the Depression, capitalism, labor relations and communism. Richard Barthelmess plays a wounded war hero whose hospital stay has turned him into a morphine junkie. He wanders from town to town looking for work during the Depression, only to be turned away with a "we've got our own to watch out for!" Eventually, Barthelmess befriends millionaire-in-the-making Robert H. Barrat, who has invented a revolutionary washing machine. Becoming Barrat's partner, Barthelmess attempts to quell a strike by workers who've been stirred up by Red agitators. With all this going on, Barthelmess still finds time to romance Loretta Young. Heroes for Sale is very much a product of its time, though its entertainment value has remained solid for well over six decades." [allmovies.com] 71 min. DVD X1427; vhs 999:3311
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

William Wellman bibliography

The Hobo (1917)
Director, Arvid E. Gillstrom. Cast: Billy West (The hobo); Oliver Hardy (Harold). A tramp who has been hiding underneath a railroad car wakes up while the train is stopped, and follows a pretty girl into the train station. When he flirts with her, the girl's boyfriend becomes angry and provokes a series of confrontations with the tramp. When things calm down, the tramp winds up working at the station's lunch counter, where he soon runs into some new predicaments. 20:47 min. DVD X428
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Hobo Gadget Band (1939)
Animated short. Directed by Cal Dalton and Ben Hardaway. At the hobo hotel, it's morning. One hobo awakens, and carefully avoids the shower, except for a drop on each eye. He stops at the medicine cabinet for some "soda fizz" which jets about, causing havoc. A train goes by, and the swinging rhythm inspires a makeshift clarinet solo. The cook grabs some fish from the fridge, which opens right onto the river. Another train whistle prompts an announcer; the hobos board down a slide. The clarinet player starts up again, and everyone dances. The engineer notices, stops the train, and pulls the "hobo eliminator" lever, which ejects them. Fortunately, they land right in front of a sign looking for amateur musicians at a radio station. They play and sing, to everyone's enjoyment. The station owner offers them luxury but a passing train whistle changes their minds. DVD 8516

Hobo Hero(1935)
Animated short. Directed by Les Elton DVD 5528

Just Pals (1920)
Directed by John Ford. Cast: Buck Jones, George Stone, Helen Ferguson, William Buckley. Music "recorded at Firehouse Studios, Pasadena, California June 14-15th, 2007." Bim seems to be his town's biggest loser, but when he takes a needy 13-year-old boy named Bill under his wing, it seems there may be some hope for Bim. After learning about Bill, a young teacher, Mary, whom Bim secretly adores, helps get the young boy into school. And when Bim then helps Mary repay a loan, defaulted on by a shifty boyfriend, it becomes evident that Bim can reform. 50 min. DVD 9388
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Lady and the Tramp (Walt Disney Pictures, 1955)
Directors, Clyde Geronimi Wilfred Jackson, et al. Voices: Peggy Lee, Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Bill Thompson, Bill Baucon, Steve Freberg, Verna Felton, Alan Reed, George Givot, Dallas McKennon, Lee Millar. An animated musical about Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a jaunty freedom-loving mutt with a heart of gold, who share an enthralling romance and thrilling adventures.DVD 132; vhs 999:1958
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Lady for a Day(1933)
Directed by Frank Capra. Cast: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee, Glenda Farrell, Ned Sparks, Walter Connolly, Jean Parker. Society matron, Mrs. E. Worthington Manville throws a party for Count Romero whose son is engaged to her daughter, Louise. The Count does not know that Mrs. Manville is really Apple Annie, a penniless fruit peddlar. Annie's best friend, a big shot gambler, helps her continue the charade. Based on the short story "Madame La Gimp" by Damon Runyon. 96 min. vhs 999:2734
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Land of Plenty(2004)
Directed by Wim Wenders. Cast: John Diehl, Michelle Williams, Richard Edson, Wendell Pierce, Burt Young. Paul, a troubled Vietnam vet is convinced terrorists are going to strike Los Angeles at any minute. His idealistic niece Lana (Michelle Williams) is trying to help her country by working in a homeless mission. When they witness the cryptic drive-by shooting of a homeless Pakistani man, both are compelled to dig deeper into the story, but for very different reasons. Their quest for answers reveals several sides of America and its reactions to the 9/11 attacks. 124 min. DVD X3420
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Meet John Doe(1941)
Directed by Frank Capra. Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Brennan, Edward Arnold, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart, Irving Bacon, Rod LaRocque. A genial homeless unemployed baseball pitcher is hoaxed into protesting against existing social evils as a newspaper circulation stunt. He pleas to the "little man" for brotherly love and democratic good will and John Doe clubs are formed. Because of his simple sincerity, he becomes a national hero, but he is shocked when he discovers that it's all a plot by the owner of the paper, who plans to use the voting strength of the clubs to bludgeon his way to power. 165 min. DVD 413; vhs 999:822
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Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Directed by John Schlesinger. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro, John McGiver, Ruth White, Sylvia Miles, Barnard Hughes. A Texas "cowboy" takes a bus to New York in search of lonely, rich women who will pay for his sexual services, but instead spends a hard winter looking after a dying derelict. Vito Russo has commented: When buddy films returned in the late Sixties, the presence onscreen of homosexual characters was a perfect way of saying, 'Oh, no, /this isn't what we mean at all.' Homosexuals drew suspicion away from the buddies--it was yardstick time again." (The Celluloid Closet, p. 80-83) DVD 5254; vhs 999:986
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Awards & Honors

Academy Award - Best Picture; Best Director
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - Best Film; Best Direction; Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman)
Directors Guild of America, USA - Outstanding Directorial Achievement
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA - Best Actor (John Voight)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - Best Actor (John Voight)
National Film Registry Selection

Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano) (Italy, 1951)
Directed by Vittorio DeSica. Cast: Branduani Gianni, Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa, Emma Gramatica, Gugielmo Barnabo, Brunella Bovo. Comedy, satire, and realism are combined in a fantasy about the social conceits of man. An Italian orphan, with the aid of a miraculous dove, combats power and wealth and succeeds in bringing happiness to the inhabitants of a Milanese hobo camp. 95 min. vhs 999:856
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Cannes Film Festival - Grand Prize of the Festival
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - Best Foreign Language Film

Mondo (France, 1996)
Directed by Tony Gatlif. Cast: Ovidiu Balan, Philippe Petit, Pierrette Fesch, Schahla Aalam, Jerry Smith, Maurice Maurin. Mondo, a 10-year-old gypsy boy, mysteriously appears in Nice, France and begins asking strangers if they would like to adopt him. As he wanders, he befriends a magician, a Vietnamese woman, a fisherman, and others. 78 min. vhs 999:3788
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Monster (2003)
Directed by Patty Jenkins. Cast: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley, Marco St. John, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Scott Wilson. Based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who was executed in 2002 for the brutal murders of at least 6 men in Florida. Homeless in Florida, down to her last five dollars and pondering suicide, she stopped into a bar for a beer where she meets Selby, who becomes her lesbian lover. One night, after a john attacks her, Aileen pulls a gun and kills the man. Aileen's loathing for the men who pay her for sex becomes so extreme that she begins killing her customers regardless of their behavior. 109 min. DVD 2752
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Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (India, 1978)
Directed by Prakash Mehra. A homeless urchin, raised as a servant to Kaamna, falls in love with her, but her father Ramanath accuses him of theft and he is cast out. He finds a new employer but his employer falls in love with the same woman. In Hindi with English subtitles. 189 min. DVD 2163; vhs 999:2076
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My Man Godfrey (1936)
Directed by Gregory La Cava. Cast: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Jean Dixon, Eugene Pallette, Alan Mowbray. A zany millionaire family invite a tramp to be their butler and find that he is richer than they are. 95 min. DVD 260; vhs 999:162
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Awards & Honors
National Film Registry Selection

"My Man Godfrey." Monthly Film Bulletin 3:25/36 (1936) p.152UC users only
Ryan, Michael. "Debating the New Deal: Gold Diggers of 1933 and My Man Godfrey." In: American visual cultures / edited by David Holloway and John Beck. London ; New York : Continuum Logo, c2005. (Main (Gardner) Stacks)
Winokur, Mark. "Improbable Ethnic Hero: William Powell and the Transformation of Ethnic Hollywood." Cinema Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Autumn, 1987), pp. 5-22 UC users only

Nachtgestalten (Germany, 1998)
Director, Andreas Dresen. Cast: Michael Gwisdek, Meriam Abbas, Dominique Horwitz, Ricardo Valentin, Oliver Bassler, Susanne Bormann. On the night the Pope arrives in Berlin, three groups of people search for their own bit of luck in this tragic comedy. On the night the Pope arrives in Berlin, three groups of people search for their own bit of luck in this tragic comedy. A homeless man and woman dream of spending a night in a hotel; a farmer seeks romantic love in a red light district, only to become involved with a drug addict; and an old yuppie takes a boy from Angola under his wing. PAL format tape. In German without subtitles. 99 min. 999:3399
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9 @ Night
Nine part feature film series called 9@Night - about the lives of the homeless in San Francisco's tenderloin. The films originate from filmmaker Nilsson's time spent with the Tenderloin yGroup Player's Ensemble, a group of homeless people with whom he workshopped. Many of these individuals appear in these films as lead characters. Originally produced in 2002.

Cast: Robert Viharo, Paige Olson, Edwin Johnson. In this first film of the series, convicted counterfeiter Ben Malafide (Robert Viharo) gets out of prison after 20 years and ends up in the Tenderloin. Seeking the bare essentials to make ends meet, he confronts the Information Age, a barrage of images and noises that offer neither knowledge nor heart. 80 min. DVD X5872
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Cast: Robert Viharo, Paige Olson, Edwin Johnson, Johnny Tidwell. Certain he's been betrayed, Malafide (Robert Viharo) leaves his lover and hops freights to Reno to find a Cherokee healer he met in prison named People T. Joined by a black homeless man named Johnny (Edwin Johnson), they set out into the desolate beauty of the Nevada desert. 88 min. DVD X5873
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Cast: Michael Disend, Robert Viharo, Edwin Johnson, Selena Allen, Johnny Tidwell. Spoddy (Michael Disend) is the arrogant owner of an automotive "chop shop" and a small time auto thief who discovers he is HIV positive. Rejected by those he's used, he finds sanctuary with the people he has always despised, the homeless. 109 min. DVD X5874
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Cast: Jim Carpenter, Barbara Jasperson, Domenique Lozano, Devin Qualls. Estranged from his longtime girlfriend, suburban accountant Perry (James Carpenter) wanders into the Tenderloin at night and is drawn into a series of dangerous and erotic encounters. 75 min. DVD X5875
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Cast: Edwin Johnson, Teddy Weiler, Omewene, Robert Viharo. Johnny (Edwin Johnson), now working for Malafide, finds and rescues Phil (Teddy Weiler), an aging Beat poet who has had a stroke. After his stroke Phil is helpless and cannot work. Breaking hotel rules Johnny lets Phil stay in his room and tries to help him regain his speech. 95 min. DVD X5876
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Scheme C6
Cast: Cory Duval, Bruce Marovich, Monica Cortes Viharo, David Fine. Bid (Cory Duval) is a self-styled rebel on a motorcycle determined to prove to his father Qually (Bruce Marovich), a 30-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, that he can live outside the law, without family, friends or even a place to stay. 97 min. DVD X5877
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Cast: Diane Gaidry, Marianne Heath, Gabriela Maltz Larkin, Brette McCabe. Jane is a stripper, her mother Lou, an aging prostitute defying the pimps, Petite robs johns, and Francesca manages an escort service. In a profession that thrives on fantasy and martyrdom, these four women struggle to hold on to their reasons for caring for each other.97 min. DVD X5878
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Cast: Kieron McCartney, Kara McCartney, Nighttrain Schickele, Mantra Plonsey. A small band of dysfunctional renegade homeless people led by charismatic ex-con "Pan" befriends a lonely youngster, a fatherless "Bobby" who stumbles upon their homeless encampment nestled by the railroad tracks. 98 min. DVD X5879
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Go Together
Cast: Cory Duval, Bruce Marovich, Monica Cortes Viharo, David Fine. Presents a cinema portrait of 40-50 inner city characters cast from the Tenderloin yGroup Actor's Ensemble. Woven around a plot concerning a couple (Denny Dey and Michelle Anton Allen) who struggle with the survival of both their marriage and the failing Oakland art cinema they own. While the bills pile up homeless people begin to camp in the alley outside the theater. 100 min. DVD X5880
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Number 17 (UK, 1932)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, Donald Calthrop, John Stuart, Barry Jones, Ann Casson. A comedy thriller in which an unsuspecting innocent hobo accidentally stumbles across the hideout of a gang of jewel thieves. Exciting chase sequence involves a train and bus. 83 min. DVD 153; vhs 999:2377
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An Orphan on the Street (Wan jia deng huo) (China, 1949)
Directed by Fu Shen. Cast: Longji Wang, Lin Zhen, Guan Hongda, Du Lei. The misadventures of a street urchin based on a popular comic character named Three Hairs, because of the three thin stalks of hair sticking straight up. After a night on the streets, Three Hairs looks for work wherever he can get it; he polishes shoes, picks garbage and sells newspapers, but finally decides to give up. He puts a "for sale" sign on his back and goes looking for a buyer. 110 min. DVD 9434
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Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Directed by Gabriele Muccino. Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta, Kurt Fuller, Takayo Fischer. In 1981, Chris Gardner was a struggling salesman in San Francisco. His wife worked double shifts to support the family including their young son, Christopher. In the face of this difficult life, Chris has the desperate inspiration to try for a stockbroker internship where one in twenty has a chance of a lucrative full time career. Even when his wife leaves him because of this choice, Chris clings to this dream. The odds become more daunting by the day. Together, father and son struggle through homelessness, jail time, tax seizure and the overall punishing despair in a quest that would make Gardner a respected millionaire. Based on a true story, the special features include an interview with the real Chris Gardner. Based on the autiobiography by Chris Gardner. Special features: Making pursuit: an Italian take on the American dream; Father and son: on screen and off; The man behind the movie: a conversation with Chris Gardner; Inside the Rubik's Cube; "I can" song; director's commentary. 149 min. DVD 7355
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Pixote (Brazil, 1981)
In this realistic dramatization of the brutal underworld inhabited by Brazil's unwanted children, ten-year old Pixote (Fernando Ramos da Silva) is hauled off to a detention center where he witnesses rapes, beatings and other acts of random violence. He eventually escapes from the detention center to embark on a life of petty crime, snatching purses and dealing drugs. Despite flashes of humor and innocence, Pixote and his friends become increasingly caught up in a savage descent into violence and murder. 127 min. DVD 737; vhs 999:2062
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Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Best Foreign Language Film
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA - Best Actress (Marília Pêra)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - Best Foreign Language Film

See also: Quem Matou Pixote? (Who Killed Pixote?) (1996)
Fernando Ramos da Silva gained worldwide recognition at the age of 11 when he starred in Hector Babenco's film "Pixote." A child from the San Paulo slums, da Silva was prevented from developing an acting career by his near-illiteracy and scarcity of roles. This film depicts the context of poverty and injustice that still controls the destiny of the "pixotes," the street children of Brazilian slums. 120 min. Video/C 5849
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Plácido (Spain, 1961)
Directed by Luis García Berlanga. Cast: Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, Casto Sendra, "Cassen," Elvira Quintilla, Manuel Alexandre, Mari Carmen Yepes. In a small Spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Sit a poor man at your table" dinner: each wealthy household of the town will have a homeless person dining with them that night. The celebration also includes a parade, and in it we find Placido, the humble owner of a three-wheeler, whose family is forced to live in a public lavatory because of the lack of money to pay the rent, and who has to pay the second bill of his vehicle before midnight or else he will lose it. In Spanish without titles. PAL format. 85 min. DVD 2174; vhs 999:1793
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Riding the Rails [Documentary]
The Depression forced some four million Americans onto the tracks in search of work, food and lodging. Of these "tramps," more than 250,000 were children. Seamlessly interweaving archival footage, personal photos and interviews, this film relates the experiences and sometimes painful recollections of these now elderly survivors of the rails. Directed, written & produced by Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell 1997. 73 min. DVD X3316; vhs Video/C MM826

Salaam Bombay! (UK / India / France, 1988)
Directed by Mira Nair. Cast: Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chandra Sharma, Aneeta Kanwar, Raghubir Yadav, Nana Patekar. Krisha, a ten year old boy, has been abandoned in Bombay by his mother. He tries to earn money to go home while he lives in the streets. 114 min. DVD 6917; vhs 999:136
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The Soloist (1945)
Directed by Joe Wright. Cast: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisagay Hamilton. Tells the true story of journalist Steve Lopez who discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives. 116 min.DVD X1902
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Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Directed by Preston Sturges. Cast: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Margaret Hayes, Porter Hall, Franklin Pangborn, Eric Blore. "Sullivan is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films, with a heart-o-gold, who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor ["O Brother, Where Art Thou"]. Much to the chagrin of his producers, he sets off in tramp's clothing with a single dime in his pocket to experience poverty first-hand, and gets some reality shock." [Internet Movie Database][See also: filmsite.org for a fuller description] 91 min.DVD 6592; DVD 790; vhs 999:358
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Awards & Honors
National Film Registry Selection

Hearle, Kevin. "Sturges and The Grapes of Wrath: Sullivan's Travels as Documentary Comedy." Steinbeck Newsletter, vol. 7 no. 2. 1994 Summer. pp: 5-7.
Wineapple, Brenda. "Finding an Audience: Sullivan's Travels." Journal of Popular Film and Television vol. 11 no. 4. 1984 Winter. pp: 152-157.

Preston Sturges bibliography

Sunday (1997)
Directed by Jonathan Nossiter. Cast: David Suchet, Lisa Harrow, Arnold Barkus, Jared Harris, Bahman Soltani. Madeleine wakes one Sunday to face her stagnant acting career and failing marriage. That same day, unemployed computer technician Oliver finds himself in a homeless shelter. When Madeleine mistakes Oliver for a film director, they spend the day together. 93 min. DVD 5499
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Producers/directors, Lois Weber & Phillips Smalley. A one-reel thriller in which a tramp threatens a mother and child, while the father races home to their rescue. 10 min. DVD 9450

Tabutta rövasata (Turkey, 1996)
Directors, Shogo Furuya, Satoshi Kon. Cast: Cast: Ahmet U?gurlu, Tuncel Kurtiz, Aysen Aydemir. In this tragicomedy, Mahsun, a petty thief, cannot even get himself put in jail, though this would solve his shelter problems. Instead he steals cars so he can sleep in them but rather than arresting him, the police simply administer a brutal beating. The owner of a teashop hires him to clean the toilets and gives him a room to sleep in, but despite his newfound security, Mahsun risks it all when he is attracted to a lovely heroin addict. 78 min. DVD 1920
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Tokyo Godfathers (Japan, 2003)
Directors, Shogo Furuya, Satoshi Kon. Animated feature. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in Shinjuku, Tokyo in this animated film. Middle-aged has-been Gin, aging transvestite Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki are homeless friends who have formed a makeshift family structure bond. That bond is tested when they find an abandoned baby while searching for food in a trash dumpster. They try to care for the infant themselves, and travel throughout the city in search of the baby's parents. 91 min. DVD 3685
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Duralde, Alonso. "Who's your daddy? Anime feature Tokyo Godfathers puts a fresh spin on the old trio-adopts-a-foundling story.(Movie Review)." The Advocate (Feb 3, 2004): 52(2).UC users only
Garger, Ilya. "True Grit: Maverick animator SATOSHI KON'S cartoons for grownups depict the seedy underbelly of Japanese life." Time International (Asia Edition) 162.21 (Dec 1, 2003): 62.
Zahed, R. "Tokyo Godfathers: An Offer You Can't Refuse." Animation Magazine v. 18 no. 2 (February 2004) p. 26 UC users only

Trading Places(1987)
Directed by John Landis. Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Jamie Lee Curtis. The rich Duke Brothers wager on whether a born loser like Billy Ray Valentine, a hustler from the ghetto, can become as successful as Winthorpe, a wealthy investment executive, if put in the proper environment--and would a prig like Winthorpe turn to a life of crime if he were to lose it all. 116 min. DVD 3779
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The Tramp (aka. Charlie on the Farm, Charlie the Hobo, Charlie the Tramp)(Essanay Studios, 1915)
Directed by Charlie Chaplin. Charlie is a tramp on the road. A hobo manages to exchange Charlie's sandwich for a brick so Charlie must eat grass. The same hobo molests a farmer's daughter; Charlie comes to aid with the help of the brick. When two more hobos show up Charlie throws all three into a lake. The grateful girl takes Charlie home where he fails as a farmhand. He again helps drive off the hobos (who are now trying to break into the house). The girl's fiance arrives. Though a hero, Charlie, knowing he must go, writes a farewell note and leaves for the open road. 20 min. DVD 75; vhs 999:1458
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Other films of Charlie Chaplin

Musser, Charles. "Work, Ideology And Chaplin's Tramp." Radical History Review; Spring, 1988, Vol. 41, p 36-66, 31p
Poague, Leland. "The Tramp as Text." Post Script; Winter82, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p62-72, 11p, 3 bw

Tramp and the Mattress Makers (Cardeuse de matelas)(France, 1906)
Directed by Georges Méliès A tramp crawls into a mattress that is being made to get warm and is sewn into it. When he wakes suddenly, he scares the wits out of everyone. 4:15 min. DVD 9625

Tramp Tramp Tramp(1926)
Directed by Harry Edwards; writer, Frank Capra. Cast: Harry Langdon, Joan Crawford, Edwards Davis, Carlton Griffin Low-life Harry falls in love with sweet Betty who inspires him to improve himself so he can marry her. He enters a $25,000 cross-country hiking contest. After many adventures he wins, pays off his father Amos's mortgage and marries Betty. 62 min. DVD 400

The Twentieth Century Tramp; or, Happy Hooligan and His Airship (1902)
Director, Stuart Blackton. Cast: J. Stuart Blackton. "A comic picture that defies description. It depicts the Twentieth Century up-to-date tramp flying over the chimney tops of New York City in the latest improved flying machine. Weary Willie has the indispensible tin can hanging from his waist and he waves his hands to his friends as he flies along. He passes over the top of the Equitable Life building and other New York sky scrapers. He flies over the East River and clears the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, and appears to be making his way toward Staten Island. When he is about in the centre of the river, his flying machine explodes, and like the unfortunate McGinty, down goes Weary William." {IMDB) 103 min. DVD X1752 ; vhs Video/C 7046
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Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi) (France, 1985)
Directed by Agnès Varda. Mona, an aimless drifter in the French countryside, deeply touches the lives of the people she meets and confronts them with her own ideas of freedom. Special DVD 9027 features: Remembrances (2003), a documentary on the making of the film; The story of an old lady (2003), a short piece in which Varda visits actress Marthe Jarnias, who plays the old aunt in the film; Music and dolly shots (2003), a conversation; 1986 radio interview with Varda and writer Nathalie Sarraute, who inspired the film; theatrical trailer; production notes. 105 min. DVD 9072 (Criterion); vhs DVD 276; vhs 999:882
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César Awards, France - Best Actress (Sandrine Bonnaire)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Best Foreign Film; Best Actress (Sandrine Bonnaire)
Venice Film Festival - Golden Lion Award

La Vendedora de Rosas (The Rose Seller) (Colombia, 1998)
Directed by Victor Gaviria. 13-year-old Monica leads a street life in Bogota, Colombia, making her living by selling flowers to couples in local nightspots. She is joined by 10-year-old Andrea who runs out of her house after her mother beats her. 111 min. vhs 999:3369

The Watch (Biao) (China, 1949)
Directed by Zuo Lin. Cast: Zhao Qiansun, Han Mingde. Tells the story of a homeless orphan and the valuable watch he stole and how the watch affects those who come in contact with it. 90 min. DVD 9434

Wendy and Lucy (2008)
Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Cast: Michelle Williams, John Robinson, Will Oldham. Wendy is down on her luck, but hoping to turn things around with a summer job in Alaska. Instead, she finds herself stranded with no money in a small Oregon town. Special features: A collection of experimental films from the Film Faculty at Bard College, selected by Kelly Reichardt: Boston fire ; New York portrait / Peter Hutton -- Scary movie / Peggy Ahwesh -- Flight / Les LeVeque -- How to fix the world? / Jacqueline Goss. 80 min. DVD X1628
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Where God Left His Shoes (1933)
Directed by Salvatore Stabile. Cast: Leonor Varela, John Leguizamo, David Castro, Samantha M. Rose, Jerry Ferrara, Manny Perez. A Gulf War veteran and washed-up prizefighter Frank Diaz, finds himself and his family evicted from their New York City home. But after months spent working as a day laborer and living in a homeless shelter, Frank finally receives good news on Christmas Eve: there's an apartment available in a nearby housing project if Frank can prove he's legally employed. 100 min. DVD X4190
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Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
Directed by William A. Wellman. Cast: Frankie Darro, Rochelle Hudson, Dorothy Coonan, Sterling Holloway, Arthur Hohl, Grant Mitchell, Claire McDowell. At the bottom of the depression, Tom's mother has been out of work for months when Ed's father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomore's decide to hop the freights and look for work. Wherever they go, there are many other kids just like them, so Tom, Ed and now Sally stick together. They camp in places like 'Sewer City' as long as they can until the local authorities run them off. Lots of events happen to them including a rape by a train brakeman (pre-code stuff.) They travel all over the Midwest and when they finally reach New York they've become hardened and weary, and are no longer kids. 69 min. DVD X1427; also DVD 9378
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Klein, G. "Wellman's 'Wild boys of the road': the rhetoric of a depression movie." Velvet Light Trap nr 15 (Autumn 1975); p 2-6

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