Homeless as Portrayed in the movies

I can’t find any movie character that resembles the homeless I see every day. I  need help with this list because I usually avoid movies where anyone is homeless – I am missing the , The Fisher King, and what else….?

* Title: City Lights (1931, Playhouse). * Character: Little Tramp Charlie Chaplin sacrifices life and limb to help blind girl Virginia Cherrill. * Cause of homelessness: Unclear; appears to be general societal indifference. * Message about the homeless: They have more native wit and wisdom than you do.

* Title: My Man Godfrey (1936, Goodtimes). * Character: Urbane, Harvard-educated ”forgotten man” Godfrey (William Powell) becomes butler to nutty socialites and saves them from financial ruin. * Cause of homelessness: Dumped by a woman. * Message about the homeless: They make good business managers.

* Title: Sullivan’s Travels (1941, MCA/Universal). * Character: Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) disguises himself as a hobo to research a movie about poverty. * Cause of homelessness:Hollywood, ”Art.” * Message abou the homeless: They prefer cartoons to movies about poverty.

* Title: Pocketful of Miracles (1961, MGM/UA). * Character: Street merchant Apple Annie (Bette Davis) remade by gangster (Glenn Ford) into a blueblood to impress her future in-laws. * Cause of homelessness: Something about being dumped by a man. * Message about the homeless: They’re good for relieving guilt.

* Title: Midnight Cowboy (1969, MGM/UA). * Character: Crippled grifter Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) takes over the career of Texas gigolo (Jon Voight). * Cause of homelessness: Unclear; something to do with lower-class upbringing. * Message about the homeless: They make bad business managers.

* Title: Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986, Touchstone). * Character: Wild man Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte) sends a neurotic Beverly Hills household into an uproar. * Cause of homelessness:Dumped by a woman. * Message about the homeless: They can set free your innermost desires.

* Title: Life Stinks (1991, MGM/UA). * Character: Billionaire Mel Brooks spends month on streets and meets bag lady Lesley Ann Warren. * Cause of homelessness: Machismo; dumped by a man. * Message about the homeless: They’re not really homeless…. Their homes are just different from ours.

All this so far is written by Nisid Hajari 

*Title Hancock 2008 (Columbia Pictures)  Character: Super Hero Hancock (Will Smith) Drunk and disorderly with superpowers who has a friend who helps set his life to rights.  Cause of homelessness: memory loss, Cynicism and alcohol * Message about the homeless: they can be saved? I really don’t know – help a girl out with your opinion

Published by Homeless

Mommy. Social worker. Nice lady seeking to end homelessness and end poverty. FightOn

One thought on “Homeless as Portrayed in the movies

  1. this is of great interest to me too, often I’ve seen the homeless in horror films. Some are Street Trash, which is a cast of home bums drinking toxic killer hootch, another is John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness in which a legion of homeless devil servants are cast upon a city, and then of course C.H.U.D. or Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers where the homeless become transformed to large sewer monsters.
    What about Switching Places with Eddie Murphy? Too old to remember.
    Then there’s a trove of foreign gypsy films out there
    Dannny Devito is in a film from the nineties. Home Alone 2 has the bird lady. If anyone knows an essay or article about the portayal of homeless folks in cinema, let me know. Thanks

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