In 1929, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill were engaged to adapt their successful transposition of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera to the screen. Brecht wanted to give the film more anti-bourgeois bite than the stage version. His changes proved too strong for his capitalist producers--Brecht sued them and lost. Also lost were some of the songs and the disenchanted irony which was replaced by charm. A mix of realism and stylized settings, the performances and wonderful score and lyrics nevertheless retain much of the pungency of the original.