Skid Row DVD
(Chicago's Madison Street)
In this recently discovered film, Chicago is the backdrop for this heavy-handed, expose on the "dirty backyards", the "cancerous outgrowth" of skid row. The narrator follows real-life "drunkards" as they stumble in and out of bars on Chicago's west side, then fall to the ground in a stupor. Far from today's more compassionate view of alcoholism and homelessness, the narrator belittles the "winos" who spend all day just waiting for the next chance to get drunk, and he bemoans the taverns, peep shows, and flophouses that line West Madison Street (including the "House of Rothschild" liquor store, which still exists today).
USA, circa 1949, B&W, 28 minutes.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)