I saw this movie on TCM, and I think it was made around 1916 or 1917. For some reason I keep thinking that the director was D.W. Griffith, but I can’t find this film by searching under his name in http://www.allmovie.com. (No, of course it isn’t Intolerance or Birth Of A Nation)
Anyway the setting is the contemporary Bowery of New York, and the mercilessly exposes the poverty and degradation of the slum. Much beer is bought in buckets at the corner saloon and drunk by slovenly men with enormous beerguts. In fact, there’s one sequence that opens with a close-up of an enourmous beer belly, which the camera holds for a good 10 seconds.
As for plot, the central character is a reformed street punk (or maybe it was a kid who almost became a street punk). At one point a slumming party from uptown visits a cafe. That’s about all I can remember, and I didn’t get to see the end of it. Can anyone fill me in on what this film was called, and give me more details? SPOILERS WILL BE HEARTILY WELCOMED.