All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
The love story of a SIREN, a GIANT, and a DWARF!
A carnival barker displays a sideshow freak called the Feathered Hen and tells her story. Cleopatra, a trapeze artist with the carnival, is adored by a midget named Hans. Frieda, Hans' fiancée (also a midget), warns Hans that Cleopatra is only interested in him so that he will give her money. Cleopatra has an affair with Hercules, and when Frieda lets it slip that Hans is to come into an inheritance, Cleopatra and Hercules plan to get the money be having Cleopatra marry Hans. During the wedding reception, Cleopatra, although openly romantic with Hercules, is accepted by the freaks, but is revolted and mocks them. The freaks decide that they no longer need Hercules in their carnival and have a new career for Cleopatra all lined up, and make sure she doesn't 'chicken' out.
A startlingly brave film for the time it was made in, Freaks is a genuinely empathetic story that still retains its power today. Quite who the real monsters are becomes clearer the more we are taken into the world of these circus performers. The horror arrives not from those who appear different from the 'norm' but those who cannot accept them.
There are moments of course where Tod Browning verges on exploiting the very same people he is trying to humanise. Some scenes are clearly set up as a spectacle, such as the man without limbs lighting his own cigarette or the rush to the bearded lady's tent to see her newborn. Yet by not filming their performances in the…
We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!
A year after Tod Browning immortalized Bela Lugosi as Dracula he came out with the ever so controversial Freaks, a film that, all things considered, is better then the director's more famous earlier outing. It's also the film that supposedly brought on the demise of his career.
Looking at the poster you can see the studio trying to sell the picture as an exploitation flick with headlines like "Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?". MGM was basically acting like a carnival barker trying to get spectators to look at their "freakshow".
The film itself is much more then the poster suggests though. While it's cast mostly all have…
Film #7 of 31 in my Hoop-Tober 2016 challenge
Adapted for the screen by Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins from his own short story "Spurs" (1923), this horror film directed by Tod Browning starred an array of real sideshow professionals, from dwarfs and microcephalic "pinheads" to a paraplegic "living torso" who could light cigarettes without arms or legs.
If one ignores momentarily the various physical deformities of many of the characters and looks only at the plot, it's really not much more than a soap opera in a circus setting. The strongman Hercules (Henry Victor) uses women, and after ditching the beauty known as Venus (Jean Harlow) when she runs out of cash, he hitches up with the haughty trapeze artist…
This holds up tremendously in one definitive category- the frank depiction of everyday freak-life. It's less about acting and more about real deformities captured in mundane existence. This is a sad film by the end, generating huge amounts of empathy without forcing trite stereotypes upon the freaks. They exist as they are and therefore the film refuses to spotlight the performers with any fake qualities. The honesty on screen is what has aged this finely. Director Todd Browning does not shy away from the shit luck these people were dealt in life. In the end, the story concludes as an essential morality tale and a fascinating window into the past.
If Richard Linklater time traveled and landed in a crazy circus atmosphere, Freaks is the movie that would have been inspired in him. Like Linklater films, the plot is there, but minimal and not as important as it's community of characters. We are given a glimpse into the life and mind of all the norms and "Freaks", capturing this twisted Circus World so vividly and sympathetically.
Now that's what I call an ending.
Jeg får det lidt rart når jeg har set en virkelig gammel film, som man må sige at 'Freaks' er. Jeg føler mig lidt kulturel.
Jeg har længe ville se den og med en spilletid på kun en time, så er det underligt at det først er nu at jeg får den set. Den originale version på halvanden time findes ikke mere, kun den her version som, pga sin korte spilletid ikke føles langsom som film ellers kan gøre fra den tid.
Filmen er flot og historien med at behandle andre folk med respekt, selvom at de måske ikke ligner en selv, er vigtig og stadigvæk aktuel i dag.
I fail to see the greatness of this movie. disjointed because of the excessive cutting,
Has a movie ever been faster paced than 'Freaks'?
Not even close.
I would love to see this film fully restored with improved audio as I feel like I missed 30% of the dialogue due to muffled tracks on the version I watched, but there's still something incredibly compelling about this breezy little movie that makes society's "freaks" into heroes who stand up for each other when the going gets tough.
This movie is the definition of being ahead of it's time.
One of us!!
I badly want to see the lost 90-minute version.
The original ads quoted Louella Parsons, who said, "For pure sensationalism FREAKS tops any picture yet produced." She wasn't far off, and it's still a shocker. Though this circus story, directed by Tod Browning, is superficially sympathetic to the maimed and the mindless that it features, it uses images of physical deformity for their enormous potential of horror, and at the end, when the pinheads and the armless and legless creatures scurry about to revenge themselves on a normal woman (Olga Baclanova), the film becomes a true nightmare. If this film were a silent it might be harder to shake off, but the naïve, sentimental talk helps us keep our distance. With Leila Hyams, Wallace Ford, Harry and Daisy Earles, Johnny Eck (who had half a torso), Randion (known as the Living Torso), the Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Roscoe Ates, Edward Brophy, and Henry Victor as the strong man. Adapted from the story "Spurs," by Tod Robbins. MGM.
on one hand, the main storyline sympathises with and can probably be said to celebrate the self-affirmed freaks; on the other hand, it's wrapped up in a framing device that exploits one, so...don't really know how to feel about that
Good election counter-programming.
I love how ballsy this movie is. I've never seen a movie that showcases physically deformed people with such nonchalance. You could tell most of the players hadn't had much acting experience, but that didn't bother me too much. I loved the climax. Very unique and unsettling film.