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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.
Film #6 of Project 30
”Gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble. We accept her. One of us, one of us.”
Tod Browning’s Freaks is a 65 minute nightmare, from the beginning to the end it is filled with a sense of terror, shock and disgust. It’s really hard to describe this strange experience with words, saying that it’s unsettling or frightening is not enough, Freaks is the definition of the word FEAR. Not just because its characters are physically deformed people who will send shivers down your spine with their terrible appearances, the main reason that this legendary horror film is so powerful and spine-chilling is that it finds a way of portraying that sadistic side of “human beings” without looking artificial or flamboyant.…
A startlingly brave film for the time it was made in, Freaks is a powerful, 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…
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.
Todavía, el flashback más crudo de la Historia del Cine.
Las habrá más salvajes, las habrá más incorrectas, las habrá más enternecedoras, insólitas o desoladoras, pero ninguna es todo eso (y mucho más) a la vez. Esa es la razón por la que 'Freaks' es una película sin parangón.
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.
With moments of heart and humor, "Freaks" also manages to be a disturbing and creepy horror film with a chilling atmosphere. While the acting is pretty bad in some places, there is no way to escape the powerful impact of this weird, borderline experimental drama.
- This movie is actually heartbreaking. Hans & Frieda's relationship is one of the saddest i have seen on screen. Frieda is so totally devoted to Hans but he just disregards all her affection for Cleopatra because she makes him feel "normal". He is blinded by his obsession to fit in with the outside world. Obviously this is a mistake because we know who turns out to be the real "freaks" are.
- This is a very tender movie that was made way ahead of its time. It treats its subjects with the utmost respect in a time where they were just seen as "circus freaks" (there are of course scenes where we see the abilities of these Circus folk but…
Hypnotic, unique. You really care about the characters. Cleopatra was one of the most odious characters I've ever seen. Great great movie, unlike anything I've ever seen.
This film was just AWESOME!! Was totally worth my time, and I need to find this for my collection. You should be able to find this on youtube, or Dailymotion. Worth finding and viewing.
It’s a shame this movie was cut so much to please contemporary audiences. And now the original 90 minute film is lost and we are left with a short, jumpy version. Still, this movie shines. It’s a story about human dignity. There are people who try to take it away from you, and even profit by that. But dignity is one of those things that humans can’t have taken away from them, not without something else taking its place: hatred, and a burning desire for revenge.
Aparte kruising van gotische horror met drama en een vleugje kluchtige humor. Moralistische boodschap is vrij rechtlijnig: mensen die afwijken van de norm hebben met elkaar een ethische code tegen misbruik van 'de normale mensen'. Vreemd idee dat deze lofzang op het afwijkende toch een jaar of acht vóór de Tweede Wereldoorlog in de bioscopen draaide. Dan vraag ik mij toch af op welke punten het een kritiek vormt op bepaalde sentimenten die toen al in de lucht hingen. Ook omdat de karakters zo expliciet Europese namen als Hans en Frida hebben.
This really is a remarkable film for 1932, in its humanization of its protagonists, as opposed to the expected condemning. There are some great performances here, and surprising spouts of impressive cinematography. Sure, it's slow even for sixty minutes, but conceptually and ethically it reigns supremely ahead of its time.
An unforgettable classic. You'll never see anything quite like it.
I don't really understand why this is considered (to this day) to be a horror film when only one (or maybe two) scenes resemble the horror genre at all. While the film was initially seen as too shocking and provocative to even be released its intended state, there is very little that is truly frightening here unless you consider the 'freaks' themselves to be disturbing simply because they are shown as they really were. Interestingly enough, the bulk of the film is about normalizing these different people by respecting and dramatizing their feelings and desires while showing the monstrosity of the villainous and manipulative able-bodied characters who try to exploit them. In this way, it functions as a critique of…
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