A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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 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…
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.
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.
Task #28. A film with a predominantly yellow poster.
She didn't want to be one of them and it was not the brightest decision. But aren't we all freaks in our own way? So let's all drink from the shared cup.
Better than most current horror flicks... A different universe/reality with different people, which is interesting to see, it's a well paced film and the ending/chase scene, woah!
A controversial movie at the time of its release, causing it to be banned and misjudged by many, 'Freaks' is a vengeance tale exposing the actualities of the lives of circus folk. The director intended to portray the able-bodied pair as the freaks in their attempt to false a marriage with a wealthy dwarf in order to make money from him. As soon as the director attaches the word freaks to deformed circus performers, he's bound to get a lot of enemies. And to use real performers to add to the reality of the setting was deemed a step to far. But that has to be looked past to appreciate this film's true intentions in revealing disfigured people as ordinary.…
Tod Browning's best film in my opinion, Freaks is striking for a number of reasons but the fact that it uses real carnival performers, with real deformities gives it something uniquely special. These performers are incredible actors as well, each of them giving there all. What is funny to me is how this film somewhat ruined Browning's career! It caused a lot of controversy upon its release and critics panned it, but the story is strong, the characters amazing and the cinematography is first rate. Perhaps audiences weren't ready for this type of film back in the 30's, everyone praises Browning's work on the Bela Lugosi starring Dracula, but watch Freaks again. This is truly a master work. I mean…
I guess you could say it was...freaky.
An old favorite of mine. Some of the characters are so scary and some are so sweet. The final act is totally horrifying and so much fun.
Having worked as part of a traveling circus when young, Todd Browning was able to present a realistic feeling portrayal of a circus sideshow. And casting the movie with actual sideshow performers helps with that feeling. I'm having a hard time describing it beyond that and adding that the result is a strange, fascinating horror movie.
I didn't liked this movie. It was really difficult to understand the actors and the history. But, they're freaks in it!
No other film makes me feel as Freaks does. In his dark tale of love and redemption, Browning shows what cannot be shown, what by definition must be left outside, in the dark. The reality of the freaks’ condition blends with cinematic fiction, and for one brief moment we are doubly horrified by Cleopatra’s miserable state: ‘how is it possible?’ is the unutterable question. Grotesqueness and cruelty reach in Freaks a hardly superable peak, while wonder and horror inexorably mingles.
The assault of the freaks in the storm is one of the most intense and spine-chilling sequences I've ever seen. Incomparable.
Summer of the Beast film #31
This one is hard to rate, just because of what I know about the ending versus what actually happened with the ending.
As it stands, there are some really great scenes and some really great performances. It's absolutely a worthwhile and interesting watch, but the ending it got was just so sloppy.