All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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.
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…
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.
Gooble gobble! 80 years later, Tod Browning's revenge tale set among a community of circus sideshow performers is just as unsettling. Much of the film's power comes from Browning's unsensational depiction of his cast of physically (and, in some cases, developmentally) disabled performers - the mostly wooden acting (though Harry Earles, as diminutive ringmaster Hans, is pretty suave) is a worthy trade-off for the verisimilitude. While it's not a message movie, it is fascinating how the "freaks" are disturbing only because of the cultural baggage we bring to the film; they're actually the characters who are portrayed with dignity throughout the film, while it's the "normal" characters who are truly monstrous. It's an idea - Who are the real monsters? - that countless other horror films have explored, but rarely as successfully.
This is much different than what word of mouth makes it sound like. I remember first hearing about this in some countdown about the "scariest movies" ever and of course they play the end of this movie, which would lead the viewer (me in this instance) to believe that it was in fact a horror film. Or at least a film with a edge towards the horror genre. The fact that it was directed, written, and produced by Tod Browning (the man who gave us Dracula) only adds to that idea. But aside from the creepy/somewhat disturbing ending scenes, this film is much closer to a romantic drama than anything else. It's a tragedy, at least in my mind, but…
An odd piece of something like art. Or maybe a Werner Herzog picture. The meshing of Hollywood actors and deformed sideshow performers in a movie thick with atmosphere and an the mostly sympathetic eye towards me titular characters make for a strange, transfixing 70 minutes. Freaks is a pretty broad morality play, but a story told in a very old-fashioned style with a memorably grotesque comeuppance. There has to be more technically sophisticated early talkies, but anything that can be called rough in terms of editing or directing of actors will endear most viewers fpr the aense of strangeness it embues the film with. I don't know Browning well, and I wouldn't call this a masterpiece, but it's one I think you really have to see.
"A Year of Fear" Movie #5
A classic exploitation film that manages to be smart and somewhat sad despite its obvious exploitative elements. The third act of this film contains the kind of imagery that nightmares are made of.
I watched this movie with the sound turned off today. My Honors English students were working on an art project associated with Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN, so I put FREAKS on in the background with the sound turned off. Class ended before the real horrors begin, but when they do, the lack of sound really amplifies the dreamlike quality of Tod Browning's images.
Freaks is a powerful movie on the discrimination of "freaks" that work in a circus that manages to show their suffering agony and gives a realistic and horrorific ending. It's unbelievable that it was made in the 30's due to its frightening tone and its topic! The acting, however, is not good.
escalofriante y encantadora...entre comedia, romance, terror y crimen tiene un lugar en mi corazon
This was obviously a major inspiration for the latest season of American Horror Story. The biggest difference of course is that since the special effects to create these deformities hadn't been developed yet, the filmmakers had to use the real thing. This kind of gives the movie a voyeuristic feel, and doesn't do much to humanize them. I can still see why this is considered an important film of the early sound era. I'm sure it was much darker than what people were used to in 1932.
Imagine Dumbo as a horror and you get this film. What's particularly amazing is seeing all of the "freaks", which were played by real circus performers. Of course, the real freaks in the movie are "normal" people.
Still very impactful, despite its glaring flaws.
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…