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.
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.
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.
Star ratings are stupid unavoidable shorthand. Which is kinda why I like Letterboxd's "diary" feature. Each time I log a film, I can give it a different star rating. I'm stingy with stars and even stingier with those Letterboxd hearts.
I also enjoy that I can leave an entry on a movie like this one without ever mentioning the movie. I don't have to say a word about its content or what I think about it. But it still somehow gets lIsted as a "review."
Like nothing I've ever seen before or since.
ONE OF US.
A great melodrama, and still hugely powerful after all these years. Here's some extended thoughts:
1. This movies was made and released in the pre-code era, at the height of Hollywood's excess period, and produced by MGM, the most lavish studio that ever was. How surprising is it, then, that the scenes where we see the "freaks" go about their daily life in the carnival read so unspectacular and naturalistic.
2. Consider the ending of the movie, and what eventually happens to the Cleopatra character. It's the most unnerving and gut-wrenching moment in the film. It made my skin crawl, but it's also the crown jewel of the movie's melodramatic tragedy. It's tremendously sad that the worst punishment the "freaks"…
Unbelievably tolled, the story of the freaks and the lassy who crossed them. While watching this slightly weird and very sweet film I was wandering when the horror would begin, I mean it said it was one of the greatest horror movies, then... Wham. Less then a few minutes before ending the freaks fight back, crawling on the ground in the rain-soaked mud. A truly sinister shot of revenge. It bam-bozzales me how this got made in the 30's. Weirdly a great watch.
A trapeze artists marries the leader of the freaks to get his money. His friends find out and take matters into their own hands.
Reviewed already. But great film!
The controversial classic set in a carnival sideshow and starring a cast of real life dwarfs and deformities. Most classify Freaks as horror, but it only becomes a horror film in its last ten minutes. Before that, it's a soap opera, like a mini-Grand Hotel, but instead of ritzy art deco Berlin, you get a grimy carnival and instead of Garbo, Crawford, and Barrymore, you get "half-man" Johnny Eck, conjoined twins the Hilton Sisters, and German dwarf Harry Earles. For much of the film, director Tod Browning—an ex-carny himself—merely roams the carnival's tents and trailers to observe a typical day at the freak show. The performers are portrayed as charming and funny. Browning's affection for these people rings true and…
When do they sing Life on Mars? Oh shit, thought this was AHS
Boy, a lot happened in 64 minutes. But yeah, this was really great.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen
- For All Mankind
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…
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game