Sunday, February 23, 2014

Freaks (1932)

Director: Tod Browning

Writers: Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins, Al Boasberg, Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Charles MacArthur, Edgar Allan Woolf

Composer: none

Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates, Henry Victor, Harry Earles, Daisy Earles, Rose Dione, Daisy Hilton, Violet Hilton, Schlitze, Josephine Joseph, Johnny Eck, Frances O'Connor, Peter Robinson, Olga Roderick, Koo Koo

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Can a full grown woman truly love a MIDGET?

Plot: A circus trapeze artist, Cleopatra, takes an interest in Hans, a midget who works in the circus sideshow. Her interest however is in the money Hans will be inheriting and she is actually carrying on an affair with another circus performer, Hercules. Hans's fiancée does her best to convince him that he is being used but to no avail. At their wedding party, a drunken Cleopatra tells the sideshow freaks just what she thinks of them. Together, the freaks decide to make her one of their own.

My rating: 9.5/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

I can't count the ways I love this movie.  Too many.  It's a beautiful film.  Except for two characters, everyone in the circus are just swell, loving people.  Phroso (Ford) and Venus (Hyams) are adorable and the way he is with the sideshow kids is special.  It really gets me.  Then there's Cleopatra (Baclanova) and Hercules (Victor) who are just really nasty and cruel.  They get their comeuppance, all right.  The real stars of the show are the 'freaks'.  They're wonderfully portrayed up there on the big screen.  What's more is that they're shown as real people.  They're a close knit bunch and if you cross one of them, you cross them all.  The picture was so reviled shortly after its release that Tod "DRACULA (1931)" Browning had trouble getting work afterward.  He only did a couple of pictures before retiring which is really freaking sad since this is a brilliant and powerful picture.  

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