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Thumbnail for Freaks (1932) Freaks (1932)

Basic Info Rusty's rating: 80
Notable as: HorrorGenre: horror film, flashback film, dramatic form, thrillerRuntime: 62 - 90 minutesColor: colorLanguage: English, French, GermanCountry: United StatesDirector: Tod BrowningScreenwriter: Tod Robbins, Al Boasberg, Willis Goldbeck, Edgar Allan Woolf, Charles MacArthur, Leon GordonBased on: SpursCinematography: Merritt B. GerstadStars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates, Harry Earles, Rose Dione, Daisy and Violet Hilton, Prince Randian, Schlitzie Producer: Tod Browning, Harry Rapf, Dwain Esper, Irving ThalbergStudio: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAwards won: National Film RegistryAward details: (details at IMDb)
Description

Freaks is a 1932 American horror film in which the eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The original version was considered too shocking to be released, and no longer exists. Directed and produced by Tod Browning, whose career never recovered from it, Freaks has been described as standing alone in a sub-genre of one. At 16, Browning had left his well-to-do family to join a traveling circus; he drew on his personal experiences for Freaks. Because of his success as the director of Dracula, he was given a considerable leeway for a major studio's first horror film; this and the fact he was working in Pre-Code Hollywood enabled a unique production. In the film, the physically deformed "freaks" are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the "normal" members of the circus who conspire to murder one of the performers to obtain his large inheritance.


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