A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

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Writer:

(suggested by story: "Spurs") (as Tod Robbins)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Roscoe (as Rosco Ates)
...
Hercules
...
Daisy Earles ...
Rose Dione ...
Madame Tetrallini
Daisy Hilton ...
Violet Hilton ...
Schlitze ...
Himself
...
Half Woman-Half Man
Johnny Eck ...
Half Boy
Frances O'Connor ...
Armless Girl
Peter Robinson ...
Human Skeleton
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Storyline

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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Strangest... The Most Startling Human Story Ever Screened... Are You Afraid To Believe What Your Eyes See? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Love  »

Box Office

Budget:

$310,607 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a member of the MGM writing department at the time the movie was in production. It is said, one day as he came into the studio commissary for lunch and saw the Hilton sisters, one reading the menu and the other seemingly understanding it, he was horrified, became nauseous and left the lunchroom. He would later go on to write of a studio filming a "circus" picture. See more »

Goofs

In the first shot after the "Wedding Feast" title card, we see Violet Hilton & Daisy Hilton playing soprano saxophones, but we only hear a harmonica being played. See more »

Quotes

Hercules: They're going to make you one of them, my peacock!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturn in Opposition (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding of the Winds
(uncredited)
Music by John T. Hall
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great horror classic from early 30's.
7 June 2001 | by (Chyby, Poland) – See all my reviews

"Freaks" is one of the most controversial horror films from the 30's,mainly because director Tod Browning hired as the actors real sideshow freaks.It does have a rather unsettling effect,but I think that really does work for the film.Browning builds up a great amount of suspense with the good use of locations,story and lots of atmosphere.The ending,where we see freaks crawling in the mud,is pretty creepy.Anyway check this one out-it's worth watching.


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