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.



(suggested by story: "Spurs") (as Tod Robbins)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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


"We'll Make Her One of Us!" from the gibbering mouths of these weird creatures came this frenzied cry... no wonder she cringed in horror... this beautiful woman who dared toy with the love of one of them! See more »


Drama | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

20 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Love  »

Box Office


$310,607 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Samuel Marx, head of MGM's Story Department, recalled with peculiar pride, "And so, Harry Rapf, who was a great moral figure, got a bunch of us together and we went in and complained to Irving Thalberg about 'Freaks'. And he laughed at that. He said, 'You know, we're making all kinds of movies. Forget it. I'm going to make the picture. Tod Browning's a fine director. He knows what he's doing.' And the picture was made." But the lunchroom protests didn't end. As a result, a makeshift table was constructed and the cast of "Freaks" (with the exception of Harry Earles & Daisy Earles, Violet Hilton & Daisy Hilton, and the more "normal" cast-members) were forced to eat their meals outdoors. See more »


Hercules rushes out of the wagon in pursuit of Josephine/Joseph, hot on his/her heels, but when Cleopatra looks out the window a moment later, Jo is leaning casually against a wagon applying makeup. He/she would not have had time to relax and get out a compact in that short amount of time. See more »


Cleopatra: You dirty, slimy, freaks! Freaks, freaks, freaks! You fools! Make me one of you, will you?
See more »


Referenced in American Horror Story: Test of Strength (2014) See more »


The Whistler and His Dog
Music by Arthur Pryor
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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