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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Venus
...
Roscoe Ates ...
Roscoe (as Rosco Ates)
...
Hercules
Harry Earles ...
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

A woman who attended a 1932 test screening for the film claimed later that she suffered a miscarriage resulting from the film's shocking nature, and threatened to sue MGM. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of the boom fall on Phroso's back when he and Venus are talking in the trailer, after her angry outburst at him. See more »

Quotes

Frieda: I was saying, tonight you must not smoke such a big cigar. Your voice was very bad at tonight's show.
Hans: Please, Frieda, don't tell me what I do. When I want a cigar, I smoke a cigar. I want no orders from a woman.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in South Park: Butters' Very Own Episode (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lion Chase
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Koelling
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Most Reviled Film of its Time
25 April 2001 | by (New York City, NY) – See all my reviews

Grotesque and shocking motion picture from one of the first masters of horror pictures. Deals with the realities of what people who are physically deformed go through when working at the circus. In the film they are a close bunch who live by their own code of ethics. Told through the flashback structure, the movie tells the story of a group of circus performers who get revenge when there is an attempt of murder on one of their own to get his money. Like Straw Dogs(1971), Freaks(1932) is disturbing and relentless in its imagery.


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