IMDb > Freaks (1932)
Freaks
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Freaks (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   27,519 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (suggested by story: "Spurs")
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Freaks on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 February 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Can a full grown woman truly love a MIDGET ? See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(108 articles)
40 Great Horror Films for the Halloween Season Part 2
 (From SoundOnSight. 17 October 2014, 6:17 AM, PDT)

American Horror Story: Freak Show Recap: Playing Chicken
 (From TVLine.com. 15 October 2014, 8:16 PM, PDT)

11 Freaky Pop-Culture Sideshows
 (From Vulture. 9 October 2014, 7:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Living, Breathing Monstrosities.." See more (239 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Wallace Ford ... Phroso

Leila Hyams ... Venus

Olga Baclanova ... Cleopatra
Roscoe Ates ... Roscoe (as Rosco Ates)
Henry Victor ... Hercules
Harry Earles ... Hans
Daisy Earles ... Frieda
Rose Dione ... Madame Tetrallini
Daisy Hilton ... Siamese Twin
Violet Hilton ... Siamese Twin
Schlitze ... Himself
Josephine Joseph ... Half Woman-Half Man
Johnny Eck ... Half Boy
Frances O'Connor ... Armless Girl
Peter Robinson ... Human Skeleton
Olga Roderick ... Bearded Lady
Koo Koo ... By Herself
Prince Randian ... The Living Torso (as Rardion)
Martha Morris ... Armless Girl
Elvira Snow ... Pinhead (as Zip)
Jenny Lee Snow ... Pinhead (as Pip)
Elizabeth Green ... Bird Girl
Angelo Rossitto ... Angeleno
Edward Brophy ... Rollo Brother
Matt McHugh ... Rollo Brother (as Mat McHugh)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Aasen ... Giant (uncredited)
Ernie Adams ... Sideshow Patron (uncredited)
Demetrius Alexis ... Mr. Rogers (uncredited)
Hooper Atchley ... Doctoer (uncredited)
Jerry Austin ... Knife-Throwing Dwarf (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Hans' Butler (uncredited)
Mathilde Comont ... Madame Bartet (uncredited)
Albert Conti ... Landowner (uncredited)
Tiny Doll ... (uncredited)
Edith ... Crawling Girl (uncredited)
Delmo Fritz ... Sword-Swallower (uncredited)
Murray Kinnell ... Freakshow Barker (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Jean (uncredited)

Directed by
Tod Browning 
 
Writing credits
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (suggested by story: "Spurs") (as Tod Robbins)

Al Boasberg  additional dialogue (uncredited)
Willis Goldbeck  screenplay (uncredited)
Leon Gordon  screenplay (uncredited)
Charles MacArthur  uncredited
Edgar Allan Woolf  additional dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Tod Browning .... producer (uncredited)
Dwain Esper .... producer (reissue) (uncredited)
Harry Rapf .... producer (uncredited)
Hildegarde Stadie .... producer (reissue) (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Merritt B. Gerstad (photographed by) (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Basil Wrangell (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons (uncredited)
Merrill Pye (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Harry Sharrock .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Ryan .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Will Sheldon .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Errol Taggart .... first assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
G.A. Burns .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
Douglas Shearer .... recording director (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David S. Horsley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Oliver T. Marsh .... additional photographer (uncredited)
Paul Vogel .... additional photographer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Will Sheldon .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Forbidden Love" - USA (informal title)
"Nature's Mistakes" - USA (informal title)
See more »
Runtime:
64 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:(Banned) (1932) | France:18 | Germany:16 | Ireland:(Banned) (1999) | Italy:T (VHS/DVD rating) (self applied) | Italy:(Banned) (original rating) | Portugal:M/12 | UK:R (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2001) | UK:15 (video rating) (1995) | UK:X (re-rating) (1963) | USA:Unrated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was rejected for UK cinema showing in 1932 and again in 1952. It was finally passed for cinema with an uncut X rating in May 1963, making it one of the longest bans in UK film history.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: During the scene in which Hans' friends menace Cleopatra in the wagon, the flute soundtrack doesn't match the finger movements of the dwarf playing the flute.See more »
Quotes:
Cleopatra:[playing with Frieda's skirt] Nice, nice.
Frieda:[pokes at her with her wand] Don't, don't.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Wonderland (1997)See more »
Soundtrack:
Wedding of the WindsSee more »

FAQ

What is 'Freaks' about?
Is "Freaks" based on a book?
Are the freaks real or just actors in costumes?
See more »
52 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
"Living, Breathing Monstrosities..", 9 August 2004
Author: Tom_Powers30 from Raleigh, NC

Those that have seen either 1930's gangster film, "The Public Enemy" or "Little Caesar" will be familiar with the opening scrawl of the amazing film, "Freaks." In the 1930's it seemed as though the filmmakers had to set up the audience or apologize, in a way, for what they were about to see. The opening, before the title card, explains how "freaks" or human oddities have been treated by society. It tells how such deformed people were shunned from society, but, how they have normal thoughts and feelings just like the rest of us. This truly is the power of this truly moving, funny, very strange, and ultimately frightening film from the "Dark Carnival" mind of director Tod Browning...

No reason to do a summary here, that ruins the experience for new audiences to discover on their own and the rest of the reviewers have all ready done a stellar job, I'm sure, of giving plot synopsis.

Let's say that the average viewer will be stunned at first by the fact that real deformed dwarfs, midgets,siamese twins, and other "oddities" were the actors in this film. And that, in itself, lends the film its mysterious power and casts its spell on the viewer as much now in 2004 as I'm sure it did in the 30's and upon its rediscovery in the 1960's.

The tone of this film varies throughout. At it's center really are several relationships: Hans and his fiancée; Hans and the "Big" Lady, Cleopatra; Frozo the Clown and Venus; Hercules the strong man and Cleopatra, and of course the "Freaks" vs. Hercules and Cleopatra and the special code of the Freaks.

There are several lame 1930's jokes an example: "I thinks she likes you, b-b-b-but h-he don't!" stutters a clown in the circus when the half male/female character walks by Hercules and stops to take a gander. It's a strange, perverse joke and an example of what you're in for with this movie.

The power of the film is within the freaks themselves. We are invited to gawk, stare, but, ultimately sympathize with them. We want to see anyone who threatens them get their comeuppance and boy do they ever get that!

The freak that will freak you out the most: The Living Torso, Radian.

You'll love Frozo and Venus and pull for them throughout.

You'll root for Hans and Frida.

You'll enjoy Rosco the clown's humorous performance.

You'll be truly disturbed by the classic; uber-horror scene of the freaks crawling with knives in the mud in the rain-storm revenge sequence toward the end. Some of the most classic images in all of film not just horror.

I love it when Hans calls other "big" people in the circus who make him angry : "Swine!" He rules.

When the title card: THE WEDDING FEAST comes up you too will be truly FREAKED out! I love this movie and it has quickly become one of my favorites of all time right along-side 1930's classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (239 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Freaks (1932)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Your favorite freak? SlipGun
Actual 'Freakshow' Performers' Reaction? theflyingcuttlefish
Upwards of 30 minutes were cut from the film FilmKoala
On TCM on October 19, 2013 at 8 P.M. Ariane1998
The Ending was a step backwards Udo666
Really a HORROR movie? gemininyc
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