The rise and fall...and rise of Schlitzie, the lovable man-child performer from Tod Browning's cult film "Freaks." He lived to perform, until he was put in an institution and left to die. ... See full summary »
Siamese twins are a singing act, apparently in vaudeville. Their manager, to drum up business bribes a man who has a shooting act to become romantically involved with her. The bribe works and business increases dramatically. The man proposes marriage and the proposal is accepted. He walks out on her on their wedding night to remain with his assistant with whom he has a relationship. The sister of the rejected bride shoots him during his act. The movie starts with the judge, who is hearing the case without a jury, advises us, the audience, that this is a difficult case. The movie poses the question of whether he can punish the one who is the shooter without punishing the other sister. Written by
Much of the plot was derived from real events in the lives of Siamese twins Daisy Hilton and Violet Hilton: the sham-marriage for publicity; the difficulty getting a marriage license due to morals concerns; the vaudeville singing career. See more »
we've always said we were like other people yet different; from the moment we started to crawl and the leg of the table got between us and we couldn't pass.
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If you've missed "Chained for Life," you haven't missed much. Based loosely (very loosely) on Siamese twins Daisy and Violent Hilton's lives, Chained For Life is low melodrama at its lamest. The starring ladies did, however, sing very sweetly, and their musical performances are worth sitting through the rest of the movie.
The movie opens with a judge begging the audience for help in resolving a terrible dilemma. The action moves to a courtroom, where conjoined twin Vivian Hamilton is on trial for the shooting death of her sister Dorothy's two-timing husband. The story unfolds in flashback as various characters are called to testify about how a publicity stunt turned to cruel heartbreak and eventually murder.
With a premise close to the sisters' real-life romances, "Chained for Life" could have been compelling drama in the hands of competent writers, a competent cast, and a director capable of pulling adequate performances out of Daily and Violet. We're left with a pure exploitation film, memorable only for its novelty.
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