Freaks (1932)

Director: Tod Browning
Writer: Willis GoldbeckLeon Gordon
Based on: Tod Robbins‘ short story Spurs
Cast: Harry EarlesDaisy Earles, Wallace FordLeila HyamsOlga BaclanovaRoscoe AtesHenry Victor
Seen on: 22.6.2016

Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova) is the new star of the circus. The beautiful artist is sure to have all the eyes on her and she certainly has Hans’ (Harry Earles) attention who starts wooing her despite being married to Frieda (Daisy Earles). Cleopatra laughs away his advances – he is a dwarf how could he possibly imagine that she could love him? She much rather spends her time with Hercules (Henry Victor). But when Cleopatra hears that Hans has a substantial inheritance, she plans to marry him to rob him of it. But the other disabled circus performers and a couple of able-bodied allies are set to protect their own.

Freak is definitely an important film in cinema history and is an interesting watch. Much has been made of its portrayal of the eponymous “freaks” and their disabilities. I’m a little torn on that count, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching the film.



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