movie film review | chris tookey


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  Freaks Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.17 /10
Olga Baclanova, Leila Hyams, Wallace Ford
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Directed by: Tod Browning
Written by: Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, from Tod Robbins’s story Spurs.

Released: 1932
Origin: US
Length: 64

Circus freaks avenge themselves on an able-bodied trapeze artist (Olga Baclanova) who marries a circus midget (Harry Earles) for his money, then poisons him.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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MGM executive Irving Thalberg told director Tod Browning “I want something that out-horrors Frankenstein”. When he got it, he didn’t know what to do with it. This legendary exercise in bad taste, using cast-members with real and horrific disabilities, is a cinematic curiosity - so you would expect it to be riveting. Oddly, it’s a bit dull. Its most dramatic scenes are let down by a banal script and amateurish acting; and the undoubted compassion which Browning shows is offset by his equally obvious voyeurism. It was banned in Britain until 1963.

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