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4.1
4,069 Ratings

Freaks

Directed by Tod Browning
United States, 1932
Horror, Drama

Synopsis

Real sideshow performers star in this grotesque revenge drama set against a circus backdrop. A trapeze artist plans to wed and then murder a midget for his fortune. When his fellow ‘freaks’ discover her scheme, she becomes the target of their horrifying vengeance.

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Freaks Directed by Tod Browning

Critics reviews

The M-G-M films play like a striver’s gangly conception of sophistication. The exception that proves the rule is Tod Browning’s FREAKS, a masterpiece that draws blood and convulses with orgasmic transference… It has nothing to blunt its rough edges; it goes down like wood alcohol. It is also, of course, one of the most compassionate and empathetic films ever made, unsullied even by the sub-distribution efforts of exploitation maven Dwain Esper.
January 06, 2017
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The maintenance (however difficult) of the normal/abnormal couplet guarantees an order in which the various elements can be recognised, classed, mastered – in short, named. Here we see the extraordinary enterprise of blurring which Freaks methodically carries out, creating the most freakish trouble imaginable: the fusion of normal and abnormal, and the simultaneous perversion of natural law, moral law, and language.
January 01, 1972
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What’s most shocking about the film is not seeing the “freaks,” but just how mundanely, even warmly, the film dares to treat their lives; the violent revenge narrative feels just like what it is—a silly mechanism to provide a showcase for their considerable talents.
July 30, 2012
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