The Movie Freaks

of 21 /21
Directed by Tod Browning

Transcript of The Movie Freaks

Directed by Tod Browning

A 1932 MGM Film Production


Johnny Eck

Daisy & Harry Earles

Daisy & Violet Hilton


Minnie Woosley

Prince Randian

In the Moving Picture

The Movie 'Freaks' Produced by Tod Browning, who traveled with the

Circus. Filed in 1932 Banned out of the UK for 30 years. Forced people to view those with a disability as

'human' having true emotions and feelings. Showed that people with 'deformities' had a real life,

could love, get married, earn a living. Audience of the time was not ready, received criticism

and flopped.

Plot-Line Overview Setting takes place in a traveling circus, where actors

are all performers (in real life and in the movie). Hans breaks off engagement to Frieda to be with

'normal height' Cleopatra. Cleo plots to marry Hans only for money, and is

secretly in love with Hercules Cleo poisons Hans, but he is wise to her. Ending scene where actors take revenge against


A 'Freaky Come-Back' 1960's, the film was rediscovered and re-

furbished and shown nightly in drive-ins. 1983 an 'owe to' Freaks was created, many

cast started in this series. 1994, United States National Film Registry

states, ''"culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

Has made American Film Institutes 100 movies for song, acting and more.

My own perceptions.. Thought it would be degrading/exploitative. 20 min's through the movie, I found it was NOT

degrading/exploitative. Actors were portrayed as human, with

relationships, feelings/emotions, capable, kind and fun.

Ex. Siamese twins; one engaged and one dating.

Niche Hollywood Horror Flick

Two scenes taken too far; ending and engagement dinner.

Involvement of 'normal' people, who actually end up being the 'Freaks'.

A Clip of the Beginning..

A clip of the movie


The Real Lives Behind the Story... Johnny Eck, business owner, magician, wood worker, performer, and employer of twin brother.

He died at the age of79.He challenged

those who did

have legs by

asking, "What can you do that I can't do, except tread water?"

When asked if he wished he had legs, he quipped, "Why would I want those? Then I'd have pants to press."

Prince RandianDevoted Husband, Father of Four, Business man, Performer, Fluent in Hindi, French, German and English.

Doll Family Successful actors,

performers. Purchased a home in California and the home was often in magazines as an example of 'small furniture' and alterations.

SchlitzieWell known performer

and actor, landed many rolls in films throughout his career. No one knew his real name or who his parents were. He loved to perform and passed away at the age of 70.

Not all Stories are Happy..

Daisy and Violet Hilton, sold at a young age to a woman who made money off their performances. Success was fleeting, as were marriages and affairs. They were left at a gas station by a manager in '61. They died two to four days apart.