Although this films is now questionable from an ethical point of view, I consider that for the most part Tod Browning really tried his best to portray an honest picture of the "freaks", but was met with so many obstacles (the Studio, the society, the re-editing of the film) that it muddled his original intention. Still, it stays strong even today and has gone on to influence so much more that it doesn't matter.
As I was reading Bogdan, I felt the urge to rewatch Freaks, and realised how the masterpiece goes far beyond the film itself. Browning's movie becomes the precious casket of an emancipation by dignity. Poorly received by the thoughtful bourgeoisie of the time, the same that went by millions to the dime museums for a whole century... Sadly, Browning never really had the chance to enjoy the rehabilitation of Freaks.
Probably the worst of all is the acting, but there are many wrong things about this movie, including the lack of a decent story and a huge plot hole; the freaks are there only for shock value and i could not empathize at all with any of the characters. Big disappointment. Oh, and what the hell was that woman-chicken cyborg for...?
So far ahead of it's time, its response was one of the greatest travesties in film history. Todd Browning lost his career because he dared to show many of us how cruel we can be when we encounter those different from us. Everyone was disgusted not at the film but at themselves. They'd rather live in ignorant bliss. Not much has changed.
grand master piece with amazing production; a film that lasts exactly whats needed to fuel our wild imagination and show that humans can have any shape or form. the freaks conjures a great stage to follow into the lives of these singular people while reflecting on the ways they're misjudged and harmed for it. MUST WATCH. ESPECIALLY AT A CINEMA
Caught this old gem at a independent theater downtown the other day, and what a absolute treat it was! Sad to hear that a whole third of the original print was cut out and lost in the thirties. Would love to see what made the original print so outrageous and "freakish" that they had to chop it down.
Not so much a film as it is Tod Browning's unmediated grey matter projected in screen for us to see. A genuine labour of love, his engagement is evident in the constantly darting camera (in 1932 no less!), the huge canvas, and the mesmerizing craft in the final, rain drenched sequence. Still unsurpassed as a major studio personal statement, the film remains creepy after a full 86 years.