DVD review from The Movie Snob
Freaks (B+). This 1932 film is apparently now considered a classic. Directed by Tod Browning (Dracula), it is a straightforward story of love and deception in a traveling circus troupe. It shocked contemporary audiences, and is still pretty shocking today, because much of the cast was made up of actual “circus freaks”: people suffering from various chronic handicaps and deformities, such as Johnny Eck, who was born without legs, and Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. Anyway, the circus’s ballerina seduces a midget named Hans, and when she finds out he is secretly wealthy, she concocts a plot to marry and murder him for his money. But the freaks look out for their own…. It is not a subtle film, but it is still an interesting and effective one.