Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tod Browning|
|Produced by||Tod Browning|
|Written by||Tod Robbins|
|Starring||Wallace Ford |
|Cinematography||Merritt B. Gerstad|
|Editing by||Basil Wrangell|
|Release date(s)||February 20, 1932|
|Running time||Original cut |
Freaks is a 1932 American horror film about sideshow performers, directed and produced by Tod Browning and released by MGM, with a cast mostly composed of actual carnival performers. The film was based on Tod Robbins'1923 short story "Spurs". Director Browning took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow "freaks," rather than using costumes and makeup.
Browning had been a member of a travelling circus in his early years, and much of the film was drawn from his personal experiences. In the film, the physically deformed "freaks" are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the "normal" members of the circus who conspire to murder one of the performers to obtain his large inheritance.