Retro Poster: "Freaks" (1932)
Tod Browning's "Freaks" is a film centered around the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova), who schemes with her lover, Hercules (Henry Victor), to seduce and marry a circus sideshow midget, Hans (Harry Earles), in order to obtain his large inheritance. The film depicts the so-called "freaks" in a sympathetic and human manner, while showing the most cruel and monstrous sides of the "normal" characters. Adding to the endearing nature of the sideshow performers, was the fact that Browning, a former member of a traveling circus, used real carnival and circus sideshow performers in his film instead of actors. The film, arguably one of the most controversial films of the 1930's, disturbed preview audiences so much, that the studio had to cut out almost a third of the film, attributing to the film's short 64 minute run time.