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Dwarfism: Major Films  
TitleFreaks (1932)
Alternative/Original TitleNature's Mistakes
DisabilityDisfigurement Dwarf
CountryUSA
Length64
GenreCircus
Rating5
DirectorTod Browning
CastOlga Baclanova Wallace Ford Leila Hyams Roscoe Ates Henry Victor Harry Earles Daisy Earles Rose Dione Daisy Hilton Violet Hilton Edward Brophy Matt McHugh Olga Roderick Johnny Eck Prince Randian Schlitzie Zip Pip Elvira Snow Jenny Lee Snow Koo the Bird Girl Josephine Joseph Angelo Rossitto Martha Morris Frances O'Connor, Elizabeth Green Albert Conti Michael Visaroff Murray Kinnell Ernie S. Adams
NotesB/W. One of first 'talkies'. This film would never be made today and you may find it difficult to get a copy (it's now on video and DVD). But make the effort because despite the display of circus 'freaks' you won't see many films with such respect for their actors. This respect may not be unequivocal but such a positive image results from this film you won't feel sorry for its participants. Besides the dwarf leads, there is a man/woman, a man cut off below his waist, the Siamese twins and the 'pinheads'. They are like characters in a Hieronymous Bosch painting. There is a simple story of a dwarf man loved by his dwarf girlfriend but hopelessly besotted with a normal sized woman. But it is the life of these circus folk that entrances us. Yes, we gawp but then we empathise. There are indeed bizarre touches like the heavy Teutonic accent and bearing of the dwarf man. The pinheads remain somewhat aloof finding it difficult to communicate. In the end it is the 'normal' people who are the side-show. Johnny Eck also starred in "Tarzan, the Ape Man" (1932)and Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) unaccredited. Though it's possible his scenes were cut. Joe Bates hosts a superb site on this film. http://www.joebates.com/joesfreakshow/freaks.htm And visit http://www.angelfire.com/tx/johnnyeck/ Johnny's World: The Life and Works of Johnny Eck http://www.missinglink.free-online.co.uk/freaksnattxt.htm

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