“ Freaks “ (1932). Circus in which do not drive children? It is difficult to imaginethat during a gold era of Hollywood which not casually coincided with the period of the Great depression of the thirtieth years on screens so provocative, politically incorrect, cruel and incredibly truthful movie as " could appear; Freaks “ Tod Browning.
The local public which is already suppressed morally was not ready to apprehend a picture up to standard therefore the movie turned back dreadful financial fiasco, and Browning forever gave up serious drama statements.
… The vagrant circus plying between states has one the unique and frightening inhabitants feature: it on two thirds consists of freaks, freaks, cripples and the mentally retarded, amusing and throwing in shock unpretentious inhabitants of rural America. Who here is only not present: both the armless girl, and the woman with a beard, and the hermaphrodite, and also an assembly of Liliputians and towns.
However, physically normal actors are available too. Among them there is a trainer Venus, the athlete Hercules, the inventive clown Frozo and, of course, the beauty - the gymnast Cleopatra. The last it is hefty attracted to the dwarf Hans who is ready “ to kiss " sand; arenas where the leg of his beloved went. His friends, and in particular the newly-baked spouse of Fried, condemn so defiant behavior, however nobody is able to bring to reason Hans.
The trouble is that artful Cleopatra consciously seduces the short-sighted Liliputian, knowing about his financial solvency. And when Frida inadvertently mentions large inheritance, Cleo and her lover Hercules decide on the real villainy. After a wedding they intend to poison and take control Hans of his money. What the murderer - laymans did not consider, so it unity “ abnormal “ circus performers who will not stop until revenge for humiliations and pain
caused to their friend … Tod Browning at teenage age left a native home and wandered long time together with circus - a chapiteau. So his desire to picturize Tod Robbins`s story “ Spurs “ it was dictated not by unhealthy interest in subject, and personal experience in this sphere. Browning took the first steps in cinema in an actor`s field, but quickly understood that for realization of the ideas it needs to be on other side of a movie camera. The fast glory as the director knocked down him, having cast the newly appeared director into a chasm of passions. Nearly having lost reputation from - for a drinking habit, Browning nevertheless found forces to return to a system. From silent cinema it easily passed to a sound, and soon glorified the theatrical actor Bela Lugoshi in the " version; Dracula “.
The rights for the screen version of the story of Robbins were redeemed by MGM film studio long before the director dared to start shootings. Dared because reaction of producers and the public on the fact of attraction to shootings of real-life disabled people, cripples and other subjects with obvious physical and mental deviations was initially negative. The premiere of the film only confirmed fears: the audience was shocked, and one excessively impressionable woman even filed a lawsuit against authors of a tape, demanding compensation for the abortion which happened to it. The picture was immediately forbidden to display in a number of states, and also in some countries. British, in particular, withdrew a ban only thirty years later, having let out “ Freaks “ in hire with a rating of X, that is having equated Browning`s creation to software - a porn.
Certainly, Tod Browning did not set as the purpose to provoke scandal in the native fatherland. He was extremely angry by squall of a negative and negative reviews especially as many forces were spent for creation of the movie. Time showed that only thanking “ To Freaks “ the name of the director forever left a mark in the history of world cinema. Later a picture amnestied and even entered in the National register, and already in the seventieth when censorship weakened, the movie acquired the cult status in which continues to stay still.
It is not excluded that even the worldly-wise modern viewer will be dumbfounded by the number of freaks in separately taken movie. These are not special effects, and even not a make-up, and the real people who are brought together from all back streets of America from similar vagrant circuses. Moreover, most part of these “ actors “ bears own names in a picture and any more never appeared on the screen, having issued “ Freaks “ the debut and on it having finished career in cinema. The brother and Harry and Daisy Erls`s sister who played at Browning Hans and Frida became an exception. Despite the steady myth about short life of Liliputians, Erlsa lived to a ripe old age and left this frail world in 80 - x years of the last century.
Among nominal “ freaks “ there are indeed remarkable characters - like the armless actress Frances O`Connor, Siamese twins Daisy and Violette Hilton, the bearded woman Olga Roderick, the person - a skeleton (weight about 30 kg) Peter Robinson, not to mention well-known Shlittsi, Ku - ku and Prince Randiana, unfortunate, been born without uniform extremity. Randian, as well as is necessary to the person with similar destiny, had very specific sense of humour and liked to hide during shootings in dark corners, frightening passing by actors and supernumeraries heart-rending shout.
Only having watched the movie, you understand, how tremblingly and carefully the director treated the ticklish subject elected by him. Charges of unhealthy interest in human mutilations proceeded, generally from the valid moral freaks who had nothing to tell in essence. Browning tried to show the world so unlike a habitual state of affairs but at the same time existing, real and cruel. And, certainly, in its " project; normal “ people are those “ freaks “ from - for whom in life there are also all misfortunes. Not without reason many stars which are originally invited to participation in a tape refused to work with Browning as, in - the first, did not want to work side by side with farcical freaks, and in - the second, simply were afraid to represent on the screen of really finished bastards - Hercules and Cleopatra.
“ Freaks “ it is impossible to call a masterpiece in habitual understanding, it is more likely a certain exclusive, piece product which either you acquire, or you tear away all nature. Besides that, in fact, before us the plain melodrama (and even from a heppa - endy) from which at installation more than twenty minutes of the most shocking scenes were cut out, the picture makes indelible impression also today. Contrary to opinion of the contemporaries of Browning accusing the director of violation of morals, the tape in more than eighty years did not lose the relevance and still bears in itself a powerful charge of humanity in relation to those who as the fates decree fell a victim of physical inferiority. Which, in turn, is less terrible, than inferiority sincere.