One Of Us

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Tod Browning’s Freaks is the masterpiece that kiboshed his career, which had been on a hot streak with a series of Lon Chaney films and of course the original Dracula. A carny himself, Browning had an affection for sideshow performers and wanted to portray them as just as human, as beautiful and flawed as anybody else, in a film. And he did. Freaks is full of wonderful characters: Schlitze the Pinhead, Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Johnny Eck the half man, dwarf Angelo Rossitto (who had a lifelong career in film) Prince Randian and so many more, all of them full of humor and warmth. Freaks came straight from the heart. Unfortunately, MGM and most of the world just weren’t ready for such a unique, striking, powerful film. It was banned, shelved, shunned, just like the sideshow folk themselves…but was eventually rescued by the roadshow exploitation circuit and later gained its proper place in cinema as a beloved midnight cult movie…

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