Monday, February 18, 2013

Cast Portraits for Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)

Top to Bottom: Frances O'Connor (2), Daisy & Violet Hilton, Elvira & Jenny Lee Snow, Guests at the Banquet, Harry & Daisy Earles, Henry Victor (2), Henry Victor & Ogla Baclanova, Johnny Eck, Leila Hyams, Josephine Joseph, Martha Morris, Olga Baclanova, Prince Randian, Peter Robinson, Schlitze & Wallace Ford, Wallace Ford & Leila Hyams.


  1. I think this cast are and were beautiful people! To think that today that these people are actual freaks is egnorent. They were just born with challenges. That is why I believe the Movie still has great meaning to the human condition and how we act. We still are afraid of people who are different from us and still are challenged to see them as one of us! As the story goes in the end our greatest fears are what makes us Freaks!!!

    1. Well said, Karen! There's a wonderful book titled VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE that profiles 19th century sideshow performers. While we consider those exhibits exploitative (and, of course, they were), they provided a living, self-respect and community for people who otherwise would likely have been locked up in their families' attics, at best. They were truly remarkable individuals, many with astonishing skills. This book sensitively tells their fascinating stories.

  2. Saying that these people were born with "challenges" can seem a bit blithe. Life afflicted them with some pretty rotten "challenges".