Article #49 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-4-2001
Posting date: 9-17-2001
A trapeze artist marries a midget for his money, and then slowly poisons him.
For me, this was a good example of what Tod Browning was capable of doing as a director. The plot seems secondary to the themes; the real aim of the movie is to give us a sense of the humanity and the sense of community of the freaks. We get to see them living their normal lives, their relationships with each other, and their sense of cameraderie. Only the last ten minutes feels like a horror movie; the rest almost feels like a documentary, and a real intimacy is achieved with the subjects of the movie. I sense this was one of Browning’s most personal works, and I always find it fascinating.