MGM pulled this masterpiece from the screens soon after its release,happier to lose $164.000 on the movie it had commissioned to be "more horrifying than Dracula" than face the wrath of various guardians of public morality.MGM boss Louis B Mayer had already insisted that the studio's famous logo would not be on the film which,coupled with the film's rapid withdrawal,has set conspiracy theorists wondering:could it be that Mayer recognized that the circus master's relation to its "freak" performers was an allegory of the studio's relationship to its star performers?Or that the cigar-smoking dwarf Hans,who deluded himself into thinking beautiful women would love him for himself(and not his welth),may or may not have been a representation of the diminutive,cigar-smoking and powerful Mayer?The advertising campaing for this film wasn't exactly sensitive either (one choice slogan was:"Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?").In many respects,the most remarkable thing about this film is that it ever got made.The cast's presence in the MGM canteen during the filming was a matter of studio-wide controversy and Browning was plagued during filming by a recurring dream that two of the cast kept interrupting scenes by dragging a cow through a door backwards.On top of all these "offences",the film's dialogue was pretty racy for its day.
Director:Tod Browning Cast:Wallace Ford,Olga Baclanova,Leila Hyams,Roscoe Ates,Harry Earles,Johny Eck,Prince Randian,Zip and Pip.


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