This is my pick for the Under-Rated Treasures Blogfest! hosted by the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh.
This 1932 film is rarely seen and was banned for many decades due to the nature of this film and the horrific ending which most ended up on the cutting room floor.
It was directed by Todd Browning who shot to fame for Dracula with Bela Lugosi. He was also a favourite director of the great Lon Chaney, The Man of a Thousand Faces. Many people today shun the terms freaks for obvious reasons and shun this film which is a shame. It is a horror film but the horror is not due to the "freaks" but due to the so-called "beautiful people". The beautiful High wire gal played by Olga Baklanova decides to marry the midget played by Harry Earles when she finds out he is very wealthy. She concocts a plan with the brutish strong man (her lover) to slowly poison her new husband but she did not plan that the other "freaks" realize what is being done and the ending becomes quite horrific.
The strong man, let's just say can sing falsetto but this scene, how he became, um,..that way was cut (sorry for the pun) from the film and is considered lost.
The scene shown above has actually been used in different ways in other films so some of you may think this saying, they repeat, is familiar. Todd Browning was very fond of all the people on the set and the "freaks" truly cared for him. Todd Browning wanted to make sure they never felt slighted or used in a bad way and when one watches this film one realizes the care he placed towards the people who suffered from some rare afflictions. Prince Randian (not seen here) was born without arms or legs but you see him take out a match, light it and light his cigarette. Just in case you google him, he had 5 children:) Harry Earles was in a couple of other films by Todd Browning and the other pretty girl who plays his true love interest is actually his sister in real life, Daisy Earles.
You have quite a few people we never truly knew who existed but they did and had these abnormalities and rose above them. Johnny Eck is amazing since he really has no pelvis or anything else. He would do a skit with a midget (OK I am not politically correct here so..so...sue me:)) where Johnny would be on top of the midget and they would wear a long coat and go on stage looking like one man, He would then jump off and the people would shriek in horror (I think that is kind of funny). In this film one wonders what strength he must have had in his arms. Daisy and Violet Hilton were Siamese Twins who, today, would have easily been separated at birth but in those times, it was impossible and where do such people find a kinship? The so-called freak show - better to be paid for being gawked at and have a home than being gawked at, ridiculed and hidden away which happened to so many. Oops I went off topic, anyway, I love the scene where one man proposes marriage to the one, much to the displeasure of her sister, and when she is kissed by her suitor, the other twin smiles and feels the pleasure-pretty dandy for those times.
I don't have this film in my collection but I love it and appreciate it as a testament to their strength, and being a family and sticking up for one another even if that means something very, very bad must happen to the pretty folk.
I did pick the 3 others but it would be too long of a post. For TV Show I picked "This Is The Law"-a game show with a panel of known people(well kind of known) and a host who shows funny skits about actual laws being broken. These laws are quite obscure and the panel has to figure it out. I think only my brother and I watched this TV Show from the 70's. I really loved the groovy shag carpeting on the walls.
I picked for music, Klaatu. a Canadian band that had a couple of hits back in the 70's. They became more famous for people thinking it was the Beatles behind this band(they weren't). I love their version of Calling Occupants of Intersteller Planetary Craft" better than the Carpenters.
My book is "Hollywood" by Kevin Brownlow about the beginning of film until the silent films ended. It is based on the TV Documentary of the same name that I have in VHS but it has not come out in DVD (major issues with all the estates). To get a real grasp of early Hollywood and the people who lived it, this is an excellent book and you can find snippets of the documentary on Youtube. Viola Dana, an early actress was wonderful and heartbreaking as she lost the man she loved, Ormer Locklear in a stunt he performed. She watched him crash his plane. The camera crew were to take the lights off him so he could get out of the free fall of his airplane(shooting at night) but they didn't take the lights off and he crashed. She was still heart broken all those years later.
OK so this is my pick(s). I will enjoy everyone else's. Now back to organizing my craft room and making some cards!!