todd browning's films too often get compared to james whale's films and, consequently, come up short.
while i am the first to agree that browning's 'dracula' artistically pales to whale's 'frankenstein', i think the point is rather mute.
the quintessential browning film is here in 'freaks' and it does indeed contain the blazing, unique, twisted visison of todd browning.
yes, the film also has his flaws, the main one beingt he stilted dialogue.
browning was a 'silent director' and this film's major flaw
(like 'dracula' )is the fact that it isn't a silent.
in only scene does the dialogue work and that is in the chorus like 'we accept her' scene; a scene to send chills down yuor spine even today.
but, to harp on the flaws, detracts from what this so obviousely is; a flawed masterpeice from a true auteur.
it's history is well knwon.
thalberg ordered browning to come up with a film to outdo frankenstein and dracula.
much to thalberg's chagrin, browning delivered freaks and mgm promptly shelved it.
i recall reading much about the film as a child. when the day of vcrs came round blackhawk films announced they were carrying this for a hundred dollars and i promptly ordered it.
it was one of those films that after reading about it for so long i was a little bit dissapointed and at the same time, floored, which i expected to be.
if you accept the flaws of the film you will be as well.