Freaks is a 1932 American pre-Code horror film produced and directed by Tod Browning. The film is based on elements from the short story "Spurs" by Tod Robbins. The eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities.The original version of the film, running 90 minutes, was considered too shocking to be released, so several scenes were cut, resulting in an abridged runtime of 64 minutes. The original version no longer exists.
When trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova) learns that circus midget Hans (Harry Earles) has an inheritance, she marries the lovesick, diminutive performer, all the while planning to steal his fortune and run off with her lover, strong man Hercules (Henry Victor). When Hans' friends and fellow performers discover what is going on, they band together and carry out a brutal revenge that leaves Hercules and Cleopatra knowing what it truly means to be a "freak."