Tod Browning – The Devil-Doll (1936)

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Plot: Banker Paul Lavond makes an escape from Devil’s Island where he was sentenced for seventeen years after being framed by his three partners. His fellow escapee Marcel takes him to meet his wife Malita and, as Lavond watches, Marcel demonstrates a process whereby he can shrink animals and people to the size of dolls and animate them by will-power. But then Marcel has a heart-attack and dies. Malita persuades Lavond to continue his work and Lavond sees the opportunity to have revenge on those that framed him. Disguising himself as an old woman, Madame Mandelip, he and Malita set up a doll shop in Paris where Lavond then sends the shrunken people out to kill his enemies. Continue reading

Tod Browning – Freaks (1932) (HD)

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Review:
Originally released in 1932 to cash in on the horror boom of the 30s, “Freaks” has always been something of a hot potato.

Director Tod Browning, who’d scored a huge hit with the original “Dracula” in 1930, promised MGM the ultimate scary movie.

But the resulting picture surprised everyone: “I asked for something horrifying,” said the studio’s shocked head of production, “and I got it.”

After trouble with the censors and a brief cinema run during which audiences reacted with unparalleled disgust, the picture was dropped and vanished into obscurity until it was revived in the 60s.

It’s easy to see why reactions to the film have been so strong – it’s a catalogue of the abnormal, the bizarre, and the grotesque that’s still as unsettling today as it was 70 years ago. Continue reading

Tod Browning – Iron Man (1931)

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In this boxing drama, a prizefighter is left by his money-grubbing showgirl wife who aspires to be a movie star. The fighter’s manager is tickled by the turn of events and immediately snaps the boxer out of his love-struck funk and sets him a challenging training program. Sure enough the fighter makes a strong comeback. As soon as the fame and fortune starts rolling in, the avaricious wife shows up at his door. She fires his manager and hires her secret lover in his place. Soon the fighter begins losing again. Just before the championship bout the old manager proves that his wife is being unfaithful. That is only the beginning of the end for the champ. ~allmovie.com Continue reading

Tod Browning – Freaks (1932)

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FromBBC Films website review

Originally released in 1932 to cash in on the horror boom of the 30s, “Freaks” has always been something of a hot potato.

Director Tod Browning, who’d scored a huge hit with the original “Dracula” in 1930, promised MGM the ultimate scary movie.

But the resulting picture surprised everyone: “I asked for something horrifying,” said the studio’s shocked head of production, “and I got it.”

After trouble with the censors and a brief cinema run during which audiences reacted with unparalleled disgust, the picture was dropped and vanished into obscurity until it was revived in the 60s.

It’s easy to see why reactions to the film have been so strong – it’s a catalogue of the abnormal, the bizarre, and the grotesque that’s still as unsettling today as it was 70 years ago. Continue reading