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Auction History Result

#001 FREAKS TC '32 Tod Browning

Date Sold 10/30/2001
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

Original Vintage Theatrical Title Lobby Card (Measures 11" x 14") (Learn More)

Freaks, the classic 1932 Tod Browning circus romantic love triangle horror fantasy thriller ("Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?"; with actual circus sideshow human oddities!) starring Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova (as Cleopatra, who turns into the Chicken Woman at the end of the movie!), Roscoe Ates, Henry Victor (as Hercules), Harry Earles (as Hans), Daisy Earles (as Frieda), Rose Dione, Daisy Hilton & Violet Hilton (the Siamese Twins), Schlitze (as himself), Josephine Joseph (as the Half Woman/Half Man), Johnny Eck (as the Half Boy), Frances O'Connor (as an Armless Girl), Peter Robinson (as the Human Skeleton), Olga Roderick (as the Bearded Lady), Koo Koo (the "Bird Girl", as herself), Prince Randian (billed as "Rardion"; as The Living Torso), Martha Morris (as an Armless Girl), Elvira Snow (as a Pinhead), Jenny Lee Snow (as a Pinhead), Elizabeth Green (as a Bird Girl), Angelo Rossitto (one of the most successful "little people" actors from the 1920s on), Edward Brophy, Matt McHugh, and John Aasen (as the Giant). Note that in an extremely odd movie, it was even odder that brother and sister Harry and Daisy Earles played boyfriend and girlfriend!
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
Important Added Info:      FREAKS is most famous because director Tod Browning (legendary horror director of several Lon Chaney Sr. classics, and also Dracula) cast actual side show "freaks" in the film. This made the film too horrific for 1932 audiences and the movie did poorly at the box office (stranger still was that it was made by MGM, not Universal). The film was buried until the 1940s when legendary showman Dwain Esper exhibited the film to much success, and it has been a cult classic ever since!
     This Freaks lobby card (and the other six we are selling) has a most unusual origin (provenance).
One of the "freaks" in the film was Johnny Eck, billed as "Johnny the Half Boy". He made this single film (and had uncredited parts in a couple of others) but otherwise spent his entire life with his twin brother in his family home in Baltimore. Mr. Eck died in 1991 at the age of 79, and his home was purchased by a man who intends to convert it into a "Freaks" museum. Mr. Eck saved everything related to his experience with the making of Freaks including his contracts, as well as hundreds of letters and photos. He also saved seven of the original Freaks lobby cards, which are the cards being sold here. The proceeds from the sale of Mr. Eck's Freaks cards will go towards the conversion of the house into the museum.
     There are only a dozen or so original 1932 MGM Freaks lobby cards that are believed known to exist, and only a couple of posters.
It is thought that the initial failure of the film (and perhaps MGM's desire to destroy the paper with their name on it) accounts for this extreme rarity. There are many collectors who have spent 20 years trying to find a single original MGM Freaks lobby card with no success! On October 30th, up to seven collectors will be able to purchase one or more Freaks lobby cards, and they will know that the card they own came directly from the collection of Johnny Eck!

Condition: very good. The card has darkened to a tan color. It is even over the card except for one tiny area that is darker (it is one 1/4" by 1" and it is in the left side of the top blank border). There is a tack hole in each of the four blank corners. Oth
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