Drama, Horror, Thriller
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins
Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates, Henry Victor, Harry Earles, Daisy Earles, Rose Dione, Daisy Hilton, Violet Hilton, Schlitze, Josephine Joseph, Johnny Eck, Peter Robinson
A circus trapeze artist, Cleopatra, takes an interest in Hans, a midget who works in the circus sideshow. Her interest however is in the money Hans will be inheriting and she is actually carrying on an affair with another circus performer, Hercules. Hans's fiancée does her best to convince him that he is being used but to no avail. At their wedding party, a drunken Cleopatra tells the sideshow freaks just what she thinks of them. Together, the freaks decide to make her one of their own. ------- A traveling circus has a wide variety of acts, including a number of sideshow curiosities based on some unusual physical attributes. They include midgets, limbless people, pinheads, conjoined twins, a bearded lady, and a half man/half woman. There are many interpersonal interactions between the entire troupe, those interactions which are generally amiable, although there are some who treat the curiosities merely as freaks. However, there are few romantic relationships between the "normal" troupe members and the curiosities. One of those exceptions is the budding romantic relationship between Hans and Cleopatra, one of the midgets and a trapeze artist respectively. What Hans is unaware of is that Cleopatra only fosters that relationship because of the expensive gifts he lavishes on her, while in reality she carries on with who is probably the antithesis of Hans physically, Hercules, the muscle man. A fellow midget, Frieda, who was once engaged to Hans and who she still loves, believes Cleopatra's interest in Hans is solely to make fun. But Frieda inadvertently provides Cleopatra with some information which changes Cleopatra's resolve instead to marry Hans. Hans' fellow sideshow curiosities do whatever they need to protect their dignity and that of one of their own. ------- A carnival barker displays a sideshow freak called the Feathered Hen and tells her story. Cleopatra, a trapeze artist with the carnival, is adored by a midget named Hans. Frieda, Hans' fiancée (also a midget), warns Hans that Cleopatra is only interested in him so that he will give her money. Cleopatra has an affair with Hercules, and when Frieda lets it slip that Hans is to come into an inheritance, Cleopatra and Hercules plan to get the money be having Cleopatra marry Hans. During the wedding reception, Cleopatra, although openly romantic with Hercules, is accepted by the freaks, but is revolted and mocks them. The freaks decide that they no longer need Hercules in their carnival and have a new career for Cleopatra all lined up, and make sure she doesn't "chicken" out. ------- In a side-show circus, where the greatest attractions are deformed people, the gorgeous trapeze artist Cleopatra is the lover of the strong Hercules. She plays as if she liked the German midget Hans, who is in love with her, to borrow his money and get expensive gifts he gives to her. When the jealous German midget Frieda, who loves Hans, asks Cleopatra to spare Hans from a great deception, she accidentally discloses that he is an heir of a great fortune. Cleo decides to get married with Hans to poison him and get his inheritance. In the wedding feast, Cleopatra openly flirts with Hercules and mocks the side-show performers. When a very ill Hans is saved by a doctor that tells that he has been cruelly poisoned, the other freaks snoops in Hans trailer and they find what Cleopatra is doing with him. In a stormy night, all the freaks join forces and transform Cleopatra in the Feathered Hen. Although not shown in the DVD, which has the commercial alternative version, in the original story Hercules is castrated and becomes a soprano singer.
63 minutes (at 23.97 frames per second)
XviD - resolution: 544x400