Original Freaks scripts to sell at Heritage

A pair of original scripts for Tod Browning’s legendary horror Freaks (1932) is to star in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Signature Auction.

The lot is valued at $6,000-12,000.

Freaks original script

Freaks was way ahead of its time 

Freaks was greenlighted by MGM studio head Irving Thalberg in 1931.

Thalberg was hoping for a hit on the scale of Dracula (1931), released by rival Universal.

Whatever he was expecting, you can bet it wasn’t a bizarre movie headed up by a circus sideshow cast that (originally) culminated in castration, mutilation and murder.  

He’s said to have quipped post-screening: "Well, I asked for something horrifying."

The movie was released in 1932, but was so savaged in the press that MGM withdrew it from cinemas.  

It spent the next two decades on the shelf until it was picked up by creepy exploitation filmmaker Dwain Esper (director of Sex Madness, and How to Undress in Front of Your Husband) who showed the movie alongside his tawdry offerings.

Over time Freaks became a cult classic. It’s even come to be seen as progressive in its depiction of those with disabilities and genetic conditions.

Director Tod Browning’s archive, including rare photographs from the set of Freaks, sold for $93,750 in December last year.

The sale will take place in Dallas on July 29-30.

It will also feature a one-off Italian poster for Casablanca.

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