Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended and our offices are closed, except for scheduled appointments. See details including all options for bidding remotely.

    Description

    Freaks (MGM, 1932). Insert (14" X 36").
    It is hard to believe that this film was produced by THE prestige studio in Hollywood and shot on their lot, using their personnel, and their illustrious name. In 1931, MGM's head of production, Irving Thalberg, decided to take on the overwhelming success of competing studio Universal, and their success with such horror films as Dracula and Frankenstein, and create his own niche in that genre. Drawing on a Tod Robbins novel called Spurs, screenwriter Willis Goldbeck created a world even more self-contained than that of Grand Hotel, the warped world of Freaks, the garish world of the circus sideshow, replete with bearded lady, vain acrobats, simpering pinheads, even a hermaphrodite. Thalberg's reaction to the script was: "Well, I asked for something horrifying." The film was shot in 36 days on the Culver City lot, using the same director from Dracula, Tod Browning, with real freaks brought in to populate this bizarre world. When the freaks were given the run of the lot and the MGM commissary, even the most hardened showbiz veterans were shocked! Upon its release in 1932, the film received so much bad press and created such ill will that MGM was forced to withdraw the release from circulation and suffered a loss of approximately $164,000 in Depression-era money. This pre-Code film was a misfire in judgment for the studio, who had the film pulled from distribution for the next 17 years, when it was then picked up by an independent New York distributor for a four-wall campaign in 1949. The posters from the original and short-lived release of this film have always been known to be almost impossible to find. For the horror collector, it is perhaps the rarest and thus, one of the most desirable titles, from which to find posters. Offered in this lot is the only known insert poster to ever surface for this film. The insert was never folded and prior to the conservation work had some chipping from the left border and upper right corner only. The interior image was absolutely intact. The poster had suffered minor fading due to the acid content acquired through improper storage. All of these issues were beautifully corrected and the poster now displays magnificently. This is the only large poster we have ever offered from this title and is likely to be the last we may see in some very long time! Rolled, Fine+.




    Please see full-color, enlargeable images above for more details.

    View movie details on IMDB
    View movie details on AllMovie


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    20th-22nd Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 16,427

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 8 days left to consign to the 2020 July 25 - 26 Movie Posters Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Grey is a true asset to Heritage Auctions and Heritage Auctions are a true asset to the Movie Poster Hobby.
    Jim G.,
    Ray, MI
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Auction #162021 spotlights


    Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox, 1968). Rolled, Fine/Very Fine. Insert
    BID NOW


    E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Universal, 1982). Rolled, Very Fine+. One Sheet
    BID NOW


    To Catch a Thief (Paramount, 1955). Fine- on Linen. Japanese B2
    BID NOW


    8½ (Cineriz, 1963). Folded, Fine. Italian Locandina
    BID NOW


    Golden Boy (Columbia, 1939). Folded, Fine/Very Fine. Three Sheet
    BID NOW


    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (United Artists, 1970). Folded, Very Fine/Near Mint. International Six Sheet
    BID NOW


    Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Universal International, 1953). Rolled, Fine. Half Sheet
    BID NOW


    The Spider Woman Strikes Back (Universal, 1946). Rolled, Fine+. Half Sheet
    BID NOW

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search