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The Case studies

USA 1932
Director: Tod Browning

Produced by MGM
Austrian Distributor: MGM

Overview of the censorship case FREAKS

Austria Czechoslovakia Germany

24.3.1933: 9645
1800 m, 4 reels



After the FREAKS‘s US première in 1932 the film was rarely shown due to problems with the censorship authorities. After the World War II the film was exploited in shows at fun fairs or drive-in cinemas under different titles such as FORBIDDEN LOVE or NATURE’S MISTAKE. As late as in the Sixties the film acquired international reputation, became an underground cult film and was honoured at the Venice Film Festival in 1962.

FREAKS (1932) was censored by the the Besonderes Stadtamt II/3 im selbständigen Wirkungsbereiche des Landes (Special City Department of Vienna II/3) according to registration card no. 9645 from the 24th March 1933. There was no kind of restriction noted, but according to PFL from the 31st March 1933 the film was not rated for young people.

There are no references to a censorship examination or a screening in Germany until 1969, when the film was shown in television as part of a film series called “Gruselkabinett” (horror cabinet). FREAKS’ première in a cinema was even later; it is recorded for Munich in 1972.

by Laura Bezerra, Karin Moser and Tomáš Lachman


Source Edition urrogate Production Introduction Censorship Regulations Battleship Potemkin Horror Films Conclusion Bibliography Dracula Frankenstein Freaks King Kong The Invisible Man Vampyr Introduction The Case Studies Freaks Worldwide Genre and Censorship