Rent Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers (aka Freaks/The Unknown/The Mystic: Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental

Rent Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers (1932)

3.5 of 5 from 52 ratings
3h 17min
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The world is a carnival of criminality, corruption, and psychosexual strangeness in the twisted pre-Code shockers of Tod Browning. Early Hollywood's edgiest auteur, Browning drew on his experiences as a circus performer to create subversive pulp entertainments set amid the world of traveling sideshows, which, with their air of the exotic and the disreputable, provided a pungent backdrop for his sordid tales of outcasts, cons, villains, and vagabonds.
Bringing together two of his defining works (The Unknown and Freaks) and a long-unavailable rarity (The Mystic), this cabinet of curiosities reveals a master of the morbid whose ability to unsettle is matched only by his daring compassion for society's most downtrodden.
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Tod Browning, Dwain Esper, Harry Rapf, Hildegarde Stadie, Irving Thalberg
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins, Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Al Boasberg, Charles MacArthur, Edgar Allan Woolf, Tod Browning, Waldemar Young, Joseph Farnham, Mary Roberts Rinehart
Freaks/The Unknown/The Mystic: Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers
Classics, Drama, Horror, Romance, Thrillers
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
197 minutes
Release Date:
Run Time:
203 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Silent
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Audio commentaries on 'Freaks' and 'The Unknown' and an introduction to 'The Mystic' by film scholar David J. Skal
  • New interview with author Megan Abbott about director Tod Browning and pre-Code horror
  • Archival documentary on 'Freaks'
  • Episode from 2019 of critic Kristen Lopez's podcast 'Ticklish Business' about disability rep resentation in 'Freaks'
  • Reading by Skal of "Spurs", the short story by Tod Robbins on which 'Freaks' is based
  • Prologue to 'Freaks', which was added to the film in 1947
  • Program on the alternate endings to 'Freaks'
  • Video gallery of portraits from 'Freaks'
Disc 1:
This disc includes the following film:
- Freaks (1932)
- Special Features
Disc 2:
This disc includes the following films:
- The Unknown (1927)
- The Mystic (1925)

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Reviews (1) of Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers

Fascinating cinema history - Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers review by KW

Spoiler Alert

This 3 film collection gives you famous 'Freaks' from 1930, a tale of the hard and dangerous lives of 'freakshow' performers which could be read as a film championing the equality of disabled people but the memorably shocking ending does undermine that to an extent. Also in the collection is a very entertaining silent film 'The Unknown', in which a circus performer who is considered harmless because he is armless, turns out to be anything but harmless or armless. Thrilling melodrama ensues in a way that could only possibly make sense in a silent movie. Finally, the least of the three films is 'The Mystic,' which is still an interesting story about a seancing scam gone wrong. In this edition, it has an imaginative and moody soundtrack added that mixes music and effects well.

All the films in the box set look magnificent so if you are a fan of this era, this is well worth seeing.

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