Tod Browning’s 1932 film FREAKS is perhaps one of the most notorious and controversial films ever made. Released and then disowned by MGM Studios, it’s known for having been banned in parts of the United States as well as in the UK for many years, and for all-but-destroying the career of its director, Tod Browning. About a third of the film was reportedly censored following initial screenings, and the deleted footage now appears to be lost. Fans and critics still debate the film’s merits, too. Though it was chosen for inclusion in the National Film Registry in 1994 and is considered by many to be a classic, Freaks still makes people uncomfortable. Is it art or exploitation? I would argue that it’s a bit of both, but also that art wins out in the end.