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Olga Baclanova as “The Human Duck” in Tod Browning’s “Freaks” (1932)
A sequence planned for the “West of Zanzibar” (1928) had a sideshow tent advertising “The Human Duck,” and Chaney made himself up as the half-man/half-duck. Stills of the sideshow tent and Chaney’s makeup exist, but it is unclear whether the scene was actually shot, or merely planned and publicity stills taken. The original cutting continuity of the film does not contain the scene, so if it was shot, it was clearly removed before the original release. Browning decided to use the idea instead for his finale of the 1932 FREAKS, with Olga Baclanova as a deformed duck-woman, mutilated by the freaks.

Olga Baclanova as “The Human Duck” in Tod Browning’s “Freaks” (1932)

A sequence planned for the “West of Zanzibar” (1928) had a sideshow tent advertising “The Human Duck,” and Chaney made himself up as the half-man/half-duck. Stills of the sideshow tent and Chaney’s makeup exist, but it is unclear whether the scene was actually shot, or merely planned and publicity stills taken. The original cutting continuity of the film does not contain the scene, so if it was shot, it was clearly removed before the original release. Browning decided to use the idea instead for his finale of the 1932 FREAKS, with Olga Baclanova as a deformed duck-woman, mutilated by the freaks.

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