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The Terror of Tiny Town

Started by Andrew, November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM

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OH, stop already.  I saw it when it first came out (yes, yes, I know.  I am old) and I loved it.  
  And it did slove one problem. Now I know why Dorthy wanted to come back home.
       Just a great classic film.  Excuse me, I have to go and try to get my tongue out of my cheek.

                     The Western Forever.                                                                  Even in a small format


Crazily enough, this is one of my favorite films. Even more crazy, I actually know quite a bit about the cast members. (Yeah, well, I have a lot of spare time.) Jed Buell did, in effect, own his midgets; dwarfs would often perform in singing dancing troupes, billed under the name of their manager. Jed Buell's Midgets wasn't a real troupe, though -- most of the midgets in this film were members of The Singer Midgets, managed by Leo Singer, who a year later was given the contract to procure Munchkins for MGM. (Though the Munchkins were made up of members of many different troupes as well as, well, free-lance midgets, they are credited collectively as The Singer Midgets, when credited at all.) The female midget who performs "You Better Look Out" was actually only thirteen years old in this film, so yes, it is wrong to be attracted to her. But the deep-voiced one in the barbershop was eightteen -- of course, the voice was fake. Most of the cast did go on to appear as Munchkins in 'The Wizard of Oz;' most notably, the devilish bar maid (The Vampire) & Nancy Preston (The Girl) make up two-thirds of the Lullaby League. The only cast members who didn't play Munchkins were the black midgets, because MGM didn't want them. To me that's much more offensive than anything in this film -- a midget's gotta work. As for 'Freaks,' nobody from 'Tiny Town' appeared in it; that is a common misconception. I actually bought this film looking for the midgets from 'Freaks' (Harry & Daisy Earles), but was pleasantly surprised to find such a strange yet engrossing little gem of exploitation cinema.

The DVD is widely available on Amazon Marketplace from a number of different sellers, at very reasonable prices. You can also watch it online for FREE at!!!!!!!


I think it was on USA 's "Up All Night" that I 1st was subjected to this wonder of cinema.  My brain's never been teh same since.    :teddyr:
"There is no way out of here. It'll be dark soon. There is no way out of here."


Ooopppsss!!! Too late! Geroge Lucas has already taken Brugomaster's idea and made it into a film. It's called "Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi."

But, back to the subject. Not that bad of a film. A typical western, except for the midgets. But, certainly, not unwatchable. Which is more than I can say for some films I've seen.


It's okay that you had seisures because, when I read that his trial would be shorter than the tree they'd use to hang him, I p**sed my pants.

This movie just snuck under the velvet ropes to the front of the to-watch line.
"Do you have something against droppings?" "Well, no, I..." "Sure, everyone says that till they step in it."

Racist Melon Farmer

Actually, not everything in the movie set was normal-human size- I see in the video clip they had a scaled-down stagecoach. They probably had to do that so the ponies could pull it I suppose. (I have to point out, respectfully, that vidclip wasn't the best one to demonstrate the weirdness of this flick.)

Can I suggest one more movie that should be remade with midgets? BLAZING SADDLES! That was the only thing missing from the original, IMO.
Foolish Earthlings! Your superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons!


I'm just waiting for some PC type to yell "Little people! We call them little people!", like on that ep of CSI Vagas.
"Aggressivlly eccentric, and proud of it!"


You know, actually, I read somewhere in an old interview with George Lucas (made about the time the movie Willow came out) where he said that he originally wanted to do Star Wars with all little people (as they were called back then) but he couldn't find anyone that fit the roles.

Dunno how true that is or not, but still, couldn't help but think of that when you mentioned the twist of using an all midget cast for Star Wars.
"Some people mature, some just get older." -Andrew Vachss


Bless every independent video store that still carries VHS just so they can still carry movies like this.

What does it say about your midgets if the only ones who act beyond the cue cards are the villian and the clown?

It was good for a guilty laugh, but if you really want to give someone little nightmares, it's all about "Even Dwarves Started Small". I'm still afraid to know the back story of that one.
"Do you have something against droppings?" "Well, no, I..." "Sure, everyone says that till they step in it."

David Merrill

I saw this movie for the first time in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. It was either late High School or early college. I can't remember. I can say this is not the movie you want to stumble upon if you're having trouble sleeping and want to lull yourself to sleep with the TV. When I saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time when I was around 4 or 5, it wasn't the flying monkeys that scared me like most people, it was the Munchkins. I had nightmares for months. Thank God i didn't see this back then. I've been telling people about it for years. most people don't believe anything like this could ever have been made. Makes you wonder what other midget movies much worse than this didn't survive. I can't decide whether it's kinda cool they got paid to make a second movie or if it would have been more humane just to send them packing. I remember when I watched i alternated between peels of laughter at the bad acting & writing and horror. I think I had nightmares after this one too.


Hehehe, it should be called "Hang 'em Not So High." 

What I want to see is a 1930s-Universal-style gothic horror film with an all midget cast. 

Greg Cameron

This is an absolutely jaw-dropping movie and, as such, worth watching. This movie follows all the genre cliches of the Western right down to the letter.  A guilty pleasure?  I never believed in that category.  Either you enjoy something or you don't.  Still, it is incredibly un-PC and it might induce some squirms in some of the more morally squeamish viewers.  Look at it this way.  It gave these people some work.  What the hell.  Yeah, I was bugged by that little blurb saying the producer of the film 'owned' the midgets in question.  Does anybody out there have any info about this?  Even in the 1940s and 1950s, it was still illegal to 'own' someone as if they were slaves.  I got a real kick out of the midget playing the bar floozy.  And the 'cook' was a hoot.  Pursuers of oddities should definitely check this out. As Charles Fort used to say, Can Such Things Be?  Yup....


I just found out this played last night on TCM. And I messed it. Bummer, but this idea should be applied to other types of movies. We should have an all midget scifi movie.


I bought this movie on Amazon as part of the Cult Classic 20 Movie DVD pack put out by Mill Creek.  It was very inexpensive and the whole collection is a great source of early bad movies.   It's a must have. Even though I have it on DVD I prefer to watch it on the "Big Screen" as I also have it on 16mm!
I have been surfing for about 9 or 10 years,  It's about time I joined.

I watch only the Excellent or Excrement, nothing in between.


Are you sure the penguin wasn't actually a midget nun?