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Free Show Tonight

Film by Paul Wagner, Steven Zeitlin
Produced by Paul Wagner, Steven J. Zeitlin, Barr Weissman
Cinematographer: John Hiller
Sound: Zack Krieger
Editing: Paul Wagner and Barr Weissman
Copyright: 1983, Paul Wagner and Steven J. Zeitlin
58 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1983
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Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Academy award winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and folklorist Steve Zeitlin produced this 1983 oral history of the old-time travelling medicine show performers, with a recreated medicine show staged in a small North Carolina town.

For viewers interested in other films about medicine shows, we recommend Born For Hard Luck, directed by Folkstreams founder Tom Davenport.

For the past ten years I have made my living traveling with a comedy group. This film shows the reason I do it. Town to town with amazing performers and audiences that sometimes take a while to win over. This documentary is so well done and shows the heart and soul of the subjects. By the time you get to the show they put on you love them and feel like you have seen history turned back to a simpler time. This film is brilliant and the talent of the performers is undeniable. Oh to turn back time. I think I need me some Pawnee concoction to revive my spirits!
--- Shelby Bond, January 2006 email

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