Chained for Life was released by Classic Pictures, known for distributing such foreign imports as Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (1930) and Ealing’s Passport to Pimlico (1949). Though the Hilton Sisters had sunk their own money into the production of Chained for Life with the assurance that it would reap substantial returns, the film was an unmitigated disaster – even when repackaged, out of desperation, as a musical! When Frisco signed the sisters for an exhausting junket of personal appearances to help offset the cost of production, the Hiltons elected to sever their professional relationship with their long-time manager. In later life, they put their savings into a Miami, Florida, eatery, whose failure (along with their advanced age and a downturn in the public’s fascination with freaks) sent them into abject poverty. The pair was working, as their biological mother had done, for a green grocer when they succumbed to influenza just after Christmas 1968. Their bodies lay undiscovered for several days, at which time it was determined that Daisy had died first, followed by Violet between two and four days later.
From Freaks (1932):