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Circus of Horrors (1960)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Drama  |  April 1960 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,057 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 30 critic

In 1947 England, a plastic surgeon must beat a hasty retreat to France when one of his patients has ghastly problems with her surgery. Once there, he operates on a circus owner's daughter, ... See full summary »



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Title: Circus of Horrors (1960)

Circus of Horrors (1960) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Anton Diffring ...
Dr. Schuler
Erika Remberg ...
Elissa Caro
Yvonne Monlaur ...
Nicole Vanet
Jane Hylton ...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Conrad Phillips ...
Insp. Arthur Ames
Supt. Andrews
Vanda Hudson ...
Magda von Meck
Yvonne Romain ...
Colette Wilde ...
Evelyn Morley Finsbury
William Mervyn ...
Doctor Morley
John Merivale ...
Edward Finsbury
Peter Swanwick ...
German Police Inspector Knopf
Carla Challoner ...
Nicole (as a Child)


In 1947 England, a plastic surgeon must beat a hasty retreat to France when one of his patients has ghastly problems with her surgery. Once there, he operates on a circus owner's daughter, deformed by bombs from the war. Later he becomes the owner of the circus, and continues transforming disfigured women into the beautiful stars of his show. The police and a nosy reporter (as well as Scotland Yard) become interested when the women who want out of the circus begin dying in freak accidents, and they begin suspecting the good doctor is responsible. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Spectacular Towering Terror! One man's lust...made men into beasts, stripped women of their souls! See more »


Horror | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom of the Circus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The clowns are dressed as Keystone Cops in one of the scenes. See more »


Although, at the climax, the circus is known as 'Shuler's Circus' and is clearly labeled as such on exterior shots, the ring is clearly marked round its edge with the repeated initials 'B S'. The 'B S' presumably stands for Billy Smart of Billy Smart's Circus who provided the big top location. See more »


Dr. Rossiter, alias Dr. Bernard Schueler: Quick, get her to a doctor. And send the clowns in.
See more »


Referenced in Kika (1993) See more »


Pique Dame
Music by Franz von Suppé
Arranged by Muir Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

Lurid and risqué for its time, and still quite unsettling.
19 March 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I recall seeing this film as a child in 1960. My mother was quite angry at dad for taking us to a movie that was "definitely not for children". This is a grim story of a doctor fleeing some botched plastic surgeries. He takes over a backwoods circus and populates it with beautiful, yet disfigured female performers whom he restores to beauty and rescues from lives of prostitution and rejection. Of course, once the circus becomes successful, the ladies no longer feel like putting up with, or putting out for him, so he devises elaborate circus "accidents" to deal with their ingratitude.

The song "Look For A Star" permeates the movie at various times. At first, it's almost unnoticeable, a seemingly lame early sixties pop tune. However, as the movie progresses it takes on a sinister, disturbing aspect and circulates the brain long after it is over.

The film is well acted and truly suspenseful. A must for those who like their sex and violence done in a literate, intelligent manner.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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