6.2/10
1,147
42 user 30 critic

Circus of Horrors (1960)

Approved | | Horror, Drama | April 1960 (UK)
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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(original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Schuler
...
Elissa Caro
...
Nicole Vanet
...
Vanet
...
Angela
Kenneth Griffith ...
Martin
Conrad Phillips ...
Insp. Arthur Ames
...
Supt. Andrews
Vanda Hudson ...
Magda von Meck
...
Melina
Colette Wilde ...
Evelyn Morley Finsbury
William Mervyn ...
Doctor Morley
John Merivale ...
Edward Finsbury
Peter Swanwick ...
German Police Inspector Knopf
Carla Challoner ...
Nicole Vanet - Child
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom of the Circus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First full length feature film directed by Sidney Hayers. See more »

Goofs

When Shuler is attacked by the gorilla, it clearly shows the gorilla's claw mauling the left side of Shuler's face. Later, only the right side of Shuler's face show any signs of the attack.

This is not true. The only time (1:21:51) where we see the Right face scarred is when he is looking at itself in a double mirror. All the other shots of Schuler have the scars on the left cheek. All of the previous goof detail is false. What could be added. This is false, false. That's all. How long should the explanation be. We always see the scars on the correct place, except in this mirror. Should I write a novel to fill the longer explanation ? See more »

Quotes

Insp. Arthur Ames: I must congratulate you on your circus of beauty. I've never seen such physical perfection in men and women.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Movie Macabre: Circus of Horrors (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Liberty Bell
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Arranged by Muir Mathieson
Played during the opening credits and at the beginning of the Berlin sequence
Also played at the end of the knife-throwing act
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.


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