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Circus of Horrors (1960)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Drama  |  April 1960 (UK)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,025 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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(original screenplay)
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Title: Circus of Horrors (1960)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anton Diffring ...
Dr. Schuler
Erika Remberg ...
Elissa Caro
Yvonne Monlaur ...
Nicole Vanet
...
Vanet
Jane Hylton ...
Angela
Kenneth Griffith ...
Martin
Conrad Phillips ...
Insp. Arthur Ames
...
Supt. Andrews
Vanda Hudson ...
Magda von Meck
Yvonne Romain ...
Melina
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)
Edit

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:

For ever stranger thrills...he turned the greatest show on earth into a... 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The footage of the trapeze act featured in the film (complete with inter-cuts of audience reaction) is identical to that in 'John Moxey''s 'Circus of Fear (1966)' See more »

Goofs

When Magda meets her fate, close shots from behind show the wheel still spinning, with her on it, intercut with a distant shot showing people crowding around the wheel which is static. See more »

Quotes

Elissa Caro: Your face...
Elissa Caro: I know it's as ugly as sin but the body's ok so I make out.
Elissa Caro: You can be beautiful if you would trust me.
Elissa Caro: Trust you, a perfect stranger.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror (1996) 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

Popcorn, Peanuts but no Elephants!

This is a strange little horror gem from the early sixties about a mad plastic surgeon who must flee England because of some not very sound surgery practices. Once out of England, he(played by Anton Diffring with aplomb) and his two cohorts murder their way into owning a run-down circus whilst in France. From there on ten years pass as the doctor fixes the disfigured faces of thieves and prostitutes in return for their services in the circus. Well...I am not making this up but the doctor and his renegade circus performers then travel all over Europe and become a huge success. Problems start to happen though as the beautiful female star attractions want out of the circus...and the bed of Diffring...only to find their solace in bizarre deaths...circus-related of course. One female is killed in a knife-throwing accident while another falls while trapezing. This is a credulous scenario to be sure, but the film is quite fun. The acting is good: Diffring is marvelous as the mad physician plagued with his obsession for perfection in beauty, Donald Pleasance is quite good in a small role, and the female leads are quite stunning...visually of course. The music is rather hokey...very sixties, but atmosphere is otherwise rather well-staged. All in all I think I would prefer this over spending my time in a real circus...what a "real" horror. Enjoy.


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