Circus of Horrors (1960)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Drama  |  April 1960 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,078 users  
Reviews: 39 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 »



(original screenplay)
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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
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Did You Know?


The circus used in this movie was that of Billy Smart's Circus, one of the three big tenting circuses in the United Kingdom at the time of filming. The external scenes were filmed on Clapham Common. 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 »


Evelyn Morley Finsbury: Evelyn.Morley,is looking at her horribly disfigured face in the bed room mirror that has been caused by Rossiter's bungled plastic surgery she screams and laughs hysterically,"Rossiter!aagh,Rossiter,ha-ha-ha,R-o-s-s-i-t-e-r"
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Maniacs (1996) See more »


Light Cavalry March
Music by Franz von Suppé
Arranged by Muir Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

Three rings of nasty fun
23 May 2002 | by (Los Angeles CA) – See all my reviews

I believe it was Frank "Basketcase" Henlotter who once named this as

his all time favorite film, solely based on the absurdity of the wildly

purple plot.

He's got a point, what with a wanted man hiding by becoming

ringmaster of "the jinx" circus, where the star attractions have a way

of getting knocked off. If you saw this, like me, years ago on a little black and white

T.V.(on UHF) the great, loaded, letterboxed DVD of this colorful film

will come as a real revelation. This is great, well acted, B movie fun a lot of people are yet to

discover. The thin, still with hair Donald Plesence had already been in

films for many years when he did his memorable small part in this. Check

it out!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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