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Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  12 February 1962 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,552 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 34 critic

A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Ronald Lewis ...
Sir Robert Cargrave
Baroness Maude Sardonicus
Baron Sardonicus / Marek Toleslawski
Oskar Homolka ...
Krull (as Oscar Homolka)
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Henryk Toleslawski
Erika Peters ...
Elenka Toleslawski
Lorna Hanson ...


A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds... Written by M.E. Nelson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


During the running of the film,the "Punishment Poll" lets YOU decide the fate of Mr. Sardonicus! See more »


Drama | Horror | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 February 1962 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Der unheimliche Mr. Sardonicus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


William Castle:  [gimmick]  During its initial theatrical release, attendees were given small white cards with luminous thumbs with which to vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down. See more »


In 1880, the Baroness talks of a "fascinating writer" Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle did not publish his first minor work until 1883, and was not well-known until the publication of the first Sherlock Holmes story - "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887. See more »


Baron Sardonicus: You must know first of all that I am the victim of a little domestic tragedy. My wife does not love me. She has always been a wife in name only. She is revolted, you see. Revolted by my face.
Maude Sardonicus: It's not only that.
Baron Sardonicus: Oh come, Madam! My crudeness? My cruelty? My arrogance? This is what you tell yourself in your womanish passion, is it not? But it is my face you bar your door against, not my character flaws.
See more »


References The Man Who Laughs (1928) See more »


Foggy, Foggy Dew
(English folk song)
Sung by Ronald Lewis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a "ghoulish delight"
12 October 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Of the great William Castle's classic gimmick films, this is generally regarded as one of the lesser ones. It should be seen for the amusing period piece that it is, and for the hilarious concept of the "Punishment Poll" with which it was originally exhibited. Upon its original release, viewers were allowed to vote "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" for the fate of the title character. In actuality, there is only one ending, but it's a pretty good one. The actors in this film are all good, with Oscar Homolka being the highlight as the sinister assistant. There is good atmosphere, with plenty of fog and shadows, and the story is intriguing, if not entertaining. The music by Von Dexter, who worked on several other Castle films, is also notable. Definitely a fun film for those who like the old-time horror films which sacrifice gore for suspense, and a must-see for fans of William Castle.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
EXCELLENCE... xamerican314x
replaced line in Wm. Castle's intro? albersbrian
My favorite 'reveal' ever! tom-2515
-handedness? vl2
Impressed By Sardonicus' Perfect Diction! jack_north
Connection? eagle-78
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