6.7/10
1,643
73 user 35 critic

Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 February 1962 (Denmark)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Homicidal (1961)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The brutal stabbing murder of a justice-of-the-peace sparks an investigation of dark family secrets in a sleepy small town in Southern California.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich
13 Ghosts (1960)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A family inherits what proves to be a haunted house, but a special pair of goggles allows them to see their ghostly tormentors.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Tom Poston, Robert Morley, Janette Scott
The Tingler (1959)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »

Director: William Castle
Stars: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a twenty-year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Adventure | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

While attending a school for diplomats' daughters, the teen-aged daughter of the American ambassador uses her access to various embassies to engage in espionage.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Murray Hamilton, Joyce Taylor, Hugh Marlowe
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman is haunted by recurring nightmares, which seem to be instigated by her late husband who supposedly was killed in a fire.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, Judi Meredith
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A wheelchair-bound young woman returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.

Director: Seth Holt
Stars: Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Ronald Lewis
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Teenagers Libby and Kit innocently spend an evening doing random crank calls. These calls lead to murderous consequences.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Anton Diffring, Erika Remberg, Yvonne Monlaur
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee
Paranoiac (1963)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Loosely based on Josephine Tey's "Brat Farrar;" a man long believed dead returns to the family estate to claim his inheritance.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Only Picture With the Punishment Poll! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1962 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Der unheimliche Mr. Sardonicus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sir Robert first arrives at Castle Sardonicus, the castle is in view in the background. The lighted windows make the castle look like a skull. See more »

Goofs

Sir Robert "invents" the hypodermic needle, despite its having been invented decades earlier than the film's 1880 setting. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Krull: When my master says, "Krull, do this thing," I do the thing, whatever it may be.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: Mr. Sardonicus (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Silly Gothic Fun
24 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

William Castle usually marketed his movies with gimmicks, and for MR. SARDONICUS the gimmick was "the punishment poll." When the film played in theatrical release, audience members were issued a voting card, and near the movie's conclusion Castle himself appeared on the screen and asked the audience to vote: show the card thumbs up to show mercy, thumbs down for none. Now, in theory, there were two different endings, and the ending shown depended on the audience vote--but no one ever saw the "show mercy" ending and it seems unlikely that it ever existed at all. And you certainly won't find it here: Sardonicus is punished every time.

For once Castle should have left well enough alone. The Punishment Poll is the only seriously weak thing in the entire film, which has a considerably better script and over-all better cast than most Castle outings. The story, which shows influences from everything from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA to Dracula to THE MAN THAT LAUGHED, concerns a grotesquely disfigured man who uses his wife to lure a noted specialist to his castle in the wilds of "Gorslavia"--and who then proceeds to make every one's life as miserable as possible, and that's throwing roses at it. Young women are molested, hung from the ceiling, nibbled on by leeches, and threatened with surgery designed to make them look as hideous as Sardonicus himself.

The cast is quite good, with Oskar Homolka a standout as Krull, Sardonicus' equally depraved servant. The lovely Audrey Dalton is also memorable as Sardonicus' unwilling wife. But the real star of the film is the make-up, which was quite famous in its day and is still capable of giving you a jolt. And along the way we're treated to a number of campy Castle flourishes that add to the fun. But MR. SARDONICUS is surprisingly cohesive for a Castle movie, and it moves along at a smart pace and has an interestingly atmospheric look. Most Castle films appeal almost exclusively to fans of cult and B-movies, but just about every one will find this one entertaining. Lots of silly Gothic fun! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
EXCELLENCE... xamerican314x
replaced line in Wm. Castle's intro? albersbrian
My favorite 'reveal' ever! tom-2515
Why wasn't it called 'Baron Sardonicus'? mistermemory
-handedness? vl2
Impressed By Sardonicus' Perfect Diction! jack_north
Discuss Mr. Sardonicus (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?