IMDb > Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Mr. Sardonicus
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Mr. Sardonicus (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Ray Russell (screenplay)
Ray Russell (novel)
View company contact information for Mr. Sardonicus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1962 (Denmark) See more »
A man of evil... with a face that could stop a heart! See more »
A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Something else money can't buy you; a nice face! See more (68 total) »


  (in credits order)
Ronald Lewis ... Sir Robert Cargrave

Audrey Dalton ... Baroness Maude Sardonicus

Guy Rolfe ... Baron Sardonicus / Marek Toleslawski
Oskar Homolka ... Krull (as Oscar Homolka)
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Henryk Toleslawski
Erika Peters ... Elenka Toleslawski
Lorna Hanson ... Anna
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edith Atwater ... Nurse (uncredited)
Ilse Burkert ... Second Girl (uncredited)

William Castle ... Himself (uncredited)
Constance Cavendish ... Mrs. Higgins (uncredited)
Albert D'Arno ... Gatekeeper (uncredited)
James Forrest ... Geoffery Wainwright (uncredited)
David Janti ... Janku (uncredited)
Annalena Lund ... First Girl (uncredited)
Mavis Neal Palmer ... Head Nurse (uncredited)
Charles H. Radilak ... Stationmaster (uncredited)
Franz Roehn ... Gravedigger (uncredited)
Tina Woodward ... The Girl (uncredited)
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Directed by
William Castle 
Writing credits
Ray Russell (screenplay)

Ray Russell (novella "Sardonicus")

Produced by
William Castle .... producer
Dona Holloway .... associate producer
Original Music by
Von Dexter 
Cinematography by
Burnett Guffey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Edwin H. Bryant  (as Edwin Bryant)
Art Direction by
Cary Odell 
Set Decoration by
James Crowe  (as James M. Crowe)
Makeup Department
Ben Lane .... makeup supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
R. Robert Rosenbaum .... assistant director
Leslie Gorall .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
James Z. Flaster .... sound
Charles J. Rice .... sound supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Homer Van Pelt .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jack Angel .... wardrobe
Pat Barto .... wardrobe
Other crew
Eylla Jacobs .... script supervisor (as Eylla Jacobus)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Finland:(Banned) (1961) | UK:12 | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (Certificate No. 19991) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: In the opening scene Sir Robert and his assistant Wainright are working on a paralyzed girl's legs. The story is set in 1880 yet the young girl clearly shows evidence of a recently-removed band-aid from the side of her right ankle. Adhesive bandages were invented in 1920.See more »
Sir Robert Cargrave:Why were you so frightened?
Gatekeeper:Aah, sir, you would not understand. You are young. You do not yet have daughters!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Foggy, Foggy DewSee more »


See more »
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Something else money can't buy you; a nice face!, 20 April 2006
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

William Castle had cemented his reputation as a director of fun, gimmicky horror films by 1961, but for this one he's (almost!) dropped the fun feel and replaced it with a more serious tone; and in doing so has gone and created his best film! The film opens with an introduction from the director (I said he'd ALMOST dropped the fun feel), and from there we move onto a macabre tale of greed, curses, grave robbing and disfigurement. Based on a novella by Ray Russell, the film takes obvious influence from George Franju's masterpiece 'Eyes without a Face' in that it follows the horrifying idea of someone having their face scarred beyond belief. The tale puts greed at its centre, and it is that deadly sin which is to blame for the title character's affliction. We follow a prominent English doctor who is called to Europe on the request of his ex-lover. While there, he meets the cruel and sinister Baron Sardonicus; a man who is forced to wear a mask as his face is too hideous to look at. It's not long thereafter that we learn the reason for this facial deformity, as the man retells the tale of how he robbed his father's grave for a winning lottery ticket.

William Castle may not be the greatest director of all time, but here he creates just the right tone for the story to flourish in. The Gothic locations, sinister score and foreboding mood combine to ensure that the story is both gripping and as hideous as its central protagonist. This is helped along by the fact that the central characters are well fleshed out, and all of their motives make sense. Mr Sardonicus himself verges on comic book villainy at times, and as the plot is fairly ludicrous, this isn't always the easiest film to swallow. However, Castle ensures that the action always makes sense, and it has to be said that the tale has been given as good handling as it could afford. Castle's love for showboating shows through towards the end, however, when he tries one of his 'interactive cinema' tricks regarding the fate of Mr Sardonicus. It is these sort of things that make William Castle films what they are, and it fits films like The Tingler; but here Castle's segment feels out of place, given that the tone of the movie is largely serious. However, it's not enough to spoil what is a great Gothic horror story and overall I highly recommend this film to horror fanatics!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why wasn't it called 'Baron Sardonicus'? mistermemory
Connection? eagle-78
My favorite 'reveal' ever! tom-2515
Impressed By Sardonicus' Perfect Diction! jack_north
-handedness? vl2
replaced line in Wm. Castle's intro? albersbrian
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