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


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Up 41% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Silly Gothic Fun See more (71 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)

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

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 | UK:X (original rating) | 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 »
Factual errors: The winning lottery number only has 4 digits (and the ticket only has space for 4 digits) implying that there could only ever be 10,000 different lottery numbers in that lottery. However, Sardonicus wins enough money to become a baron and buy a castle. The only way this could happen is if either each lottery ticket cost a great deal of money, or if the organizers of the lottery made a huge loss.See more »
Baron Sardonicus:What I had not forseen was that the face of my father, the muscles stretched by a terrible death recoil, would look directly and hideously upon me, the dead lips drawn back in a constant and soul-shattering smile.See more »
Movie Connections:
Foggy, Foggy DewSee more »


See more »
20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Silly Gothic Fun, 24 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi ( from Biloxi, Mississippi

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

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