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7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)

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A mysterious circus comes to a western town bearing wonders and characters that entertain the inhabitants and teach valuable lessons.

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Writers:

(screen play), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Lao / The Abominable Snowman / Merlin the Magician / Apollonius of Tyana / Pan / The Giant Serpent / Medusa
...
Angela Benedict
...
Clint Stark
...
Ed Cunningham / Transformed Pan
...
Tim Mitchell
...
Mrs. Howard Cassin
...
Kate Lindquist
...
Luther Lindquist
Frank Kreig ...
Peter Ramsey
Peggy Rea ...
Mrs. Peter Ramsey
...
...
Carey
...
Sarah Benedict
...
Lucas
...
Lean Cowboy
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Storyline

An old Chinese gentleman rides into the town of Abalone, Arizona and changes it forever, as the citizens see themselves reflected in the mirror of Lao's mysterious circus of mythical beasts. Written by Edward E. Pringle <pringle@atb.teradyne.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bolt the doors! Lock the windows! Dr. Lao's coming to town! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1964 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Faces of Dr. Lao  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oscar-winning soundtrack composer Leigh Harline worked for Disney from 1932-41 and wrote the music for some of the best-known Disney film songs, including "When You Wish Upon a Star", "I'm Wishing," "Whistle While You Work," "Heigh Ho," and "Some Day My Prince Will Come." See more »

Goofs

When Merlin first appears to Ed outside the tent a pipe at the base of the tent emits a cloud of white smoke so Merlin can "magically" appear. It continues to give several little spurts of smoke after he appears and while he is talking to Ed. See more »

Quotes

Clint Stark: I was like you once, long time ago. I believed in the dignity of man. Decency. Humanity. But I was lucky. I found out the truth early, boy.
Ed Cunningham: And what is the truth, Stark?
Clint Stark: It's all very simple. There's no such thing as the dignity of man. Man is a base, pathetic and vulgar animal.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Sumer is icumen in
(uncredited)
Traditional 13th century English round
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic Allegory Contains Profound Messages
9 January 2001 | by (Cleveland,Ohio) – See all my reviews

There's a proverb somewhere that states that youth is wasted on the young.One might similarly feel that the wisdom of fairy tales,folklore,and fantasy are wasted on children.While I,for one would hesitate to go that far,I feel that the messages contained in this film,like so many other classic children's stories,are best understood in an articulate fashion by adults.Kids will unconsciously and intuitively pick up the meanings,but it requires more maturity and life experience to fully appreciate what's going on here.So,here ends my pontificating,and begin the review.The plot with Arthur O'Connell trying to take over the town is a simple,relatively benign framework to introduce the real story;the necessity of looking at ourselves,our flaws,our foibles,and the illusions we need to protect ourselves,and to keep on living.And the circus of Dr.Lao does provide that chance,in a gentle and compassionate way.We can complain about the dated quality of the special effects,but don't forget,this was 14 years before Star Wars.The villains are a couple of stupid oafs who are easily disposed of in a benevolent fashion,and the other characters are shown the ways in which they stunt their own development,and then are given the chance to change IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO SO!(Let's face it,some of them decide to stay the same.)Randall gives a tour de force performance as the circus cast(although I believe that stuntman Janos Prohaska actually did the Abominable Snowman)and the true development of Merlin,from doddering has-been to capable miracle worker is am impressive display of character creation and sustenance.(I've always wondered if the bagpipes accompanying the growth of the Loch Ness Monster was some sort of inside joke.)This is the kind of film that the entire family should see together;everyone could get something out of it.


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