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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
Lee Patrick ...
Mrs. Howard Cassin
Minerva Urecal ...
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

According to a July 1962 LA Times item, Laurence Harvey was set to play the Tony Randall role. See more »

Goofs

During the opening festivities for Dr. Lao's circus, the Yeti is shown as organ grinder for three musical-box figures, one of which is Fred Flintstone playing the drums - a cartoon character who wasn't created until nearly half a century after the film takes place (and, incidentally, a type of drum set-up not popularized until the early 1940's). See more »

Quotes

Ed Cunningham: Now, come on, Doc! What kind of oriental hocus-pocus is going on around here? A circus with no wagons, no animals, no cages? A crazy old magician? What's it all about?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 16 August 1964 (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
(1708) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wonderfully unique fantasy with amazing performance by Tony Randall
20 May 2004 | by (Chico, California USA) – See all my reviews

This is a one-of-a-kind fantasy film, a neglected masterpiece. It was produced and directed by the great George Pal, pioneer creator of quality science-fiction and fantasy films in the 50's and 60's (Destination Moon, The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm).

It was based on a underground cult novel from the 30's, The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney, and the screenplay was written by master fantasist Charles Beaumont (The Twilight Zone, Corman's Masque of the Red Death). And it starred the late Tony Randall in the performance of his career, the central character who constantly transforms into all sorts of magical mythological identities, from the mysterious immortal Chinese mage Dr. Lao, to the ancient legendary magician Merlin, to the pagan fertility god Pan, to the mythical Greek seer Appolonius, to the fearsome snake-haired Medusa, to the Abominable Snowman, and so on. William Tuttle's amazing Oscar-winning make-up helps Randall achieve each transformation. Dr. Lao brings his wondrous Bradburyesque traveling circus to a small Arizona town at the beginning of the 20th century and the townsfolk witness a series of impossible creatures, supernatural spectacles, as they learn hidden lessons and transcendent truths---as does the audience in this supremely imaginative, truly magical film. As the kindly supernatural Lao tells the little boy who wants to run away from home to join the carnival: "The whole world is a circus if you look at it the right way. Every time you pick up a handful of dust and see not the dust but a mystery, a marvel there in your hand. Every time you stop and think I'm alive and being alive is fantastic. Every time such a thing happens, you are part of the circus of Dr. Lao."


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