A scheming circus owner finds her authority challenged when the show is targeted by a vicious killer.

Director:

Writers:

(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Autumn Leaves (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
Queen Bee (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young woman arrives at the home of her socialite cousin, and soon finds herself sucked into the woman's complex web of deceit.

Director: Ranald MacDougall
Stars: Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan, Betsy Palmer
Sudden Fear (1952)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After an ambitious actor insinuates himself into the life of a wealthy middle-aged playwright and marries her, he plots with his mistress to murder her.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame
Torch Song (1953)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Jenny Stewart is a tough Broadway musical star who doesn't take criticism from anyone. Yet there is one individual, Tye Graham, a blind pianist who may be able to break through her tough ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, Gig Young
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A New York socialite climbs the ladder of success man by man until a life among rich gangsters gives her what she thought she always wanted.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An expose of the lives and loves of Madison Avenue working girls and their higher ups.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Eighteen-year-old Esther has been deaf and blind since the accident which killed her mother. Wealthy Margaret Landi, a native of Esther's village in Ireland, is talked into helping to ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller
Stars: Joan Crawford, Heather Sears, Rossano Brazzi
Flamingo Road (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A small town corrupt sheriff manipulates local candidates to the state legislature but he eventually comes into conflict with an out-of-town carnival dancer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Della (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A man trying to negotiate a property deal with a wealthy but reclusive widow becomes romantically involved with the woman's unhinged daughter.

Director: Robert Gist
Stars: Paul Burke, Charles Bickford, Joan Crawford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Monica Rivers
...
Frank Hawkins
...
Matilda
...
Albert Dorando
...
Angela Rivers
...
Detective Supt. Brooks
...
Commissioner Dalby
Sydney Tafler ...
Harrison Liston
George Claydon ...
Bruno Fontana
...
Lazlo
Ambrosine Phillpotts ...
Miss Burrows
Thomas Cimarro ...
Gaspar
...
Gustavo
Golda Casimir ...
Bearded Lady
Ted Lune ...
Skeleton Man

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

Storyline

Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she'll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her performers die gruesomely, her profits soar. She hires high-wire walker Frank Hawkins, impressed by the handsome and muscular young man. They begin an affair which arouses her previous lover Durando's jealousy. When Durando is found dead shortly afterward, the other performers begin to take alarm, as a mysterious killer is obviously loose in their midst. Many suspect Monica herself of the killings, especially Matilda, who has set her sights on Monica's new lover. At this point, Monica's unruly, sixteen-year-old daughter Angela is expelled from school for being incorrigible, and Monica is forced to take her into the circus, allowing her to become the partner of knife-thrower Gustavo. Meanwhile, the dead bodies continue to pile up... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen Screams out at a Hundred Horrors! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Circus of Terror  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford supplied her own wardrobe for the film, with the exception of the leotard which was designed by Edith Head. See more »

Goofs

Despite each show taking place in a different location, some of the same audience members are shown more than once. See more »

Quotes

Monica Rivers: [after Matilda is thrown out of Frank's trailer] Quite a party.
Frank Hawkins: Don't get the wrong idea.
Monica Rivers: What? That you've been entertaining a woman in your caravan dressed like that?
Frank Hawkins: She came in and I threw her out
Monica Rivers: After two hours?
Frank Hawkins: Right away!
Monica Rivers: But why?
Frank Hawkins: What do you mean?
Monica Rivers: Well, you're no saint and she's attractive in a common sort of way. Why did you throw her out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Celluloid Bloodbath: More Prevues from Hell (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

It Might Be Me
Written, Arranged and Performed by John Scott as Patrick John Scott
Performed by Circus ensemble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Entertaining but implausible circus murder mystery...
30 May 2002 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Joan Crawford's fans will appreciate her foray into yet another horror show, this time as the feisty, hard-edged manager of a traveling circus show suddenly burdened with murders of several circus members. The careful photography cannot hide the fact that Crawford has aged considerably--and consequently, although her figure is still trim, her scenes with hunky Ty Hardin have an unpleasant and unbelievable quality about them.

The plot is strictly standard fare--who is responsible for the series of gruesome murders? For awhile, it looks like Joan herself is probably the wicked one--and there are a few other red herrings to make you think you know who did it. When the ending is revealed, in a climactic thunderstorm, it comes as a distinct letdown although a surprise, the reason being the guilty one is given no substance in the plot. The killer's identity seems highly implausible which makes the ending seem as though it has been merely tacked on to provide a final scene.

As these sort of things go, BERSERK isn't a bad way to pass the time on a low-budget mystery. The technicolor is good, Joan's costumes are fantastic, her shapely legs are on almost constant display and she uses her haughty manner to great effect. The details of circus life are smoothly integrated into the story and some of the animal acts are amusing--but none of the characters have any depth. Ty Hardin makes a handsome and arrogant stud whose daredevil highwire act provides some high moments of suspense as he performs over a row of spikes below. Like Crawford, he's given ample opportunities to show off his handsome physique.

Diana Dors makes the most of her role as an outspoken tart and all of the supporting performances are competent enough--Michael Gough, Judy Geeson and Robert Hardy. Certainly worth a view if you're a Crawford fan. The dialogue is ripe with campy one-liners.

Trivia note: The plot is slightly reminiscent of Barbara Stanwyck's LADY OF BURLESQUE where a series of backstage murders takes place with a slim plot involving a jealous performer.


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?