6.2/10
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45 user 27 critic

Circus of Horrors (1960)

Approved | | Horror, Drama | April 1960 (UK)
In 1947 England, a plastic surgeon must beat a hasty retreat to France when one of his patients has ghastly problems with her surgery. Once there, he operates on a circus owner's daughter, ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Hayers

Writer:

George Baxt (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anton Diffring ... Dr. Schuler
Erika Remberg ... Elissa Caro
Yvonne Monlaur ... Nicole Vanet
Donald Pleasence ... Vanet
Jane Hylton ... Angela
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Martin
Conrad Phillips ... Insp. Arthur Ames
Jack Gwillim ... Supt. Andrews
Vanda Hudson Vanda Hudson ... Magda von Meck
Yvonne Romain ... Melina
Colette Wilde Colette Wilde ... Evelyn Morley Finsbury
William Mervyn William Mervyn ... Doctor Morley
John Merivale John Merivale ... Edward Finsbury
Peter Swanwick Peter Swanwick ... German Police Inspector Knopf
Carla Challoner Carla Challoner ... Nicole Vanet - Child
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Storyline

In 1947 England, a plastic surgeon must beat a hasty retreat to France when one of his patients has ghastly problems with her surgery. Once there, he operates on a circus owner's daughter, deformed by bombs from the war. Later he becomes the owner of the circus, and continues transforming disfigured women into the beautiful stars of his show. The police and a nosy reporter (as well as Scotland Yard) become interested when the women who want out of the circus begin dying in freak accidents, and they begin suspecting the good doctor is responsible. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Spectacular Towering Terror! One man's lust...made men into beasts, stripped women of their souls! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom of the Circus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lynx Films Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The circus where much of the action was filmed belonged to Billy Smart. The boards on the ringside seats, which are in front of the perimeter track and the ring-fence have Billy Smart's initials (BS) on them. Presumably this why Anton Diffring's character has the same initials in order to save the expense of replacing the boards with either nothing on them or have fresh ones made with different letters should Differing have plaid a character with another name. See more »

Goofs

When Shuler is attacked by the gorilla, it clearly shows the gorilla's claw mauling the left side of Shuler's face. Later, only the right side of Shuler's face show any signs of the attack.

This is not true. The only time (1:21:51) where we see the Right face scarred is when he is looking at itself in a double mirror. All the other shots of Schuler have the scars on the left cheek. All of the previous goof detail is false. What could be added. This is false, false. That's all. How long should the explanation be. We always see the scars on the correct place, except in this mirror. Should I write a novel to fill the longer explanation ? See more »

Quotes

Evelyn Morley Finsbury: [looking at her horribly disfigured face after Rossiter's bungled plastic surgery, she screams and laughs hysterically] Rossiter! aagh Rossiter hahaha R-o-s-s-i-t-e-r!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A shot of the thrown knife hitting Magda in the neck was filmed but cut by the distributors in post-production upon BBFC request. Despite the film's brutal theme the only UK censor cuts to the finished print was the removal of visible topless female nudity during two of the sideshow scenes. This footage has never resurfaced in any print of the film and may no longer exist. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bandstand: Episode dated 18 June 1960 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Look For a Star
Written by Tony Hatch (as Mark Anthony)
Sung by Garry Mills
See more »

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User Reviews

Popcorn, Peanuts but no Elephants!
3 August 1999 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

This is a strange little horror gem from the early sixties about a mad plastic surgeon who must flee England because of some not very sound surgery practices. Once out of England, he(played by Anton Diffring with aplomb) and his two cohorts murder their way into owning a run-down circus whilst in France. From there on ten years pass as the doctor fixes the disfigured faces of thieves and prostitutes in return for their services in the circus. Well...I am not making this up but the doctor and his renegade circus performers then travel all over Europe and become a huge success. Problems start to happen though as the beautiful female star attractions want out of the circus...and the bed of Diffring...only to find their solace in bizarre deaths...circus-related of course. One female is killed in a knife-throwing accident while another falls while trapezing. This is a credulous scenario to be sure, but the film is quite fun. The acting is good: Diffring is marvelous as the mad physician plagued with his obsession for perfection in beauty, Donald Pleasance is quite good in a small role, and the female leads are quite stunning...visually of course. The music is rather hokey...very sixties, but atmosphere is otherwise rather well-staged. All in all I think I would prefer this over spending my time in a real circus...what a "real" horror. Enjoy.


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