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7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)

3:09 | Trailer

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



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





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
... Mrs. Peter Ramsey
... George C. George
... Carey
... Sarah Benedict
... Lucas
... Lean Cowboy


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


Which face will the wily doctor reveal to you? See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 August 1964 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Faces of Dr. Lao  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The beginning and ending shots of the movie perfectly exemplify the "shooting-out-of-sequence" practice in film-making. You'll notice that the same exact camera setup is used for both shots, with Tony wearing the exact same costume. He simply rides toward the camera for the beginning of the story, and away from the camera for the end. Even the shadows from the sun are in the same alignment. See more »


When the little boy comforts Merlin the Magician, the balloon he is holding appears and disappears depending on whether he is shown from the front or the back. See more »


Dr. Lao: This is the circus of Dr. Lao. We show you things that you don't know. Oh we spare no pains and we spare no dough, oh we want to give you one hell of a show. And youth may come and age may go, but no more circuses like this show.
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Featured in The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) See more »


Sumer is icumen in
Traditional 13th century English round
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent film that turns on a wonderful performance and great makeup
6 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

Unusually for a Geore Pal film, this movie does not have at its core the special effects, but rather a wonderful performance by Tony Randall (or more accurately, performances) and the makeup, which received the first Oscar (a special one) ever given for makeup. A good cast and script are also plusses. Read the original novella by Charles G. Finney if you can find it-it's well worth tracking down. Recommended.

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