5.1/10
1,486
57 user 34 critic

Berserk (1967)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 11 January 1968 (USA)
A scheming circus owner finds her authority challenged when the show is targeted by a vicious killer.

Director:

Jim O'Connolly

Writers:

Aben Kandel (original story and screenplay), Herman Cohen (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Crawford ... Monica Rivers
Ty Hardin ... Frank Hawkins
Diana Dors ... Matilda
Michael Gough ... Albert Dorando
Judy Geeson ... Angela Rivers
Robert Hardy ... Detective Supt. Brooks
Geoffrey Keen ... Commissioner Dalby
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Harrison Liston
George Claydon ... Bruno Fontana
Philip Madoc ... Lazlo
Ambrosine Phillpotts ... Miss Burrows
Thomas Cimarro Thomas Cimarro ... Gaspar
Peter Burton ... Gustavo
Golda Casimir Golda Casimir ... Bearded Lady
Ted Lune Ted Lune ... Skeleton Man
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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 motion picture that pits steel weapons against steel nerves!!! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Circus of Terror See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marked the second time that Diana Dors played a carnival performer who ends up cut in half by a power saw. The first time occurred in 1962, in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955). 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 TCM Underground: Berserk!/Trog (2007) 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

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User Reviews

 
Not yet tragic
23 February 2004 | by RNQSee all my reviews

Berserk!, despite many things including its overkill title, is not as bad as some people claim, though not a great success either, not as good as Max Ophuel's Lola Montes. The actors get through their lines professionally. Set in a circus, the movie does a tolerably good job of showing performers of the class of "freaks" as responsible participants, notably George Claydon. Its best scene is when the character played by the ueberblonde Diana Dors barges in, bottle in hand, on shirtless Ty Hardin, and he resists her close up. For his own reasons, he's set instead on Joan Crawford. Joan was not a spring chicken by the time the movie was made, if she ever was one: she looks good in her ringmaster's costume, running the circus she owns, but someone should have helped her better with the red cloak she throws over her dowdy nightgown and told her never to let down her red-tinted hair. The real problem is that the movie never lets sparks fly between her and Ty Hardin. It's not a question of age difference, because look at Anna Magnani's triumphs over Burt Lancaster and Marlon Brando. OK, Joan Crawford in this movie has the additional handicap of playing a character hard as nails. But a better script would have made the discrepancy of her motives tragic. The last 10 minutes close things down in a pretty improbable way (the last murder is not done by the same person as the others). It would have helped to have ten more minutes for the Crawford character to be bereft and not berserk. Meanwhile, for those into it, there are lots of circus acts that emphasize their risks.


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