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Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Horror Movies & Sci-Fi Movies Database

Mr. Sardonicus (1961) Sir Robert Cargrave is an eminent surgeon who has developed a new technique for muscle relaxation. He is summoned by his one-time love, Maude, who is now married to Baron Sardonicus. When he arrives, he finds villagers who live in fear. The Baron is strange man, not the least because he covers his face with a mask. Eventually, he tells Sir Robert the story of how he acquired his current affliction - his face is is frozen and hideously disfigured. Despite Sir Robert's best efforts, he can't return his face to normal. The Baron however forces him to keep trying, threatening to harm Maude if he refuses.

Movie Tagline:
A man of evil... with a face that could stop a heart!

Title: Mr. Sardonicus
Release Date: October 08, 1961
Runtime: 89 mins
Genre: Drama
All Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Languages: English
Country: USA
Colors: Black and White
Sound: Mono
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Buried.com Rating: 7.6 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With M

MPAA Rating: Approved

William Castle

Oskar Homolka ...Krull (as Oscar Homolka)
Ronald Lewis ...Sir Robert Cargrave
Audrey Dalton ...Maude Sardonicus
Guy Rolfe ...Baron Sardonicus
Vladimir Sokoloff ...Henryk Toleslawski
Erika Peters ...Elenka
Lorna Hanson ...Anna
Edith Atwater ...Nurse
Ilse Burkert ...Second Girl
William Castle ...Himself
Constance Cavendish ...Mrs. Higgins
Albert D'Arno ...Gatekeeper
James Forrest ...Wainwright
David Janti ...Janku
Annalena Lund ...First Girl
Mavis Neal Palmer ...Head Nurse
Charles H. Radilak ...Stationmaster
Franz Roehn ...Gravedigger
Tina Woodward ...The Girl

William Castle
Dona Holloway

Ray Russell
Ray Russell

Von Dexter

Movie Soundtrack(s):
"Foggy, Foggy Dew"

More Movie Taglines:
  • A man of evil... with a face that could stop a heart!
  • The Only Picture With the Punishment Poll!
  • During the running of the film,the "Punishment Poll" lets YOU decide the fate of Mr. Sardonicus!
  • YOU decide the fate of Mr. Sardonicus during the "Punishment Poll"! Vote "mercy" or "no mercy" right in your theatre seat!
Movie Quote(s):
  • Baron Sardonicus: My name was not always Sardonicus, and I did not always wear a mask.
  • Baron Sardonicus: A ghoul, as I'm sure you know, is a disgusting creature who opens graves and feeds on corpses.
  • Baron Sardonicus: Good morning, Madam. Maude Sardonicus: Good morning. Baron Sardonicus: May I come in? Maude Sardonicus: Well, I... Baron Sardonicus: Do not worry. I'm not a man who's affectionate in the morning hours.
  • Baron Sardonicus: What I had not forseen was that the face of my father, the muscles stretched by a terrible death recoil, would look directly and hideously upon me, the dead lips drawn back in a constant and soul-shattering smile.
  • Baron Sardonicus: You must know first of all that I am the victim of a little domestic tragedy. My wife does not love me. She has always been a wife in name only. She is revolted, you see. Revolted by my face. Maude Sardonicus: It's not only that. Baron Sardonicus: Oh come, Madam! My crudeness? My cruelty? My arrogance? This is what you tell yourself in your womanish passion, is it not? But it is my face you bar your door against, not my character flaws.
Movie Trivia:
  • During its initial theatrical release, attendees were given small white cards with luminous thumbs with which to vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
  • Although the audience could vote on whether the main character could live or die, William Castle showed only one ending for the movie.
  • Unlike Castle's other films, the punishment poll gimmick came as an afterthought. When the film was first shown to the execs at Columbia Pictures, they demanded that Castle shot an alternate happy ending to the film. Castle agreed, and soon decided to use this situation as a springboard for a gimmick. After shooting the happy ending, he shot a brief segment to be inserted before the ending. The audience would be given cards with a thumbs up and thumbs down. Before the ending, Castle appeared on the screen and explained the poll. He then "counted" the votes. If mercy won, then the happy ending would be shown. If no mercy won, the original ending would be shown. It is doubtful, though, that any audience voted mercy.
  • The correct term for Baron Sardonicus' condition is hysterical rictus.
  • Mr. Sardonicus is a vital plot element in an episode arc from the third season of the 1980s TV show "Wiseguy" (1987). The bad guy in this arc, Volchak, is completely obsessed with the movie. The climax involves the main characters of Wiseguy literally changing the ending of Mr. Sardonicus to trap Volchak.
IMDB Links:
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Rating: 7.6 out of 10.0 - 58 votes cast total
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