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      Mr. Sardonicus

      1961 1h 29m Horror List
      40% Tomatometer 10 Reviews 50% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Sir Robert Cargrave (Ronald Lewis), a gifted London doctor researching experimental treatments for paralysis, receives a mysterious letter written in a familiar hand. Following its instructions, Cargrave travels to the foggy mountains of Gorslava, where he must treat the horribly disfigured Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe). Sardonicus has married Cargrave's childhood sweetheart, Maude (Audrey Dalton), and threatens to harm her should the good doctor fail to cure him of his bizarre affliction. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (10) Critics Reviews
      Mike Massie Gone With The Twins The second half boasts some exceptionally hideous surprises – or at least some magnificently grotesque suggestions. Rated: 6/10 Sep 22, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Creative Loafing This handsome but occasionally meandering drama admittedly makes creative use of several nasty leeches. Rated: 2.5/4 Sep 17, 2016 Full Review Sean Axmaker Seanax.com ... the make-up is inspired and Oskar Homolka steals the show as the long suffering, whipped-into-submission servant Krull. Oct 19, 2009 Full Review Steve Crum Video-Reviewmaster.com Gimmicky, but so typical William Castle with schlocky scares. Rated: 3/5 Jan 10, 2008 Full Review Neil Cohen Echo Magazine Rated: 4/5 Jul 29, 2007 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jun 13, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (63) audience reviews
      Matt R "A man of evil… with a face that could stop a heart!" MR SARDONICUS (1961) was made by a real showman who had a twinkle in his eye and a cigar in the corner of his smiling grin. Producer and director William Castle, sometimes referred to the "poor man's Alfred Hitchock", utilized some creative gimmicks to entice crowds to come see his movies. With Mr Sardonicus, he gave the audience the "punishment poll" to decide the fate of the villain or at least the sense that they would. I wish some theaters would do a William Castle revival with all the gimmicks included. I'd buy a ticket to that. MR SARDONICUS is a thrilling and twisted story of a mysterious and sadistically manipulative baron who wants the aid of a British doctor to fix his affliction. It's a period piece a bit reminiscent of Dracula with some psychological provocation to heighten the suspense. William Castle was a unique American showman who deserves more credit. There is a good documentary about him too called SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY (2007). It is a fun and engaging look at Mr. Castle from his early days of breaking into the entertainment industry through his push to be considered a serious filmmaker. Spine Tingler also gives you a look at his personality and drive. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/05/24 Full Review Edward K It's was actually decent and watchable. Good plot. The special effects and makeup were silly. I could have done without the intro and epilogue by the director. The leading lady was attractive. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/10/24 Full Review Michael C If there is one word to describe "Mr. Sardonicus", it is "mediocre". The movie was well made, and the cast for the most part do a good job of acting in their respective roles, especially the late Ronald Lewis (Sir Robert Cargrave) and the late Oskar Homolka (Krull), but overall the movie felt too long and just plain dull. I liked the premise of the movie and the story was pretty decent. The movie's script takes The Curse of the Lottery to a whole new level! Still, I felt myself more bored than anything. The segment of the movie where the backstory of how Marek Toleslawski became Sardonicus seemed way too drawn out for some reason. Once I was done watching "Mr. Sardonicus" I did not think I wasted my time, but I did not think the movie was particularly memorable. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 09/25/23 Full Review CodyZamboni For most of the way, this movie is compelling, with a creepy vibe, some brutal torture violence, and a memorable, menacingly scary villian. All punctuated by some effectively unerving makeup fx, But all that is cast aside by a lackluster climax, and a bonus William Castle audience gimmick that undercuts the movie's intensity. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 09/17/23 Full Review Audience Member A fun idea rather woodenly executed. It borrows from every classic Universal horror, especially Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein - a lone masked madman holed up in his huge Eastern European castle, waited on by a one-eyed manservant (Oscar Homolka chewing up the scenery), desperate for the services of a leading British surgeon (Ronald Lewis). His disfigurement? A face petrified into a crazed lipless smile. Just think what it might have been with Vincent Price in that role instead of the tall and wooden Guy Rolfe. Not dreadful, but a missed opportunity. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member This is a really fun movie to watch, but because of the sheer oddity of it. I guess the moral of the story is a good one, but not to most relevant to the majority of viewers. Sardonicus' facial deformity is quite a fun sight though and makes up for some of the low points. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Sir Robert Cargrave (Ronald Lewis), a gifted London doctor researching experimental treatments for paralysis, receives a mysterious letter written in a familiar hand. Following its instructions, Cargrave travels to the foggy mountains of Gorslava, where he must treat the horribly disfigured Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe). Sardonicus has married Cargrave's childhood sweetheart, Maude (Audrey Dalton), and threatens to harm her should the good doctor fail to cure him of his bizarre affliction.
      Director
      William Castle
      Producer
      William Castle
      Production Co
      Columbia
      Genre
      Horror
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 27, 2020
      Runtime
      1h 29m