MovieChat Forums > Circus of Horrors (1960) Discussion > Relationship between Dr. Rossiter and Ev...

Relationship between Dr. Rossiter and Evelyn Morley


I've always felt that there was a certain peculiar undercurrent in the creepy opening of the movie, that suggests the possibility that Evelyn Morley may have been infatuated with Dr. Rossiter and had been having an affair with him, in addition to being his patient. It's hard to say just what it is, but certain comments and small details make me wonder. Her father remarks to her husband that he can't understand why Evelyn would run off, since the two of them are happily married. There is a vague reference to the first time she disappeared.

When we first see her, she is hysterical and going around smashing mirrors, while wearing a filmy negligee over a black brassiere and panties, pretty risque for 1960. Rossiter is seen frantically driving away from an unspecified location, as Evelyn Morley keeps calling his name. Is he fleeing the scene of an assignation with her?

When her husband and father enter the isolated house and hear her laughing insanely, they find her looking disfigured in a ghastly way. The camera reveals a black and white glamor photo of her in a frame, looking very classy and attractive. This has also puzzled me for years, because it's hard to understand why she would think her looks needed improving. Is my memory that bad, or is there a vague reference to her having had a traffic accident? The husband and father discuss the mysterious disappearance and refer to several plastic surgeons warning her not to attempt any surgery, but Rossiter was so confident of his ability to restore faces that he persuaded her to risk it.

That Rossiter is not a fraud is shown by the surgical transformation of the young French girl's face, and Martin's comment about an earlier operation, " I saw how miraculously he remodelled that child's face." Rossiter tells Angela and Martin that he had explained to Evelyn Morley that one operation was not enough, and that several over the course of a year were necessary. He also states that he warned her against removing the bandages too soon by herself, so it would seem that some of her misfortunes were brought on by her own eagerness to look good.

Viewers and critics have complained that the film offers little in the way of background or character development, and a great deal has to be taken for granted and not examined too closely, if the movie is to work at all. But since it has apparently been determined that four minutes were cut from the original British version for American release, one can't help but wonder just what might have been clarified in those missing scenes.

I probably have too much time on my hands, but I would be interested to know what other viewers might have to say about these ideas. Has anyone else ever wondered about that relationship?

And when he crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him

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I've always felt that there was a certain peculiar undercurrent in the creepy opening of the movie, that suggests the possibility that Evelyn Morley may have been infatuated with Dr. Rossiter and had been having an affair with him, in addition to being his patient.

Definitely! As you could tell, Rossiter couldn't keep his hands off of any of the attractive females working for him at the circus, so it's very likely he had a thing going on with Evelyn as well, and that she became became infuated with him.

Viewers and critics have complained that the film offers little in the way of background or character development, and a great deal has to be taken for granted and not examined too closely, if the movie is to work at all.

In my opinion they did a pretty good job with character development. I thought Diffring's character (and perforamnce) was well done. Jane Hylton's role was fairly compelling, at least you could sense she loved and was dedicated to Rossiter, yet still had a deep resentment toward him. Donald Pleasence also had a fairly nice, though small, role. Also you got enough background info on a good deal of the characters (Yvonne Monlaur, Erika Remberg and others). At least you knew where they came from and what motivated a good deal of them.

I think the film is more multi-layered than most people realize. Frequently, the subject matter is pretty racy and progressive for a film from 1960, in my opinion.

But since it has apparently been determined that four minutes were cut from the original British version for American release, one can't help but wonder just what might have been clarified in those missing scenes.

I'd be very interested to see the cut scenes also. As is, I really enjoyed this movie a lot for some reason.

http://pages.suddenlink.net/capkronos/golden_hatchet_awards.htm

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You both have made some excellent observations about Dr. Rossiter and Evelyn Morley. I also assumed they either had a romantic history or something bubbling under the surface, at least under Evelyn's surface!

This film is surprisingly risque for 1960, and it's well acted and directed. The plastic surgery aspect is also fascinating for a 50-year-old film, particularly when you consider that this film is set in 1947. I can't think of many films from that era that addressed this. The French "Eyes Without a Face" was released the same year, and Ed Wood's oddly titled "Jail Bait" was released six years earlier.

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Yes, definitely so, thank you for pointing it out, Mr. mlraymond.

I didn't stop to think about it.

Perhaps it explains too why Evelyn was so anxious in removing her face
bandages, just to pleasantly surprise him...

Well, surprise him she did.

She must not be very well balanced to begin with, and the trauma sent her
to the asylum for the better(?) part of a decade.
So her passion for him turned into lava-hot hatred, and when they met again...

By the way, Lord Finsbury(played by the excellent John Merivale)her fiance
must be commended for his nobility of character, in marrying her anyway after
her tryst with Rossiter, her hideously deformed face and her stay in loonyland.

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lezardormeurgeant

By the way, Lord Finsbury (played by the excellent John Merivale)her fiance
must be commended for his nobility of character, in marrying her anyway after
her tryst with Rossiter, her hideously deformed face and her stay in loonyland.


I think she could thank her father for Lord Finsbury's dedication. Sure, he may have been in love with Evelyn. Gaining the prestigious, famous and well respected (probably wealthy) father in law Doctor Morley didn't hurt.

Many of the English aristocrats were cash poor even if they had titles like "Lord". Especially after the world wars.



No two persons ever watch the same movie.

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Just one spoiler in the opening scenes :
looks like the Rossiter-driven car is the same as the Lord-Finsbury-driven-car.

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[deleted]

Really good post, miraymond. You should post more.

When we first see her, she is hysterical and going around smashing mirrors, while wearing a filmy negligee over a black brassiere and panties, pretty risque for 1960.

It certainly is, startlingly so. It was rated "X" in some countries at the time.


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Non-sequiturs are delicious.

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