Work has been going with a bang for freelance assassin Hawkins but a job in England is a different matter. His apparently easy target, a pompous government minister, is off for some ... See full summary »
When a young girl is found dead an inspector is sent to investigate a prosperous Yorkshire household. It emerges that each member of the family has a guilty secret - each one is partly responsible for her death.
Accident-prone Fingers runs a pretty unsuccessful gang. They try and rob wealthy but tricky Billy Gordon - who distrusts banks and fears the Inland Revenue - but he sees Fingers and the ... See full summary »
Brenda de Banzie
Shocked by the death of her spouse, a scheming widow hatches a bold plan to get her hands on the inheritance, unaware that she is targeted by an axe-wielding murderer who lurks in the family's estate. What mystery shrouds the noble house?
Francis Ford Coppola
Don't be fooled by the outstanding cast - out of the five variations on the Burke and Hare tale filmed in Britain over the years, THE ANATOMIST is definitely the most boring, a cheap-jack drawing-room drama which keeps all of the action off-screen. Aside from a brief sequence at the beginning, there is no grave-robbing, we only hear and do not see the angry mob at the film's close, nor do we see Burke's hanging or any murders. Instead what we get is a poverty-row production which uneasily mixes horror with comedic aspects (unavoidable considering the film's cast) which in the end comes off as preachy and downright dull. This is a film where scenes of dry dialogue last twenty-five minutes at a time and even strong acting can't help to improve what is essentially an academic script.
A shame, because often with poverty-row productions like this (filmed for television no less), an air of realism is attained that glossier, higher-budgeted dramas cannot hope to obtain. There are indeed a couple of good scenes - the sleazy sequence in which Burke and Hare seduce Adrienne Corri, or the exciting life-or-death climax, but these do not help the rest of the static scenes which turn the eighty-minute odd running time into something that feels like three hours. Alastair Sim himself is delightfully pompous as Dr. Knox but he doesn't beat Peter Cushing's performance in THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS; he's too human and cuddly come the film's close. George Cole is pretty hopeless as the emoting young male lead who is torn between his love for Knox and his love for his girlfriend, played by the supremely irritating Jill Bennett; he should have stuck to comedy. It's left for performers to shine in minor roles, like Adrienne Corri's feisty drunken girl and Michael Ripper's outstanding turn as the squalid, sleazy, downright grotesque graverobber Burke, ironically one of his best performances in one of his worst films.
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