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Burke & Hare (1972)

R | | Horror | 3 February 1972 (UK)
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Two men go into business supplying medical colleges with cadavers by robbing graves.

Director:

Vernon Sewell

Writer:

Ernle Bradford (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Luty ... Cruncher
Roy Macready Roy Macready ... Merrilees
Derren Nesbitt ... Burke
Susan Coates Susan Coates ... Polly
Françoise Pascal ... Marie
Christine Pilgrim Christine Pilgrim ... Rosie
Joan Carol Joan Carol ... Madame Thompson
Robin Hawdon ... Lord Angus McPhee
Kenneth Thornett Kenneth Thornett ... Councillor Gordon
Yutte Stensgaard ... Janet
Katya Wyeth Katya Wyeth ... Natalie (as Katya Wyath)
Caroline Yates Caroline Yates ... Annie
Glynn Edwards ... Hare
Yootha Joyce ... Mrs. Hare
Dee Shenderey ... Mrs. Burke
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Storyline

Two men go into business supplying medical colleges with cadavers by robbing graves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The pimps and the prostitutes and the body-snatchers. The brothels and dens of iniquity.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bodysnatchers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final feature film of Frederick Piper. See more »

Goofs

When "Daft Jamie" is being shown at the medical school, in the close up of his foot, his toe's move. See more »

Quotes

[telling an anecdote over dinner with Dr Selby]
Dr. Knox: He was a great barrel-chest of a man - heart like a steam engine, lungs like a pair of bellows. "Slip your trews down, man," I say. So he lets his trews fall down round his feet. "And your under-drawers," I say. "How can I examine you with your drawers on?" "I'd rather not," he says. "I'm very sensitive - it's my person, it's very small". "Good heavens, man!" I say, "That's nothing to worry about. I see dozens of them every day - big ones, small ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A "European" version was issued, with considerably more female nudity. See more »

Connections

Version of The Doctor and the Devils (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Minstrel Boy
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Thomas Moore
Performed by Glynn Edwards
[Tune: "The Moreen" (Irish traditional)]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lesser known but effective retelling of a horror classic!
6 July 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

While not as well known as the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein, the tale of Burke and Hare is still undoubtedly one of horror's classics (even more so for the fact that it's based on actual events!). There has been an impressive amount of films based on this story - the classic 1945 film The Body Snatcher being the best and closely followed by The Flesh and the Fiends and The Doctor and The Devils. Horrors of Burke and Hare is a somewhat more obscure film version, and while that's not surprising considering the competition - this is still a good take on the classic story and surely deserves to be better known! The film would appear to stick to the story quite closely and doesn't bring anything new to the table that wasn't already seen in previous versions. We follow two paupers, Burke and Hare, who soon realise that there is money to be made by delivering bodies to the local doctor. It's not long, however, before they realise that there's only so many dead bodies available and later set out to make some bodies of their own...

The film is directed by British director Vernon Sewell, who previously made The Blood Beast Terror and The Curse of the Crimson alter. This film is undoubtedly better than both of those. While previous films based on this story have put their focus mainly on either the grave robbers or the doctor; this one is happier to broaden its scope and focus on not only both of these, but also things as well. This would not be a flaw if the point of the film still shone through effectively; but unfortunately this is not the case and big chunks of the story and its implications are left out. There also some confusion over exactly what style the director was going for; as the film takes on a very macabre tone at first, which works well, while at other times we are shown how much fun the lead characters are having (courtesy of an upbeat pop song!). The director does present his story very well, however, and the locations used all fit the tale very well. Unlike previous and later versions of this story, this one doesn't feature any real big stars, although all the main players are effective in their roles. Overall, if you're looking for a film based on this story; there are better ones out there, but this one is still worth seeing!


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