Burke & Hare (1971)

98m, 8,833 feet
35mm film, colour
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Vernon Sewell.

Plot Summary

Edinburgh surgeon Dr Knox employs the dubious services of Burke and Hare, a pair of grave robbers to find corpses for his anatomy classes. Grave robbing turns to murder as the pair get out of hand and Knox is eventually implicated in the crimes.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Vernon Sewell
© Kenneth Shipman Productions Limited MCMLXXI [1971]
Kenneth Shipman Productions present
Executive Producer: Kenneth Shipman
Produced by: Guido Coen
Original Screenplay by: Ernie Bradford
Director of Photography: Desmond Dickinson
Film Editor: John Colville
Music Composed & Conducted by: Roger Webb
Sound Recordist: Barry Copeland
Chief Wardrobe Master: Arthur Newman
Chief Make-up Artist: Tony Sforzini
Hair Stylist: Barbara Sutton
Special Effects: Pat Moore *
Art Director: Scott Macgregor
Made at: Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham, England

Derren Nesbitt (Burke)
Harry Andrews (Dr Knox)
Glynn Edwards (Hare)
Yootha Joyce (Mrs Hare)
Françoise Pascal as Marie
Yutte Stensgaard (Janet)
Robin Hawdon (Lord Angus McPhee)
Alan Tucker (Arbuthnot)
Dee Shenderey as Mrs Burke
Joan Carol (Madame Thompson)
Paul Greaves (Ferguson)
David Pugh (Daft Jamie)
Thomas Heathcote (Paterson)
James Hayter (Dr Selby)
Duncan Lamont (Dr Saint)
Paul Luty (Cruncher)
Roy Macready (Merrilees)
Susan Coates (Polly)
Christine Pilgrim (Rosie)
Kenneth Thornett (Councillor Gordon)
Katya Wyeth (Natalie)

Alternative Titles

The Horrors of Burke and Hare

See also
The Anatomist (1939)
The Anatomist (1961)
Play of the Month: The Anatomist (1980)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
The Doctor and the Devils (1985)
Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
The Flesh and the Fiends (1959)
The Greed of William Hart (1948)

Production Notes

The world premiere was held at the Playhouse, Edinburgh on 17 January 1972 in front of an audience of medical professionals. 1CinemaTV Today no.9962 8 January 1972 p.22 (UK) (Medical opinion at the scene of the crimes)]


CinemaTV Today no.9965 (29 January 1972) p.19
“In an understandable but a bit too noticeable effort to snare the Carry on Up the Buses audience, blue jokes, nudie tussles and titillating scenes of kinky capers in the brothel are dragged in by the short hairs regardless of their pertinence to the plot. The music, too, has the strained joviality of someone who is not quite sure whether you are going to find his jokes funny. However, despite these surface warts, the film has a lusty vitality that is well nigh impossible to resist.” – from a review (The new films) by Marjorie Bilbow


CinemaTV Today no.9961 1 January 1972 p.33 – trade show details
CinemaTV Today no.9962 8 January 1972 p.22 – note (Medical opinion at the scene of the crimes)
Cinema TV Today no.9965 (29 January 1972) p. 19 – review (The new films by Marjorie Bilow)
Films and Filming vol.18 no.6 (March 1972) p. 62 – review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 n.457 (February 1972) p.28 – credits, synopsis, review
Variety 12 May 1971 p.117 – credits, review
Video Watchdog no.11 pp.20-21 – review

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.229 – illustrated credits, review
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.58 – credits, review
Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.48 – credits
by Walt Lee p.51 – credits
Ten Years of Terror pp.87-89 – illustrated credits, review (by Kim Newman)
X-cert 2: The British Independent Horror Film: 1971-1983 by John Hamilton pp.24-31; 273-274 – illustrated review; credits