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Barbara Bel Geddes,
In Edinburgh in 1831, Dr. Wolfe MacFarlane runs a medical school where Donald Fettes is a student. Fettes is interested in helping a young girl who has lost the use of her legs. He is certain that MacFarlane's surgical skills could be put to great use but he is reluctant to do so. The good Dr. MacFarlane has a secret that soon becomes all too obvious to young Fettes, who has only recently been promoted as his assistant: he has been paying a local cabbie, John Gray, to supply him with dead bodies for anatomical research. Gray constantly harasses MacFarlane and clearly has a hold over him dating to a famous trial many years before where Gray refused to identify the man for whom he was robbing graves. Fettes isn't aware of any of this but soon realizes exactly how Gray obtains the bodies they use in their anatomy classes. Written by
Although based on a fictional short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, the author came up with the idea from actual events occurring in 19th century England and Scotland, particularly those of grave robbers Burke and Hare. See more »
When John Gray puts the blade into the bread, it moves dramatically over the next few shots. See more »
Cabman John Gray:
You've no need to be anxious, Meg. MacFarlane has been drunk and away before. He'll be beck in good time. Meanwhile, you have me to keep you company.
I call that no good fortune.
Cabman John Gray:
There was a time, lass, a time when I used to bring the dashing young doctor to your door, but you weren't so uncommon cold to your old friend Gray.
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Opening credits prologue: In Edinburgh, in 1831- See more »
What can you say about Boris Karloff? He attacks this role with evil zest. I have not seen a lot of his work, but I was extremely impressed with his portrayal of Cabman Gray, the medical school's grave robber. (among other things) The modern horror genre simply focuses on gore, and doesn't allow characters like Gray, or actors like Karloff flourish, and that's too bad.
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