Down 7,604 this week

The Body Snatcher (1945)

Approved  |   |  Film-Noir, Horror, Thriller  |  1946 (Turkey)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,563 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 53 critic

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.



(short story), (written for the screen by), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

Related News

The Oblong Box
| Trailers from Hell

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 02 May 2011
a list of 28 titles
created 06 Jun 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 04 Jul 2013
a list of 31 titles
created 09 Aug 2013
a list of 47 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Body Snatcher (1945) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Body Snatcher.

User Polls

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bedlam (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House
Drama | Film-Noir | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This mostly unrelated sequel to Cat People (1942) has Amy, the young daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed. Amy is a very imaginative child who has trouble differentiating fantasy from reality,... See full summary »

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy new Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks
Cat People (1942)
Film-Noir | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith
The Black Cat (1934)
Horror | Crime | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan- worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
The Raven (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when the stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader, Julian Karswell. Holden is a skeptic and does not believe in ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis


Complete credited cast:
Edith Atwater ...
Russell Wade ...
Rita Corday ...
Mrs. Marsh
Sharyn Moffett ...
Georgina Marsh
Donna Lee ...
Street Singer


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Foul Fingers Crimson with Dead Men's Blood! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1946 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Louis Stevenson's The Body Snatcher  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Wise on Henry Daniell: "Henry was as far from a complainer as any I've ever known. He'd walk onto the set, do his work like the pro he was, do it damn good, and then quietly leave without being a burden to anybody. Period." See more »


When Gray kills Joseph, the latter's right arm is stretched out from his shoulder at a 90 degree angle and Gray reaches over to shoo away his cat who begins to nuzzle Joseph's right hand. In the next shot, the right arm of the dead Joseph has suddenly moved to a position where it lies parallel to his body. See more »


Cabman John Gray: There was a dog that bothered me during the last job. People are so concerned about dogs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In Edinburgh, in 1831- See more »


Referenced in The Munsters: Rock-a-Bye Munster (1964) See more »


Poor Daft Jamie
("Elegiac Lines on the Tragical Murder of Poor Daft Jamie")
Scottish folk song (1829)
Sung by Boris Karloff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sinisterly marvellous!
18 August 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A sinister coach driver John Gray (Boris Karloff) supplies corpses for Dr. Wolfe MacFarlane (Henry Daniell) and his assistant Donald Fettes (Russel Wade), but things start going pair shape when Dr. Wolfe finds out more about where these corpses are coming from, as supplies are running short and he tries to get rid of Gray, who doesn't share his buddy's (or Toddy's) thoughts. Another thing on their minds is that a mother of a young girl with a bad vertebra that's getting worse asks Dr. Wolfe for his help, but he refuses at first. But with the constant bugging from assistant Fettes, he finally goes ahead with the operation.

The more I watch this film, the better it seems to get! Val Lewton's "The Body Snatcher", which is set in the year 1831, Edinburgh - is an excellently well-handled thriller that holds SUCH great performances from the likes of Boris Karloff, Henry Daniell, Russel Wade, Edith Atwater and Bela Lugosi. What shines and drives the film other than its performances - is the intelligent screenplay and hypnotic atmosphere and setting that reeks of death and coldness. The foggy, empty and dark streets of Edinburgh during the night have an approaching sense of menace, especially when Karloff is on screen. An impressive Boris Karloff as John Gray the Cabman evokes such tension and depth. He always makes his presence distinguishable, with the scenes he's in being the most interesting. His appearance and body language has some unsettling effect - in a captivating way. His performance in my opinion is up there with the likes of "The Mummy" and "Bride Of Frankenstein". I read a lot positive remarks towards Karloff's performance, but IMHO Henry Daniell was equally as good. He's great as the troubled Dr. Wolfe, who is haunted by Gray. You could say he was the backbone of the film. When these two shared the screen, is when the fireworks certainly occurred. Russel Wade is quite sympathetic in his role, as the reluctant assistant who gets drawn into Dr. Wolfe's mess. Edith Atwater delivers a sound performance and there's basically a neat cameo role by Bela Lugosi.

I wasn't bored, but for some people it might be a tad too slow and real talkative, as what this film thrives on, is its vivid literature, well-rounded characters and potently gripping confrontations, especially between Wolfe and Gray. The story has its moments of psychological suspense that steadily develops into a thrilling and powerful finale (that has the usual thunderstorm evident). The way the final lines of dialogue were set up in that sequence is truly unnerving. Also throw in elements of greed, guilt and pride and how it gets the better of people. So there is a moral to all of this. Sudden shocks and jolts fill the film, but definitely not cheap ones. Mostly the deaths are implied, though there is great use of sound in those situations eg. The sound of a horse trotting. It's very effective! It isn't stylish or spirited directing by Robert Wise, but to cap it off, he achieves a downright inventive and believable movie piece.

My only small complaint is that it could've been a much darker film, but it's the lightness of the sub-plot about the crippled girl that "slightly" spoilt it. Was it trying for an innocent point of view?Nonetheless, it's still my favourite Lewton/Karloff film, to date.

"Never get rid of me!"

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this Karloff's best performance? A_Roode
Henry Daniell norm_gillespie
Who Would You Cast in a Remake? tj-94
About Gray.. ilpohirvonen
The Body Snatcher (2009) - Remake? Waz-Q8
Tim Burton Remake davenport-graham
Discuss The Body Snatcher (1945) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: