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 »
In occupied France during the Franco-Prussian War, a young French laundress shares a coach ride with several of her condescending social superiors. But when a Prussian officer holds the ... See full summary »
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 »
A lawyer who is planning to run for District Attorney accidentally kills a gangster who owns the nightclub where the attorney's girlfriend is a singer. Although he manages to cover up his ... See full summary »
Insurance detective Steve Hastings is sent by his company to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent. His first lead is the agent's fetching sister, Victoria, whom he trails to ... See full summary »
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 »
Mrs. Mary McBride:
He'll not leave the grave - not since Wednesday last when we buried the lad.
Your son, ma'am? He must have been a fine boy for the wee dog to love him so.
Mrs. Mary McBride:
A great kind lad he was - gentle with all things like Robbie. Now I can't get the dog to leave here. Perhaps it is for the best. I've not money enough to afford a grave watcher.
Not much danger here, ma'am, I wouldn't think - right here in the heart of Edinburgh.
Mrs. Mary McBride:
They're uncommon bold, the grave robbers - and the daft doctors who drive them ...
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Closing credits epilogue: "It is through error that man tries and rises. It is through tragedy he learns. All the roads of learning begin in darkness and go out into the light" Hippocrates of Cos See more »
As of this writing, I have seen four of the nine Val Lewton DVD Horror Collection films and this one was, by far, the best.
Henry Daniell, Boris Karloff, Edith Atwater,Russell Wade, Sharyn Moffet and Bela Lugosi all acted well. I had forgotten that Karloff was a decent actor, not just some Frankenstein monster who couldn't deliver a line. He had a creepy voice, too, which lent itself nicely to horror films. I just found him fascinating here.
In addition, this movie had a well-known director, Robert Wise, and the story was adaption of a Robert Louis Steevenson. So, you see, this film had good bloodlines, pun intended. This was not some schlocky Ed Wood B-film. This movie is a high class affair.
I found it more of a crime story than anything else as a doctor (Daniell), trying to further his knowledge and needing human specimens (dead) to continue his research, has his graveyard supply cut off to him and then has to have his helper (Karloff) kill people to provide him the bodies. Meanwhile, a young and more moral student of the doctor, gets wind of what's happening and doesn't share his mentor's view that the "ends justify the means."
At any rate, this a keeper. Like the other Lewton films I've seen, it's well- photographed, too. I can only hope a few of the five I haven't seen yet are this good.
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