The script was originally written and filmed as a tale of William Burke and William Hare, real-life partners in the selling to medical schools cadavers which they obtained by both murder and grave-robbing. (Burke was hanged in 1829; Hare avoided this fate by testifying against him.) However, the British censors refused to allow the film's release because of national sensitivities toward the infamous "resurrectionists." Therefore, to get the film out, the producers had to re-record the sound track, replacing the names of Burke with Hart, Hare with Moore, and Dr. Knox with Dr. Cox. The new names were then meticulously cut into the original soundtrack: one can easily lip-read "Burke", "Hare" and "Knox" as applicable, however. Due to the cost of this activity there was no money left for a music track. See more »
Names of some characters dubbed (see trivia entry.) See more »
In an attempt to clean up the soundtrack, which is rather scratchy and noisy, a digital audio remastering was done. The problem with this remastering is that between every line of dialog (where the background soundtrack noise would be audible) has now been reduced to absolute silence. The effect is jarring when you watch the movie as the dialog appears to start and stop. It is bad enough when listening via regular TV speakers but when run through an amplified system it becomes unnerving. Additionally, when there is background music in these segments between dialogue the music sounds incredibly muted. The same problem exists on Alpha Video's companion DVD "Sweeney Tood" so beware. These movies are 70+ years old and some leniency must be allowed when viewing these old prints. In this case, those who transfer these items to digital should have left well enough alone.
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