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The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 992 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 12 critic

Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Robert Knox requires cadavers for his research into the functioning of the human body; local ne'er-do-wells Burke and Hare find ways to provide him with fresh ... See full summary »

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(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
June Laverick ...
Martha Knox
...
George Rose ...
Renee Houston ...
Helen Burke
Dermot Walsh ...
Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell
...
John Cairney ...
Chris Jackson
Melvyn Hayes ...
June Powell ...
Maggie O'Hara
Andrew Faulds ...
Inspector McCulloch
Philip Leaver ...
Dr. Elliott
George Woodbridge ...
Garard Green ...
Dr. Andrews
Esma Cannon ...
Aggie
Edit

Storyline

Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Robert Knox requires cadavers for his research into the functioning of the human body; local ne'er-do-wells Burke and Hare find ways to provide him with fresh specimens... Written by Mark Doran <za13@dial.pipex.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Coffins Looted! Cadavers Dissected!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1960 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Mania  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is an adaptation of the story of real-life killers William Burke and William Hare who, around 1827 in Edinburgh, Scotland, did provide more than a dozen "fresh" corpses to the anatomist Dr. Knox. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell: We are students of Hippocrates, but some of us are hypocrites.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Dyaliscope logo in the main titles misspells the widescreen process as "Dylascope". See more »

Connections

Version of El quinto jinete: El ladrón de cadáveres (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly Peter Cushing's finest performance on film
15 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS followed in the wake of the success of Hammer Films' early successes. Although not actually a Hammer Film Production, it shares many stylistic points with Hammer. However, the script is a largely accurate version of the history of the body snatchers, Burke and Hare, and their main customer, Dr. Robert Knox.

Although there are memorable performances in this film, it is Peter Cushing's work as Dr. Knox that ultimately stands out. During the 1820's in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Knox illegally bought cadavers from Burke and Hare. In spite of every reason to be suspicious of Burke and Hare, Dr. Know persisted in obtaining cadavers from them for medical lectures. To Dr. Knox, the training of competent doctors took precedent over ethical considerations.

In a remarkable scene in the denouement, a little girl in the street begs alms from Dr. Knox. Cushing tells her that he doesn't have any money with him, but if she will step over to his house he will give her some. The little girl politely declines the offer, saying, "Oh, no, you might be Dr. Knox." Cushing's unspoken response is truly unforgettable. It makes you realize that Peter Cushing was really a fine actor. What a pity his talent was too often wasted in pictures that were beneath him.


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