IMDb > The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)
The Flesh and the Fiends
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The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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7.1/10   1,079 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Gilling (original story)
John Gilling (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
4 November 1960 (West Germany) See more »
Coffins Looted! Cadavers Dissected!
In 1828 Scotland, Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Knox does medical research on cadavers he buys from murderers Burke and Hare, without questioning the unethical procurement methods. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Macabre story of coffins and corpses...this is great stuff! See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Peter Cushing ... Dr. Robert Knox
June Laverick ... Martha Knox

Donald Pleasence ... William Hare
George Rose ... William Burke
Renee Houston ... Helen Burke
Dermot Walsh ... Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell

Billie Whitelaw ... Mary Patterson
John Cairney ... Chris Jackson
Melvyn Hayes ... Daft Jamie
June Powell ... Maggie O'Hara
Andrew Faulds ... Inspector McCulloch
Philip Leaver ... Dr. Elliott
George Woodbridge ... Dr. Ferguson
Garard Green ... Dr. Andrews
Esma Cannon ... Aggie
Geoffrey Tyrrell ... Old Davey
George Bishop ... Blind Man
Beckett Bould ... Old Angus (as Becket Bould)
George Street ... Publican
Michael Balfour ... Drunken Sailor
Stephen Scott ... Grave Robber
Raf De La Torre ... Grave Robber
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Steven Berkoff ... Medical Student (uncredited)
Golda Casimir ... Gypsy (uncredited)
Robert Checksfield ... Student (uncredited)
Paul Craig ... Student (uncredited)
Glyn Dearman ... Student (uncredited)
Gilda Emmanuelli ... Jennie (uncredited)
Moris Farhi ... Stallholder (uncredited)
Janice Field ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Norman Fisher ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Ian Fleming ... Priest (uncredited)
Eric Francis ... Clerk of the Court (uncredited)
Lucy Griffiths ... Crone (uncredited)
Dorothy Grumbar ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Victor Harrington ... Member of Medical Council (uncredited)
Frank Henderson ... Artist (uncredited)
Robert Hunter ... Artist's Friend (uncredited)
Olive Kirby ... Maid (uncredited)
Vivienne Lacey ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Ann Lancaster ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Roy Lansford ... Tobias McIntosh (corpse) (uncredited)
Jack McNaughton ... Stallholder (uncredited)
Vernon Morris ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)
Michael Mulcaster ... Undertaker (uncredited)
Sylvia Osborne ... Blowsy Woman (uncredited)
Gordon Phillott ... Nightwatchman (uncredited)
John Rae ... Reverend Lincoln (uncredited)
Terry Richards ... Medical Student (uncredited)
John Scott ... Student (uncredited)
Jack Sharp ... Merry Duke Patron (uncredited)
Charles Stanley ... Town Crier (uncredited)
Marita Stanton ... Barmaid (uncredited)
Peter Stephens ... McBain (uncredited)
Graham Stuart ... Smedley (uncredited)
Hazel Sutton ... Blonde (uncredited)
John Tatum ... Guard (uncredited)

Anthony Valentine ... Student (uncredited)
Don Vernon ... Minuet Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by
John Gilling 
Writing credits
John Gilling (original story)

John Gilling (screenplay) and
Leon Griffiths (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert S. Baker .... producer
Monty Berman .... producer
Original Music by
Stanley Black 
Cinematography by
Monty Berman 
Film Editing by
Jack Slade 
Art Direction by
John Elphick 
Makeup Department
Jimmy Evans .... makeup artist
Betty Sherriff .... hairdresser
Production Management
Jack Swinburne .... production manager
Sound Department
Jeanne Henderson .... dubbing editor
Bob Jones .... sound recordist
George Stephenson .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Chic Waterson .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Laura Nightingale .... wardrobe
Music Department
Stanley Black .... conductor
Other crew
Kay Rawlings .... continuity
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mania" - USA
See more »
97 min | USA:91 min (uncut version)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex)

Did You Know?

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 »
[last lines]
Dr. Robert Knox:Before commencing this morning's lecture, let us consider the Oath of Hippocrates, the sacred oath of our profession: "I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone."
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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Macabre story of coffins and corpses...this is great stuff!, 18 December 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

The Flesh and the Fiends is similar, in a lot of ways, to the Val Lewton produced Robert Wise film, The Body Snatcher, but for some reason; this one has flown further under the radar. It's odd, because despite the greatness of the other film; The Flesh and the Fiends is a lot better, and has the added malevolence of being based on a true-life story. The film takes place in Edinburgh, and director John Gilling does an excellent job of ensuring that the city looks as foreboding as possible, and the perfect home for a story as macabre as this one. The film follows the idea of having to break eggs to make an omelette, and sees Doctor Robert Knox buying corpses from a couple of murderous grave robbers in order for him to have subjects, from which new surgical procedures can be ascertained. The real stars of the show, however, are the graverobbers themselves; Burke and Hare. They begin their careers by simply taking bodies from graves; but once they realise how lucrative the business of selling cadavers is, they soon resort to making a few corpses of their own...

The biggest name in the cast is the one belonging to the great Peter Cushing. Cushing has shown throughout his career that he is capable of a number of different roles, and his role here is one of the best he's had. He gets to sink his teeth into the character of Doctor Knox. In fact, this man isn't a world away from Cushing's world-beating turn as Doctor Frankenstein in Hammer's classic series, which explains why Cushing is so good at it. George Rose and Donald Pleasance give the film its extra dimension in the roles of the graverobbers. Rose is good, but it's Pleasance who really stands out in this film. Seeing him in a role like this is actually quite heartbreaking; as here we see how great he can be, rendering his roles in films like Halloween even more of a waste of time. The plot plays out from a number of different angles, ensuring that there's always enough going on around the central plot to ensure that the film never dries up and becomes boring. It's strange that a film of this quality could fly straight under the radar; but somehow it has. However, copies of this are out there; and it definitely is well worth tracking down!

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Is this a Hammer film? jann-6
Cushing, Pleasence and Whitelaw! spaceagegal
Not a horror movie! jann-6
Needs a restoration and blu ray release. monty-britton
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