IMDb > The Doctor and the Devils (1985)
The Doctor and the Devils
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The Doctor and the Devils (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Dylan Thomas (earlier screenplay)
Ronald Harwood
Contact:
View company contact information for The Doctor and the Devils on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 October 1985 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Grave robbers supply a doctor with bodies to test on. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
An Intriguing Fictionalization Of Burke & Hare See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Timothy Dalton ... Doctor Thomas Rock

Jonathan Pryce ... Robert Fallon

Twiggy ... Jennie Bailey

Julian Sands ... Dr. Murray

Stephen Rea ... Timothy Broom

Phyllis Logan ... Elizabeth Rock
Lewis Fiander ... Dr. Thornton
Beryl Reid ... Mrs. Flynn

T.P. McKenna ... O'Connor

Patrick Stewart ... Prof. Macklin

Siân Phillips ... Annabella Rock

Philip Davis ... Billy Bedlam

Philip Jackson ... Andrew Merry-Lees
Danny Schiller ... Praying Howard
Bruce Green ... Mole
Toni Palmer ... Rosie

David Bamber ... Cronin
Nichola McAuliffe ... Alice
Deirdre Costello ... Nelly
Terry Neason ... Kate
Paul Curran ... Tom the Porter
Merelina Kendall ... Mrs. Webb

Dermot Crowley ... Mr. Webb
Sarah Melia ... Nora Webb
Stephen Yardley ... Joseph
John Horsley ... Dr. Mackendrick
Jack May ... Dr. Stevens
Rachel Herbert ... Mrs. Stevens

Simon Shepherd ... Harding
David Parfitt ... Billings
Simon Adams ... Green

Jeff Rawle ... Lambert

William Morgan Sheppard ... Landlord
Jennifer Jayne ... Barmaid
Moira Brooker ... Molly the Maid
P.G. Stephens ... Priest
Roy Evans ... Sewerman

Peter Burton ... Customer
Leonard Maguire ... Nightwatchman
Hedger Wallace ... Doctor
Ray Dunbobbin ... Tinker
Martin Herring ... Messenger
Shaun Curry ... Policeman
David Grahame ... Old Man
Kevin Duffield ... Daniel
Ray Armstrong ... Prison Guard
Sam Bartlett ... Prison Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Fielder ... Thug (uncredited)
Samantha Meaton ... Little Girl in Bar (uncredited)
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Directed by
Freddie Francis 
 
Writing credits
Dylan Thomas (earlier screenplay)

Ronald Harwood 

Produced by
Mel Brooks .... executive producer
Geoffrey Helman .... associate producer
Jonathan Sanger .... producer
 
Original Music by
John Morris 
 
Cinematography by
Gerry Turpin 
Norman Warwick 
 
Film Editing by
Laurence Méry-Clark 
 
Casting by
Maggie Cartier 
 
Production Design by
Robert W. Laing 
 
Art Direction by
Brian Ackland-Snow 
 
Set Decoration by
Peter James 
 
Costume Design by
Imogen Richardson 
 
Makeup Department
Miri Ben-Schlomo .... assistant makeup artist
Naomi Donne .... makeup artist
Aileen Seaton .... assistant hair stylist
Sally Sutton .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Bennett .... assistant director
Simon Haveland .... third assistant director
Nikolas Korda .... third assistant director
Andrew Warren .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Bob Cross .... construction coordinator
Harry Harrison .... stand-by carpenter
Paul Laugier .... draftsman
John Newman .... stand-by painter
Len Serpant .... stand-by stagehand
Kit Surrey .... assistant art director
Tony Teiger .... property master
Bryn Siddall .... property buyer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Peter Bond .... dialogue editor
John Iles .... dubbing mixer
Steve O'Brien .... boom operator
Alan Paley .... sound editor
Andrew Sissons .... sound assistant
Jeremy Strachan .... assistant sound editor
Ken Weston .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Alan Bryce .... special effects
Phil Knowles .... special effects assistant (as Philip Knowles)
 
Stunts
Jason White .... stunt performer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Kenneth Atherfold .... camera grip (as Ken Atherfold)
Wick Finch .... gaffer
Ken Groom .... camera loader
Gordon Hayman .... camera operator
Tom Hilton .... still photographer
Billy Merrell .... electrician (as Bill Merrell)
George Parrish .... best boy
Tim Ross .... camera focus
 
Casting Department
Suzanne Crowley .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norman Dickens .... wardrobe master
Bridget Sellers .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Jeremy Gibbs .... first assistant editor
Adam Unger .... second assistant editor
 
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
John Morris .... conductor
 
Transportation Department
Alan Phillips .... transportation
 
Other crew
Bi Benton .... production coordinator
Beryl Brown .... accountant
Lynne Buckley .... unit nurse
Sophie Dasic .... assistant accountant
Pamela Davies .... script supervisor
Jane Golding .... unit publicist
Philip Morris .... production runner
Derek Whitehurst .... location unit manager
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
93 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The last film of Jennifer Jayne.See more »
Quotes:
Doctor Thomas Rock:I set myself up as a God over death.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Body Snatcher (1945)See more »
Soundtrack:
WHISPER AND I SHALL HEARSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
An Intriguing Fictionalization Of Burke & Hare, 30 August 2010
Author: Matthew Kresal from United States

Inspired by the tale of 18th century British body-snatchers Burke and Hare and their benefactor Dr. Alexander Knox, noted Welsh writer and poet Dylan Thomas wrote the screenplays for The Doctor And The Devils in 1953 shortly before his death. Thirty-two years later Thomas screenplay, with work done to it by Ronald Harwood, was finally produced for the screen. That film stands up, twenty-five years after it was made, as a fine example of period drama brought splendidly to life.

The screenplay is brought to life wonderfully by its cast. Timothy Dalton, himself a Welshman, plays anatomist Dr. Thomas Rock as a man so passionate and desperate to learn more about the human body that he resorts to paying grave-robbers to do so. Dalton brings a strong presence to any scene he's in and his background as a Shakespearean actor is put to good use in scenes such as his opening of the lecture that starts the film or his final piece of narration as the film ends. Believably playing versions of the infamous body-snatchers are Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Rea as Robert Fallon and Timothy Broom, respectively. Both Pryce and Rea share fine chemistry on screen, making them believable as friends turned body-snatchers with Pryce playing up Falon's obsessiveness and Rea Broom's cowardice. The supporting cast is just as splendid as well including Julian Sands as Rock's troubled assistant Doctor Murray, Patrick Stewart as fellow anatomist Professor Macklin, Beryl Reid as one of the body-snatchers victims, Phyllis Logan as Rock's wife, Siân Phillips as Rock's troubled sister and the singer Twiggy as Murray's prostitute girlfriend in a performance that proves every once in a while a singer can actually act.

Period dramas rely heavily on their production values almost as much as their cast to bring them to life believably with this film being no exception. In particular the production design of Robert Laing and Imogen Richardson's costumes come together to bring to life the two clashing worlds of the film: the clean and cultured world of Doctor Rock and the dirty, grimy world of Fallon and Broom. The cinematography of Gerry Turpin and Norman Warwick helps to aid the production design and costumes as well while the editing of Laurence Méry-Clark bring pace, energy. Tension and even horror to those distinctly different worlds. The film is effectively scored by John Morris, including his haunting main title music. All this under the fine direction of Freddie Francis, himself an Oscar winning cinematographer in his own right. When put together these various elements insure that The Doctor And The Devils is well served by its production values.

The true building block of the film is of course its script. Written by Thomas, with work done by Ronald Harwood, the script is an intriguing fictionalization of the tale of 18th century British body-snatchers Burke and Hare and their benefactor Dr. Alexander Knox. Presumably this fictionalization was done by Thomas to allow him to play a bit loose with the facts and explore the themes he wanted to explore. As a consequence, the film is very much centered around Doctor Rock, a cultured man who believes in the advancement of knowledge at all costs as stated eloquently in the character's opening lines. Yet this belief leads him into murky moralistic waters when Fallon and Broom begin bringing him bodies that don't seem quite right and Rock turns a blind eye to the questionable actions of the two men despite the warnings of those around him. The film also looks at Fallon and Broom, men of the grim and filthier side of London who take up body-snatching and indeed murder for a bit of Doctor Rock's money. Or at least until things go wrong and their biggest attributes, Fallon's obsessiveness and Broom's cowardice, threatens to destroy them. It is the scripts exploration of how the cultured, nobly minded but possibly amoral Doctor Rock is, in his own words, brought down into the slime that bred Fallon and Broom that lies at the heart of the film rather then the murders and body-snatching of "the devils" he employed.

The Doctor And The Devils is not only an intriguing fictionalization of the tale of 18th century British body-snatchers Burke and Hare and their benefactor Dr. Alexander Knox but also a fine piece of period drama. This is thanks to the fine performances of its three lead actors, its supporting cast and its fine production values that brings the worlds of 18th century London to life. It is the Dylan Thomas (and Ronald Harwood) script though, with its exploration of the dangers of science without conscience and its consequences, that truly makes the film standout. Fact is stranger then fiction and, though fictionalized, The Doctor And The Devils proves that saying is still true twenty-five years on.

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