Susan wants her reprehensible ex-husband dead and, in several bungled attempts by henchmen, tries to accomplish the deed. First her boyfriend hires two dim-witted hitmen. Then she hires a ... See full summary »
Based on the true story about the famous murderers, 'Burke And Hare' follows the hapless exploits of these two men as they fall into the highly profitable business of providing cadavers for the medical fraternity in Nineteenth Century Edinburgh, then the centre of medical learning. The one thing they were short of was bodies. Written by
In the scene outside of the university, before the meeting of Monro and Knox, there is a nod to Dan Aykroyd, who was originally rumored to be in the film. As the doctors are walking to the building, they all greet each other in the same fashion as in the "Doctor" scene in Spies Like Us (1985). See more »
The (Royal) Lyceum Theatre, referenced in the film, did not exist in 1828 as it was not built until 1883. See more »
[after Burke's execution]
I know he seemed like a nice guy and all that, and I suppose you have to respect the fact that he made the ultimate sacrifice for love, but he did kill all those people just for money. And that's just evil.
[the Hangman is given a sack of coins as payment for the execution]
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This is a true story. Except for the parts that are not. See more »
Burke and Hare is a story of two men in Scotland in the late XIX century barely making a dime when an opportunity comes along to earn hard cash by killing people and selling their bodies to the benefit of science.
This movie may seem morally rotten at its core making a comedy out of murder, but it succeeds at it while quite a lot of comedies with far less harmful plots don't, not to mention that some of the most popular TV shows of today make it fit right in. John Landis comedies much in common with ZAZ productions and sometimes are almost live action cartoons. The title characters are shown as flawed people in a desperate situation which they think justifies their actions - we don't laugh with them, only at them. And that's intentional.
John Landis came back with a surprisingly decent feature. It's as if the MTV-style cinema revolution has passed him by (the one that hit the new Sherlock Holmes square in the face). No camera gymnastics, no forced sensual assault, all the action and physical comedy happens in frame. Burke and Hare is his first 2.35:1 feature and it shows - the frame at first appears a little too wide, like if the characters were taken from a 16:9 movie and arranged accordingly. By the way, "highly entertaining", "very funny" and "packed with the cream of British talent" - those bits on the poster aren't far from the truth.
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