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Burke and Hare (2010)

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A black comedy about two 19th century grave robbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hangman
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Patterson
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Patient
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Gabrielle Downey ...
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Magistrate
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Aggrieved Customer
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Lucky
Robert Fyfe ...
Old Donald
Robert Willox ...
Gravediggers' Bouncer
...
Fergus
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Job Too Small. No Body Too Big. No Questions Asked.

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burke & Hare  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£942,894 (UK) (29 October 2010)

Gross:

$947 (USA) (9 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among many cultural and historical jokes interwoven in the plot, one occurs when Professor Munro says to Dr. Lister, "your breath is appalling." Although the timeline is somewhat off, with Lister being of a later generation than that portrayed during the events of the film, he was nonetheless the pioneer of using carbolic acid for the sterilization of surgical instruments and cleaning of wounds during the 1860s. This effectively revolutionized surgery and saved the lives of countless patients who would otherwise have died of infection or had to have limbs amputated due to gangrene. He is also who the famous anti-septic mouthwash product Listerine is named after, hence the ironic joke about his breath being appalling. See more »

Goofs

Hare comments that his wife Lucky has "fallen off the wagon" when she resumes drinking alcohol after a period of abstinence. The idiom of "falling off the wagon" would not be in used in Scotland at this time. The phrase originated in America very close to the start of the 20th century. See more »

Quotes

Old Joseph: I remember. Old Nosey was there himself. He says, "Stand up, guards. Now, Maitland, now's your time." And over we go, fightin', fightin' the Frogs. Did I ever tell you about the time...
[coughs wetly]
Old Joseph: the time...
[coughs]
Old Joseph: I saw the man, the wee man himself, Napoleon? Aye, it were a treat.
[laughs]
Old Joseph: And that idiotic hat.
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Crazy Credits

This is a true story. Except for the parts that are not. See more »

Connections

Version of Horror Maniacs (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Scotland the Brave
Traditional
(opening sequence)
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User Reviews

 
Landis Comeback
23 February 2011 | by (Russian Federation) – See all my reviews

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.


17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nothing funny about these two sheilamc76
Same plot as 'I sell the dead'? rc_sp160
Did I imagine this? duckylaw39
What a shame..... bigbernarduk
Will this be better than Mel Brooks' film?? dlmorrow1-1
'Outrageously Funny' The_Critical_Eye
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