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
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 »
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 »
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...
I saw the man, the wee man himself, Napoleon? Aye, it were a treat.
And that idiotic hat.
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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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