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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
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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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The (Royal) Lyceum Theatre, referenced in the film, did not exist in 1828 as it was not built until 1883. See more »

Quotes

Hangman: [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]
Hangman: Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) 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
Will this be better than Mel Brooks' film?? dlmorrow1-1
Same plot as 'I sell the dead'? rc_sp160
What a shame..... bigbernarduk
'Outrageously Funny' The_Critical_Eye
Did I imagine this? duckylaw39
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