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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 overview, first billed only:
Gabrielle Downey ...
Aggrieved Customer
Robert Fyfe ...
Old Donald
Robert Willox ...
Gravediggers' Bouncer


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


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


Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burke & Hare  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£942,894 (UK) (29 October 2010)


$947 (USA) (9 September 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the 'Edinburgh Evening News' of 24 November 2008, Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor were being touted to play William Hare and William Burke in this film. See more »


Two hangings are shown in the film, in the style of a "long drop" designed to break the neck and cause instant death. This style was first introduced in the 1870's by William Marwood as a more humane approach. Before then, and certainly in 1828-1829 when the film was set, the victim was simply suspended by a rope around the neck, and choked to death by suffocation. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

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


Version of The Doctor and the Devils (1985) See more »


Auprès de Ma Blonde
Performed by Allan Corduner
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User Reviews

Very enjoyable (forget werewolf)
18 February 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Expectations from other reviewers must have been too high. This movie is thoroughly enjoyable, despite the subject matter, which I suppose is the whole point. I found it to be comically dark as expected. Although in a lighter tone than "I sell the dead" which is another good film in the same vein. The casting was well composed and at times gave me the feel of a Terry Pratchett production. The sets and cinematography were spot on and very believable. I simply wouldn't try to compare this film to any of John Landis' previous works ,it stand on its own and demonstrates the dynamic abilities of both cast and crew. All in all worth a go if you are in the mood for a few good laughs.

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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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