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Burke and Hare (2010)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 13,871 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 58 user | 125 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Burke and Hare (2010)

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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:

$947 (USA) (9 September 2011)

Gross:

$947 (USA) (9 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The legendary Burke and Hare murders are also known as the West Port murders. The total number of deaths amounted to seventeen. 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

Patterson: I'm sorry to disturb you Doctor but there are two men outside to see you. They appear to have a herring barrel with them.
Doctor Robert Knox: I have no taste for herring Patterson. Send them away.
Patterson: I believe there's something else in the herring barrel Doctor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 18 October 2010 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
Traditional
Words by John Newton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like a Hammer film played for laughs
28 October 2010 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

It is good to see a John Landis film back on the big screen but i feel he missed a trick or two with this average effort. Firstly, for a film set in Scotland i found it odd that the cast was almost entirely English, betraying the roots of the story (and of the English cast only Tom Wilkinson ,a splendid actor, managed to give a good approximation of a Scots accent).

This film felt a bit of a homage to the Hammer films, a point made when a certain Hammer Icon makes a cameo appearance (i won't name the individual as i don't want to add a spoiler). I am guessing Landis is a Hammer fan and to be fair to him the sets and locations work quite well, giving Edinburgh a spooky feel to it. Both Pegg and Serkis are OK in the lead roles and do their best to sound Irish. It was also good to see Jenny Agutter make a brief appearance too, especially as she is invariably remembered for appearing in Landis's American Werewolf in London nearly 30 years ago...a nice touch by the director. In fact there seems to be quite a lot of casting British film and TV icons in this film (Ronnie Corbett being another) so i'm guessing that maybe Simon Pegg or Andy Serkis only agreed to do it if certain British childhood icons of theirs were also given parts.

To be honest the Burke and Hare story has been better done before but this film puts a comedic twist on it that doesn't always work. The bad language feels unnecessary for a start and the gore isn't as bad as i thought (certainly not on the levels of the Hostel or Saw films...and not even as graphic as the Final Destination franchise). There are some genuine laughs to be had but usually when Pegg and Serkis are on the screen. The story itself also swings back and forth between gruesome and the unexpected romantic angles that may have been intended to show Burke and Hare as committing their crimes for something other than just greed.

Basically this is a reasonably graphic horror story with heart and morality that has some good laughs but falls flat in a few areas. The cast give it their best shot and whilst it has an old fashioned feel to it in many ways, it is the unnecessary post-modern touches, the inconsistent rate at which the comedy comes and the rather odd casting that jarred me. However do keep an eye out for the odd cameo appearance from some famous actors and comedians.


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Message Boards

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