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Burke and Hare
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Burke and Hare (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Burke and Hare -- WILLIAM BURKE (Simon Pegg) and WILLIAM HARE (Andy Serkis) are scratching out a living in 1820s Edinburgh.  After yet another failed business venture, they return to Hare's lodging house to find that a tenant has suddenly died on rent day.  As the boys decide how to dispose of the body over a drink, they discover that a corpse can fetch a hefty price.
Burke and Hare -- A black comedy about two 19th century grave robbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.
Burke and Hare -- 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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Piers Ashworth (written by)
Nick Moorcroft (written by)
View company contact information for Burke and Hare on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 September 2011 (USA) See more »
No Job Too Small. No Body Too Big. No Questions Asked.
A black comedy about two 19th century grave robbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
The biggest challenge the story faced was turning two mass murderers into characters you can follow, laugh with and have empathy for and I think this film does it really well. See more (59 total) »


  (in credits order)

Bill Bailey ... Hangman

Tom Wilkinson ... Doctor Robert Knox

Michael Smiley ... Patterson

Tim Curry ... Doctor Monro

Paul Davis ... Patient

Christian Brassington ... Charles
Gabrielle Downey ... Mad Maggie

Stuart McQuarrie ... Magistrate

Simon Pegg ... William Burke

Andy Serkis ... William Hare

Mike Goodenough ... Aggrieved Customer

Jessica Hynes ... Lucky
Robert Fyfe ... Old Donald
Robert Willox ... Gravediggers' Bouncer

David Schofield ... Fergus

David Hayman ... Danny McTavish

Christopher Lee ... Old Joseph

Ronnie Corbett ... Captain Tam McLintoch

Ciaron Kelly ... Private Fox

Reece Shearsmith ... Sergeant Mackenzie
Joyce Henderson ... Mrs. McFie

Isla Fisher ... Ginny Hawkins

Pollyanna McIntosh ... Mary

Georgia King ... Emma

Shelley Longworth ... Hannah
Amanda Claire-Jones ... Nicola (as Amanda Claire)

Allan Corduner ... Nicephore

Steve Speirs ... McMartin's Doorman
George Potts ... Doctor Lister

Duncan Duff ... Attendant

Hugh Bonneville ... Lord Harrington

Ray Harryhausen ... Distinguished Doctor
Alan Munroe ... Distinguished Doctor (as Sir Alan Munroe)
John Gaynor ... Distinguished Doctor (as Dr. John Gaynor)
Michael Wilson ... Distinguished Doctor
Robert Paynter ... Distinguished Doctor
Simon Farnaby ... William Wordsworth

Tom Meeten ... Samuel Coleridge

Paul Whitehouse ... Gentleman Drunk

Michael Winner ... Gentlemen Passenger
Tom Urie ... Heart attack man

Ella Smith ... Barmaid
Janet Whiteside ... Old Woman

Jenny Agutter ... Lucy
Robert Stone ... Miss Clarissa Windsor

Max Landis ... Handsome Coachman

Christopher Obi ... John Martin (as Chris Obi)
Patricia Gibson-Howell ... Mrs. John Martin

Michael Billington ... Medical Student

Stephen Merchant ... Holyrood Footman
Jacob Edwards ... Hollyrood Courtier

John Woodvine ... Lord Provost
Billy Riddoch ... Rabble Rouser
Esme Thompson ... Nicephore's Girlfriend

Costa-Gavras ... French Family (as Costa Gavras)
Michèle Ray-Gavras ... French Family (as Michele Ray Gavras)
Romain Gavras ... French Family
Emmanuel Hamon ... French Family
Theo Hamon ... French Family
Dodger ... Greyfriars Bobby
Seamus ... Himself (as Seamus the Dog)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stuart Adams ... Ticket Tout (uncredited)
Guðmundur Auðunsson ... Thug #1 (uncredited)
Paul Bergquist ... Man in Tavern (uncredited)
Michelle Brooks ... Macbeth Girl (uncredited)
Christian Carroll ... Cowboy (uncredited)

Gioacchino Jim Cuffaro ... Doctor (uncredited)

Joseph Dewey ... Medical Student (uncredited)
Darren Hammock ... Highland Soldier (uncredited)

Kerry Ingram ... Street child (uncredited)
Charli Janeway ... Medical Student (uncredited)

Eric Lampaert ... (uncredited)
Jamie Langlands ... Medical Student (uncredited)

Johnny Lynch ... Oyster Trader (uncredited)

Tom Machell ... Medical Student (uncredited)
Chris Mansfield ... Stage hand (uncredited)

Ken Matthews ... The Boil Man (uncredited)

Nick Moorcroft ... Reporter (uncredited)
Pete Noakes ... Tanner (uncredited)
Spencer Noll ... Hamish (uncredited)

Gino Picciano ... Doctor (uncredited)
Paul Redfern ... Tavern Drinker (uncredited)
Nick Shaw ... Barman (uncredited)
Adam Smith ... Medical Student (uncredited)
Mark Smith ... Policeman (uncredited)
Rebeka Venters ... Market Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
John Landis 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Piers Ashworth  written by
Nick Moorcroft  written by

Produced by
James Atherton .... executive producer
Paul Brett .... executive producer
Alexandra Ferguson .... co-producer
Jan Pace .... executive producer
Tim Smith .... executive producer
James Spring .... executive producer
Barnaby Thompson .... producer
Original Music by
Joby Talbot 
Cinematography by
John Mathieson 
Film Editing by
Mark Everson 
Casting by
Daniel Hubbard 
Production Design by
Simon Elliott 
Art Direction by
Bill Crutcher (supervising art director)
Nick Dent 
Set Decoration by
Annie Gilhooly 
Costume Design by
Deborah Nadoolman 
Makeup Department
Sylvia Atkins .... junior make up artist: dailies
Ricci-Lee Berry .... makeup daily
Christine Blundell .... hair stylist
Christine Blundell .... makeup artist
Helen Conroy .... junior makeup artist: dailies
David Dorling .... crowd hairdresser
Lucy Friend .... junior make up artist: dailies
Barrie Gower .... prosthetics supervisor
Soleil Jackson .... makeup trainee
Monica MacDonald .... make up artist: daily
Waldo Mason .... prosthetics supervisor
Chloe Meddings .... makeup artist
Andrew Simonin .... crowd hairdresser
Stephanie Lynne Smith .... daily makeup artist
Ailsa Lawson .... makeup work experience (uncredited)
Production Management
Linda Deacy .... post-production supervisor
Bobby Prince .... unit manager
Tim Wellspring .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Browne .... additional third assistant director
Stephen Carney .... additional third assistant director
Chris Foggin .... crowd assistant director
Jamie Gavin .... assistant director runner
Mark Hopkins .... second assistant director
Liam Lock .... third assistant director
Andy Madden .... third assistant director
George Nelson .... additional third assistant director
Alex Oakley .... first assistant director
Art Department
Marshall Aver .... production buyer
Jo Berglund .... assistant buyer
Steve Bohan .... construction manager
Mark Buck .... plasterer
Ian Cooper .... chargehand dressing props
Gary Crosby .... head painter
Matt Curtis .... title design
Kevin Day .... stand by props
Jake Drummond .... carpenter
Paul Duff .... chargehand carpenter
Colin H. Fraser .... construction manager: Scotland
Gavin Gordon .... carpenter
Peter Hallam .... property master
Felicity Hickson .... graphic artist
Douglas Ingram .... storyboard artist
Gary Jopling .... assistant art director
Martin Lane .... standby painter
Fred MacMillan .... props (as Andrew 'Fred' MacMillan)
Gary Martin .... props daily
Jamie McCallum .... carpenter
Richard A. McCarthy .... supervising plasterer
Lisa McDiarmid .... stand-by art director
Garry Moore .... standby carpenter
Michael Parkin .... props
Marco Anton Restivo .... assistant art director
David Richmond .... carpenter
Nic Stubbings .... stand-by props
Kristin Theyers .... props
Bill Thomas .... props
Dean Coldham .... plasterer (uncredited)
Rohan Harris .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry Barnes .... supervising sound editor
Gareth Bull .... sound re-recording mixer
Martin Cantwell .... sound effects editor
Joe Carey .... sound assistant
Duncan Craig .... sound department: work experience
Peter Hanson .... sound editor
Adam Horley .... adr recordist
Craig Irving .... sound re-recording mixer
Andrea King .... foley artist
Nick Kray .... adr mixer
Adam Mendez .... foley mixer
Adam Mendez .... sound re-recording mixer
John Midgley .... production sound mixer
Mike Reardon .... boom operator
Colin Ritchie .... dialogue editor
David Sendall .... sound assistant
Jack Stew .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Neal Champion .... special effects supervisor
Bernard Newton .... special effects
Scott Peters .... special effects technician
Nick P. Phillips .... special effects senior technician
Visual Effects by
Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor .... Visual Effects Producer: BlueBolt
Angela Barson .... visual effects supervisor
Max Dennison .... matte painting supervisor: Matte Painting UK Ltd
Will Hudson .... digital restoration
Emma Hulme .... digital restoration
Markus Kuha .... lead compositor: BlueBolt
Matthew W.B. Plummer .... digital compositor: BlueBolt
Michael Byrch .... stunt performer
Gary Connery .... stunt coordinator
Danielle da Costa .... stunt performer (as Danielle De Costa)
Gary Hoptrough .... stunt performer
Rob Jarman .... stunt performer
Curtis Rivers .... stunt performer
Andy Wareham .... stunt performer
Curtis Rivers .... stunt double: Christopher Lee (uncredited)
Andy Wareham .... stunt double: Andy Serkis (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Appleby .... key grip
Graham Baker .... h.o.d. rigger
John Conroy .... vfx cinematographer
Jim Crowther .... b camera grip
Paul Edwards .... steadicam operator
John Gamble .... first assistant camera
Charlie Gray .... specials photographer
Robert Hamilton .... video technician
Phill Hardy .... second assistant camera
Lewis Hume .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Russell Kennedy .... second assistant camera
Giles Keyte .... additional still photographer
Alan Martin .... gaffer
James Nesbitt .... electrician
Carsten Thoms .... balloon light technician
Garry Thomson .... chargehand electrician
Neil Tomlin .... crane technician: dailies
Dan West .... camera trainee
Andrew Bradley .... camera trainee: dailies (uncredited)
Robbie Bryant .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Brendan Donnison .... voice casting
Gemma Sykes .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gordon Harmer .... costume supervisor
Helen Ingham .... key costumer
Eleanor Landgrebe .... costume assistant
Ashwin Makan .... costume assistant
Heidi McQueen-Prentice .... costume assistant
Calandra Meredith .... costume assistant
Sally Turner .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Dan Dolan .... digital intermediate scanner and recorder
Paul Ensby .... digital colorist
Emanuele Giraldo .... assistant editor
Jules T-Smith .... EPK producer (as Jules Smith)
Todd Kleparski .... digital intermediate producer
Jesse Rowe .... trainee assistant editor
Dominic Thomson .... di editor
Music Department
Alastair Caplin .... solo violin
Andrew Fisher .... orchestrator
Ben Foster .... composer: additional music
Dave Foster .... music preparation
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Jeremy Holland-Smith .... musician: piano
Tony Lewis .... music editor
Catherine Manners .... music score coordinator
Transportation Department
Paul Allen .... unit driver
Russell D. Equi .... unit driver
Rob Hempenstall .... transportation captain
Tony Power .... prop truck driver
Ken Price .... driver: main unit camera truck
Barrie Williams .... driver: Simon Pegg
Other crew
Johnathan Abbott .... assistant studio manager: Ealing Studios
Johnathan Abbott .... studio coordinator: Ealing Studios
Sarah Alexander .... assistant producer
Anna Brazinova .... head of administration: Prescience
Clare Brody .... data operator: Technicolor
Isabel Chick .... production accountant: Prescience
Hannah Collett .... production coordinator
Jake Cox .... carriage driver
Tom Cox .... carriage driver
Joe Downs .... assistant accountant
Jon Duncan .... production accountant
Richard George .... assistant location manager
Simon George .... head of finance: Ealing Studios
David Hancock .... location manager: scotland
Paula Hind .... production secretary
Tabitha Jenkins .... head of production
Julia Jones .... unit publicist
Jules T-Smith .... creative executive (as Jules Smith)
Rachel King .... unit nurse
Tamara King .... floor runner
Clem Leneghan .... Safety Advisor
Cathy Lorimer .... key floor runner
Nichola Martin .... associate producer
Jill McCullough .... dialect coach
Josey McNamara .... floor runner
Simon Mills .... assistant production coordinator
Daniel Naprous .... horse master
Jon Parker .... systems development manager
Ian Pearce .... security
Mike Pike .... carriage driver
Ari Daniel Pinchot .... development
Gill Raddings .... animal wrangler (as Gill Riddings)
Emilia Reid .... production staff
Jemma Sands .... Head of Marketing: Prescience
Stuart Avi Savitsky .... development
Camilla Stephenson .... location manager
Rebecca Wolf .... first assistant accountant
Evan Leighton-Davis .... development coordinator: Ealing Studios (uncredited)
Louis Frost .... the producers wish to thank

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some sexual content, disturbing images and language
91 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Cameo: [Michael Winner]as a rich person riding in a coach cabin.See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
Lord Harrington:Whomsoever he determines has made the greatest advances in the field of medicine will be awarded the Royal Seal, and a handsome monetary reward.
Doctors:[in unison] Mmmm!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Comin' Thro' the RyeSee more »


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52 out of 67 people found the following review useful.
The biggest challenge the story faced was turning two mass murderers into characters you can follow, laugh with and have empathy for and I think this film does it really well., 29 October 2010
Author: Patrick Samuel from United Kingdom

Released just in time for Halloween is the macabre tale of Burke and Hare! Set in 1820's Edinburgh, two Irish immigrants, William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), try one business venture after the next, and one after the next they fail. Just at the point where they're about to face financial ruin, the duo come up with an ingenious idea when they spot a in the niche in the market for the supply and demand of fresh dead bodies which manages to turn their fortunes around.

The story is inspired by true events which took place in Edinburgh between November 1827 and 31 October 1828 when the real life Bukre and Hare murdered 16 people and sold their bodies to a private anatomy lecturer, Doctor Robert Knox (played by Tom Wilkinson in the film), for dissection at Edinburgh Medical College. Although this is the 8th time their story has been brought to the big screen, this marks the first time that we see them as two likable lead characters.

From a screenplay penned by Nick Moorcroft and Piers Ashworth and directed by the legendary John Landis, Burke And Hare harks back to the days of the old Ealing Studios dark comedies like Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and The Ladykillers (1955) which director John Landis is very fond of. It looks at the friendship between these two guys and focuses on the idea of who the bad guys really are. The doctors or the killers themselves? Mixing in a little Shakespeare with an all female production of Macbeth by Isla Fisher's character, Ginny, an aspiring young actress whom Burke falls madly in love with, another layer is added to the story. While Ginny ponders what would drive a man like Macbeth to murder, Burke looks at her and explains the character's motivation; "He did it for love".

By and large, I really enjoyed Bukre and Hare. The biggest challenge the story faced was turning two mass murderers into characters you can follow, laugh with and have empathy for and I think this film does it really well. As Burke is talked into the business with Hare, there's never the slightest feeling that his friend is purposefully leading him down a path to his own downfall, unlike the real Hare who gave Burke up in the end to escape a public hanging. Another element of the movie which was enjoyable was seeing so many familiar faces turning up in smaller roles; Ronnie Corbett decked out in his red and blue uniform as Captain McLintock, Christopher Lee as Old Joseph, one of Buke and Hare's early unfortunates and perhaps the most hilarious scene of all is when they push Paul Whitehouse down a flight of stairs! It's a good one to see if you're after something dark and funny this Halloween.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Title of film taken from Good Neighbor Sam? missives-922-189544
Nothing funny about these two sheilamc76
Same plot as 'I sell the dead'? rc_sp160
Questions about the end * Spoilers ahead * sumit_feb78-1
'Outrageously Funny' The_Critical_Eye
Where were the Scots? McEwansExported
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