The script was originally written and filmed as a tale of William Burke and William Hare, real-life partners in the selling to medical schools cadavers which they obtained by both murder and grave-robbing. (Burke was hanged in 1829; Hare avoided this fate by testifying against him.) However, the British censors refused to allow the film's release because of national sensitivities toward the infamous "resurrectionists." Therefore, to get the film out, the producers had to re-record the sound track, replacing the names of Burke with Hart, Hare with Moore, and Dr. Knox with Dr. Cox. The new names were then meticulously cut into the original soundtrack: one can easily lip-read "Burke", "Hare" and "Knox" as applicable, however. Due to the cost of this activity there was no money left for a music track. See more »
Names of some characters dubbed (see trivia entry.) See more »
Atmospherically lit but studio-bound and talky. Having made several Old Mother Riley films with Arthur Lucan, Tod Slaughter must by comparison have seemed to director Oswald Mitchell like a Method actor; and although he cackles diabolically a couple of times his performance actually seems rather subdued set beside his thirties villains and Robert Newton's Bill Sykes the same year.
Aubrey Woods as poor 'Daft Jamie' came fresh from playing Smike the previous year in Cavalcanti's 'Nicholas Nickleby'; while it would be another twenty years before Eddie Malin became a familiar face on TV as Walter Tattersall in 'Nearest and Dearest'.
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