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Burke And Hare [DVD]

15 customer reviews

Price: £9.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Derren Nesbitt, Harry Andrews, Glynn Edwards, Yootha Joyce, Françoise Pascal
  • Directors: Vernon Sewell
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Simply Home Entertainment
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PQB3F4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,473 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Dark thriller with Derren Nesbitt and Glynn Edwards starring as the 19th century body snatchers. Supplying corpses for cash to the pioneering surgeon Dr Knox (Harry Andrews), Burke (Nesbitt) and Hare (Edwards) hit a problem when the supply of cadavers dries up. Not keen to let a business opportunity pass them by, however, the pair soon resort to murder to keep the cash rolling in.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. Hanson on 6 April 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Burke & Hare (1971) will really only appeal to those who appreciate low-budget British horror films of the 70's. If you want to learn about the crimes committed by these two men then there are better films available than this one. This film does stick closely to the actual events, though parts of the story have been omitted.

1820's Edinburgh is presented as a city whose inhabitants are either wealthy or impoverished. Rich men wear expensive clothes and visit high-class brothels, while the poor are reduced to begging for pennies and shovelling up horse manure. Burke and Hare aren't portrayed as evil monsters, but as hard-up immoral men driven by their greed for money and want of a better life.

For a low-budget film Burke and Hare actually stands up well compared with other similar films of the time. The costumes and sets are very good (though nowhere close to what Hammer were capable of in the early 70's). The actors all turn in fine performances with no one letting the side down. Highlights include a scene where elderly doctors exchange amusing stories about their patients over dinner. There's some enjoyable scenes set in a brothel featuring a bevy of incredibly attractive young ladies. And there's some particularly impressive black humour such as "Show a little respect for the dead man, and get yer arse off the coffin!".

What really lets this film down is the music. The film opens with a totally inappropriate upbeat, Chas & Dave-style, Cockney knees up theme tune (complete with lyrics such as: Burke and Hare, Beware of them, Burke and Hare, The pair of `em, Out to snatch, Your body from you!). The film is also peppered with Carry On-style incidental music that completely ruins the atmosphere.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Burke and hare arrives on blu ray from odeon entertainment with a problematic blu ray transfer that is somewhat distracting to watch in certain scenes, this is because of a very irritating and very noticeable strobe effect to the picture in a few scenes where the picture starts to flash with a purplish tint that is really annoying and happens in quite a few scenes and it ruins an otherwise decent transfer.
I have looked at reviews for the region a locked us transfer of this film and apparently that release is also plagued by the same problem. Like I said, it is distracting but, the transfer is otherwise very good and a massive step up from the previous dvd release. Just be aware of this issue before you purchase this blu ray, some people might not find the strobe effect on the picture a big issue but,i certainly did, as it kind of ruined my enjoyment of the film.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
BURKE & HARE [1972] [Blu-ray] The Pimps and the Prostitutes and the Body-Snatchers! The Brothels and Dens of iniquity!

Vernon Sewell [‘The Blood Beast Terror’] directs this Hammeresque horror on the early days of anatomy, when the need for fresh corpses led to a series of murders in Edinburgh.

When the villainous grave robbers Burke and Hare realise that demand for corpses is outstripping supply, they decide to take matters into their own hands and prey on drunken prostitutes in the brothels and alleyways of Victorian Edinburgh. Derren Nesbit, Glynn Edwards, Yootha Joyce and Francoise Pascal star in this seminal British shocker. Extras include interviews with cast and crew members, Françoise Pascal and Derren Nesbitt.

FILM FACT: The eponymous theme song, which opens and closes the film, was written by Roger Webb with lyrics by Norman Newell and performed by the English comedy/musical trio The Scaffold.

Cast: Derren Nesbitt, Harry Andrews, Glynn Edwards, Yootha Joyce, Françoise Pascal, Yutte Stensgaard, Robin Hawdon, Alan Tucker, Dee Shenderey, Joan Carol, Paul Greaves, David Pugh, James Hayter, Thomas Heathcote and Duncan Lamont

Director: Vernon Sewell

Producer: Guido Coen

Screenplay: Ernle Bradford

Composer: Roger Webb

Cinematography: Desmond Dickinson

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

Audio: English: 2.0 LPMC Audio Stereo

Subtitles: None

Running Time: 94 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Odeon Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: A dark comedy thriller about the infamous 19th century body snatchers.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Craig R. Hodge on 9 July 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With opening music from Liverpool's finest "The Scaffold" my heart sunk. The music doesn't fit in with the film at all. Sounds like the Liverpudlian characters from Harry Enfield's show singing the opening song Burchhh & Air, Burchhh & Air.

It's all well-acted but very much a B movie. There's a total cacophony of accents, I never realised 19th Century Edinburgh was so English. Or that William Hare had changed his nationality to English & his name to Tom. I was under the impression Burke & Hare were both Irishmen & both called William. First but biggest mistake.

It's definitely not historically accurate, far too sanitised. From a real Scotsman's point of view the accents are atrocious, BUT as a B Movie it's not too bad. There's the usual 70's titillation in the form of Francoise Pascal & Yutte Stensgaard topless in a few scenes. 19th Century Edinburgh is a touch too clean as it was known as Auld Reekie at this time. Don't expect an Oscar winning film think more a poor man's Hammer Horror & you won't go too far wrong. All in all it' not a bad film, just let down by the bad accents. Quite enjoyable for it genre
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