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Burke and Hare (2011)

aka Burke and Hare

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

Directed By: 
Details: 91 mins · English


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Small William Burke
Small William Hare
Small Ginny Hawkins
Small Doctor Robert Knox
Small Dr. Monroe
Small Old Joseph
Small Lucky
Small Angus
Small Footman
Small Lord Harrington
Small Emma
Small Fergus
Small Nicephore
Small Mary
No_movie_poster Captain Tam McLintoch
Small Danny McTavish
No_movie_poster Gravediggers' Bouncer
Small Old Donald
No_movie_poster Patterson
Small Sergeant Mackenzie
No_movie_poster Magistrate
Small Hangman
Small Doctor Monro
No_movie_poster Charles


No_movie_poster Barnaby Thompson Production
Small John Landis Director
No_movie_poster Nick Moorcroft Writer
No_movie_poster Piers Ashworth Writer


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


The film opens in Edinburgh with a narration by Angus the Hangman, telling of how the corpses of those hanged by himself are transported to Dr. Robert Knox to dissect, while his rival Dr. Alexander Monro, who wants Knox's job, is left to amputate body parts of living people. Just then, Monro's assistant Charles Darwin arrives with a forged letter stating that dead bodies must be sent to Monro. Angus is then left to tell Knox's assistant, Patterson, that the bodies are now being given to Monro. Patterson delivers the message to Knox.

The film then switches to William Burke and William Hare, two immigrants from Ireland, attempting to sell cheese mould which they state is growing moss. When they are found out, they flee back to an Inn owned by Hare's wife Lucky, who states that one of their lodgers has died. Burke and Hare decide to transport the corpse to Knox. They are forced to break the corpse's spine in order to fit inside the barrel. While on the way to Knox's house, they stop at a bar, and while there, a young woman, Helen McDougal - under the name Ginny Hawkins - a former prostitute, attempts to attract the attention of everyone in the bar by doing an extract from the William Shakespeare play Macbeth. While everyone else in the bar take no notice Burke begins talking to Ginny and asks her why she did so. Ginny explains that it was her ambition to become an actress. While Burke and Ginny have a drink together, Hare tells Burke that they had better set off to Knox's castle.

Burke and Hare arrive at Knox's house and present the now mangled corpse to Knox. Knox then agrees that if the pair bring him two bodies a week for dissection, he will pay them a large amount of money. While Burke sees this as his chance to help Ginny's ambition of becoming an actress, Hare is content on using the money to open a funeral parlour. When Burke and Hare return to the Inn, they find Lucky drunk and nearly unconscious. Lucky explains why she is in that state as it is Joseph, another lodger at the Inn, is near death. Burke and Hare see this as their chance to make a start, before Joseph can die himself they suffocate him and take his body to Knox, who gives them both a large amount of money.

Burke and Hare share out the money, and Burke goes to find Ginny. Burke tells Ginny the good news, and she hugs him and allows him to take her home, while Hare goes to the bar where he meets Fergus, the suffering henchman of villain Danny McTavish. Fergus explains that McTavish is using him to cheat at games of gambling and taking all the money for himself while not sharing it with Fergus. Hare explains that he has to transport two bodies a week to Knox and receives a lot of money for it. Fergus tells this to McTavish.

Later, while Burke is leaving the bar after telling Ginny the good news, he is bundled into a horse carriage along with an already captured Hare, and comes face to face with McTavish and Fergus. McTavish explains that if Burke and Hare want to be kept alive, they must pay him half of the money they earn from Knox, and in exchange McTavish will provide them with protection. With their only option to agree, Burke and Hare are flung from the carriage while it is going through a wood. As Burke and Hare make their way back to the Inn, they begin coming up with plans of whom to kill each week.

As more and more people turn up dead, Lucky begins to get suspicious, as does the local law enforcement lead by Capt Tom McLintock, who visits Lord Harrington and William Wordsworth and informs them. Harrington and Wordsworth give McLintock permission to hunt down the criminals and have them hanged.

Following this, Hare is once again kidnapped by McTavish, who orders both he and Fergus to hand over their money for protection. While Hare and Fergus look at each other, the scene snaps to the dissecting theatre, where McTavish's corpse turns up for Knox to dissect. This causes outrage, and after Ginny's show has a successful opening night, Burke and Ginny are captured by McLintock while about to make love while Hare and Lucky are captured while having sex. All of them are locked in different cells, and are informed that if one of them admits to the murders, the others will go free. Burke agrees to do so on one condition, that he is put in the same cell as Ginny so they can finally make love.

The following day, Burke awaits his hanging at the gallows. Angus announces that if Burke has any last words he should say them now. Burke then states "Only this", before turning to look at Ginny in the crowd, and states "I did it for love", before he is hanged.

Angus then tells how each character goes their separate way, before the camera zooms up on the skeleton of Burke in a present-day museum.

Release Dates:

Video : 2011-08-05 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2011-06-23 : Russia

Theatrical : 2011-09-09 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2010-10-29 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Italy

Theatrical : 2010-10-29 : Ireland

Theatrical : 2011-11-17 : Kuwait

Theatrical : 2011-04-23 : France

Theatrical : 2011-06-30 : Kazakhstan

Theatrical : 2011-04-12 : Belgium

Theatrical : 2011-04-02 : Germany

Theatrical : 2011-07-27 : Canada

Theatrical : 2011-03-27 : France

Theatrical : 2011-08-31 : France

DVD : 2011-05-10 : Germany

DVD : 2012-02-15 : Argentina

DVD : 2011-10-26 : Sweden

DVD : 2012-03-13 : Netherlands