Burke & Hare

Burke & Hare

John Landis (2010)

15 Certificate


Our Score
An American Werewolf in London director John Landis turns the grisly tale of the Edinburgh corpse-sellers into a twisted take on emerging capitalism in a smart but sinister black comedy that's very much in the old Ealing tradition. Simon Pegg (Burke) and Andy Serkis (Hare) make a well-matched double act - pitched as a sort of entrepreneurial Morecambe and Wise - and the gags run the hit-and-miss gamut from the subtly understated (pot shots at Wordsworth, Lister and Greyfriars Bobby) to crass slapstick (chamber pot contents being dumped on the heads of the bodysnatching duo). Mildly amusing more than laugh-out-loud funny, the film benefits from a cast of well-known British comics (Ronnie Corbett, Bill Bailey, Paul Whitehouse, to name but a few) who add a canny texture to events that are beautifully evoked by the convincing Georgian period setting. Meanwhile, Landis pounces on every contemporary innovation and social issue for its inherent gallows humour to craft an entertaining version of the historical facts.


Two Irishmen in 19th-century Edinburgh have to dispose of a dead lodger, and learn a doctor pays well for cadavers to use in his anatomy lectures. Seeing a chance to get rich, they soon progress from grave robbing to murder in a bid to keep their benefactor in fresh corpses. Comedy horror, starring Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Hynes.

Cast & Crew

William Burke Simon Pegg
William Hare Andy Serkis
Dr Robert Knox Tom Wilkinson
Lucky Hare Jessica Hynes
Ginny Hawkins Isla Fisher
Old Joseph Christopher Lee
Dr Monro Tim Curry
Capt Tam McLintoch Ronnie Corbett
Director John Landis
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 29 Oct 2010
Comedy Drama