The Body Snatcher

The Body Snatcher

Robert Wise (1945)

A Certificate


Our Score
Producer Val Lewton's magnificent version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Burke and Hare-like corpse-stealing short story is a horror masterpiece. Striking attention to historical authenticity and a magnificently evil performance from Boris Karloff as the vile cab driver supplying cadavers to desperate anatomist Henry Daniell, make for a grippingly literate and macabre shocker. Sinister support from Bela Lugosi and imaginative direction from Robert Wise (who, amazingly enough, made The Sound of Music 20 years later) give the tale a restrained ominousness and unseen terror until the justifiably famous hallucination climax.


An 18th-century surgeon needs dead bodies to experiment on to expand his knowledge of medical science, so employs a cab driver to secretly provide them. The grave robber takes to blackmailing him, and his conscience is troubled when he realises the corpses are being obtained through murder. Horror, with Henry Daniell, Boris Karloff, Russell Wade and Bela Lugosi.

Cast & Crew

John Gray Boris Karloff
Joseph Bela Lugosi
Dr MacFarlane Henry Daniell
Meg Camden Edith Atwater
Donald Fettes Russell Wade
Mrs Marsh Rita Corday
Georgina Marsh Sharyn Moffett
Street singer Donna Lee
Richardson Robert Clarke
Gilchrist Carl Kent
Boy Jack Welch
Director Robert Wise
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: R.K.O. Radio Pictures LtdAvailable on: video