Not one of the really top-notch Val Lewton productions: unlike Jacques Tourneur, Wise could never control Lewton's tendency to stuff every scene to the hilt with bookish period detail and fusty dialogue. But this adaptation of the old Burke and Hare business (based on a Robert Louis Stevenson story) is still great entertainment, with Karloff, Lugosi and Daniell (Hollywood's greatest sourpuss) leaving no dead body unturned in 19th century Edinburgh. Lewton's Edinburgh is predictably full of cobbles, clip-clopping horses, street singers and other atmospheric bric-à-brac - all very nice, but they do slow proceedings down. However, the film accelerates to great effect towards the end.
Cast and crew
Philip MacDonald, Val Lewton