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Burke & Hare (2011)

Simon Pegg , Andy Serkis , John Landis  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Hynes
  • Directors: John Landis
  • Writers: Piers Ashworth, Nick Moorcroft
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005NHZAE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,662 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

William Burke (Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead) and William Hare (Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Lord of the Rings trilogy) luck into some easy money when they discover they can sell a fresh cadaver to Dr. Knox (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton, The Ghost Writer) at Edinburgh Medical College for dissection.  After somehow producing another corpse to sell, Burke and Hare suddenly find themselves in a lucrative if unsavory business.  However, the next cadaver is not quite so easy to obtain, and when word gets out of how profitable the trade is, the duo find themselves blackmailed and in dire need of more bodies.  Murder is not a laughing matter, but then again, this is the 1820's.  Co-starring Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Animal House), who returns to feature films after more than a decade to helm this dark, grisly comedy, based on an entirely true story.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"I have got enough money put aside to start our new business...funeral parlors." This is the very funny true story about Burke (Pegg) and Hare (Serkis). They started off as simple grave robbers trying to make a living in Scotland in the 19th century. When an opportunity that is more lucrative comes along they jump at the chance. The job - providing cadavers to "teachers" around the city. The thing that gets them into trouble is how they find the cadavers. This is an extremely dark comedy that makes you laugh at things you should not laugh at. The plot of the movie deals with two guys who go around killing people for money. The fact that Simon Pegg is the main star is the reason I watched this to start. The supporting cast is also fantastic, but the movie on it's own is pretty entertaining and worth a watch. While not as funny as "Shaun Of The Dead", it does have that type of should I laugh at this quality to it. The best way I can describe it would be a comedy along the lines of "Sweeney Todd". If you like that movie you will like this one, no singing and more laughs. Overall, worth a watch, unless you are easily offended. I give it a B.

*Also try - Lucky & Sweeney Todd
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Production & Interpretation of History December 27, 2011
Attention to detail is usually a quick indicator of overall quality in a product and this rendition of the infamous 1820s Burke and Hare, Edinburgh murders began with quality performances from a great cast and continues with the authenticity of the setting, costuming and props. You truly feel as if you are a cohort with our medical supply entrepreneurs as they roam those streets looking to supply the local medical institutions. Historically accurate as their business was particularly lucrative given the increased demand for, and declining supply of - their product.

It is a comedic interpretation in every way possible from slapstick to high humor to incompetence. It is also dark given the people chosen to be dispatched with and the methods used. At times you feel sympathetic toward Burke and Hare and at times disgust at the complicity at all levels of society - with money often the source of "looking the other way".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars O EALING! MY EALING! September 6, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Very much in the tradition of classic, sly, gentle and darkly funny Ealing comedies, "Burke & Hare" takes a genuine point in history and plays with it, all the while remaining tongue in cheek, true to its premise, delightfully unpredictable and profoundly human. Anyone that still thinks fondly of the very original "The Ladykillers", "Kind Hearts and Coronets", "The Lavender Hill Mob" or others from Ealing's golden age will be more than pleased to see that style arrive refreshed, updated, carefully written -- the multiple plot lines add considerable depth, bringing this humour noir / period comedy in line with 21st century expectations -- and wonderfully produced and performed. We'll see if "Burke & Hare" manages to stand the test of time as well as those earlier films, but it easily surpasses any requirements needed to engage your interest and your humor for a near pitch-perfect 90 minutes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wicked fun April 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was amazed at the broad range of cast in this film. So many of my favorite British actors made a cameo. I loved Tim Curry as a conniving doctor. The comedy of Burke and Hare is enough to make you have to rewind because you missed a joke or your drink decided that your nose was an exit. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Before watching BURKE AND HARE, I had never heard of the notorious murderers and grave robbers, Burke and Hare. I rented the movie because it stars Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, and Isla Fisher, and marks John Landis return to movie directing (he hadn't directed a major motion picture since 1998). Pegg plays William Burke and Serkis portrays William Hare. Burke and Hare are a couple of immigrants to Scotland from Ireland. They've done all sorts of odd jobs to stay afloat, but are running out of money. After their latest scheme fails, they return home, excited at the prospect of collecting the rent money from one of their boarders. However, upon returning home Hare's wife, Lucky, informs him that they won't get any money because the boarder died. They attempt to dispose of the body, but then learn that Dr. Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) at the Edinburgh Medical College is in need of bodies for his work. So, Burke and Hair bring the body to the College and are a paid a nice sum with the promise of more if they can bring more bodies. Knox is a great surgeon but all the "sanctioned" bodies are being used across town at Edinburgh's other medical school by Dr. Monro (Tim Curry) so Knox is in great need. Hare thinks they've found their next business because Edinburgh is full of people just waiting to die, but who just need a little help. Burke isn't so sure and is conflicted by the whole enterprise. Then Burke meets Ginny Hawkins (Isla Fisher), a performer who wants to launch the first full-female cast of Shakespeare's MacBeth. Sensing a possible way to keep meeting Ginny, Burke agrees to finance her production and, thus, the killings continue.

BURKE AND HARE is a dark satirical comedy. The title characters are murderers, but the script really makes one sympathize with them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great offbeat comedy July 21, 2013
By Teri
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Funny and entertaining. Great actors. Based on a true story....apparantly. Watched it with some friends & we liked it very much.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly, Macabre Tale
A macabre, darkly humorous tale directed by the long-dormant John Landis and starring Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Isla Fisher, with deft (daft? Read more
Published 4 months ago by Polo Grande
3.0 out of 5 stars Pegg can do better
Having really enjoyed Paul The Movie, I found this mildly disappointing.

The plot is that the titular Burke and Hare are down on their luck in 19th century Edinburgh,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M Sockel
4.0 out of 5 stars The 19th Century Scottish Grave Robbers black comedy of the year..
It’s understandable the division of opinion on this one.. black comedy of this nature is an acquired taste, and tonally, this is an odd mixture. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Stephen Kennedy
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly satire not for the squeamish
I'm a fan of good British black comedy, and this definitely hit the mark.

I loved and identified with Simon Pegg's character - William Burke - and his undying... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Princess_Polly
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing The Right Thing Or Easy Financial Survival?
I was gently convinced to watch "Burke & Hare" after my husband raved about Simon Pegg's and Andy Serkis's performance as the duo of Burke and Hare in the aptly named film. Read more
Published 11 months ago by marriedutopianstriver
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie
it was a great movie would recommend it well worth checking out its sorta British so the comedy is kinda dry but still funny
Published 15 months ago by jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical
Funny movie. Simon Pegg is comedy gold.
Humor is a bit dark for some, but if you are familiar with Edinburgh and its history than you'll get a kick out of this movie.
Published 16 months ago by Holly Hecht
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Bought this for my boyfriend as he is a huge Simon Peg fan. He couldnt be happier to add this to his collection
Published 17 months ago by Laurie Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Irony, Laughs, and Ghoulish Behavior
The film begins with the claim that it is a true story with the caveat, "Except for the parts that are not," which I believe refers to one line in the movie where a character... Read more
Published 18 months ago by JeremiahA
3.0 out of 5 stars Simon Pegg & Andy Serkis in John Landis Film: A Missed Opportunity
A 2010 UK comedy "Burke and Hare" centers on William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), real-life notorious grave robbers turned murderers, whose criminal... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Tsuyoshi
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