The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)



        We are students of Hippocrates, but some of us are hypocrites.


Edinburgh, 1828. Local surgeon Dr. Robert Knox (Peter Cushing) relies on grave-robbers to supply him with fresh cadavers for his anatomy lectures on research into the functioning of the human body.

Irish immigrants Burke (George Rose) and Hare (Donald Pleasence) take to murder to provide Knox with fresh 'subjects'. Burke and Hare initially hit upon the idea of providing deceased tenants from the lodging house at which Burke is the landlord to Knox, but when no tenant's are accessible they resort to enticing elderly or infirm locals back to Burke’s rooms and murdering them. One such instance is the girlfriend of Knox's wayward student Chris Jackson (John Cairney). Jackson falls in love with fiery prostitute Mary Patterson (Billie Whitelaw), but the romance is snuffed out with appalling insouciance after a particularly ferocious argument between the pair; Mary rushes into the street and immediately falls into the clutches of Burke and Hare.

When they deliver the body of Mary to Knox’s laboratory the corpse is seen by Jackson who rushes to the lodging house to confront Burke and Hare. Shortly lynch mobs of townsfolk have made a connection between the murderous twosome and Dr. Knox....what happens next??? - you will have to watch.

















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Directed by John Gilling
Produced by Robert S. Baker
Monty Berman
Written by John Gilling
Leon Griffiths
Starring Peter Cushing
June Laverick
Donald Pleasence
George Rose
Music by  
Distributed by Triad Productions
Release date(s) February 2, 1960
Running time  
Language English