Body Snatcher, The (1945): Robert Wise’s Horror Thriller

TCM showed the movie on May 30, 2020.

Robert Wise directed The Body Snatcher, a horror film starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell, and Edith Atwater.

It is based on the short story “The Body Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The film’s producer Val Lewton helped adapt the story for the screen, writing under the pen name of “Carlos Keith”.

The film was marketed with the tagline “The screen’s last word in shock sensation!”

The mentions of Burke, Hare, and Dr. Knox, all refer to the West Port murders in 1828.

In Edinburgh in 1831 Mrs. Marsh (Rita Corday) visits the house of Dr. Wolfe “Toddy” MacFarlane (Henry Daniell), seeking a cure for paraplegic daughter Georgina (Sharyn Moffett).  MacFarlane suggests surgery for the girl, but insists that he cannot perform the operation because of his busy schedule.

Boris Karloff as Cabman John Gray
Béla Lugosi as Joseph
Henry Daniell as Dr. Wolfe “Toddy” MacFarlane
Edith Atwater as Meg Camden
Russell Wade as Donald Fettes
Rita Corday as Mrs. Marsh
Sharyn Moffett as Georgina Marsh
Donna Lee as the Street Singer