The Body Snatcher (1945)



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Movie Info

In this film, Henry Daniell stars as a brilliant 18th-century London surgeon. Daniell can only make his humanitarian medical advances by experimenting on cadavers, which is strictly illegal. Karloff plays a grave robber, providing corpses for Daniell's research. The low-born Karloff enjoys blackmailing the aristocratic Daniell into silence.

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Boris Karloff
as Cabman John Gray
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 Street Singer
Robert Clarke
as Richardson
Aina Constant
as Maid Servant
Mary Gordon
as Mrs. Mary McBride
Carl Kent
as Gilchrist
Jim Moran
as Horse Trader
Bill Williams
as Medical Student
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Critic Reviews for The Body Snatcher

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Settings are inexpensive but sufficient for the needs. Production values, in general, however, aid materially in making this picture a winner.

Nov 14, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The film accelerates to great effect towards the end.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Even though this film is taken from a modest stage play of a few seasons back, its humors are as stale and mechanical as those of the oldest such farce.

Mar 25, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

One of the lesser products of Val Lewton's years as the head of RKO's horror-film unit.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

A strong, well above-average effort in almost every way, there's no evidence at all that Lewton's first brush with money and success dulled his instincts.

Oct 28, 2012 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Researchers and healers are closer to the subjects on the autopsy slab than to their living patients in this acerbic chimera of shadow and sacrifice

May 19, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Body Snatcher


A pretty interesting little flick that ends extremely well. Odd seeing Bela Lugosi in such a tiny role, but also it's nice to see Boris Karloff being so evil and relishing it.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


My favourite corpse snatching movie, it stars both Karloff and Lugosi, how could you not like it? It's exciting and creepy.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


One of many from Val Lewton's stable of low budget horror masterpieces, a young Robert Wise masterfully directs Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of a doctor willing to cross the line in search of knowledge and the man who torments him. The Body Snatcher is proof positive that Boris Karloff was a great actor as any scene he's in legitimately has the ability to make your skin crawl. Don't get too excited about Bela Lugosi's (I'm pretty sure he's supposed to be a retarded Spaniard) role as he's got very little screen time but his final scene with Karloff is superb. Wise does so much with so little and that final carriage scene came close to freaking me out.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Sinister goings on in 19th century Edinburrow as a young medical student, presumably on exchange from America, is initiated into the art of grave robbing. Based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson and directed by Robert Wise, The Body Snatcher is not actually one of the better Val Lewton horror movies. The atmosphere is potent enough but the story doesn't really catch fire until the very end and, for such a short film, it tends to drag. Henry Daniell and Boris Karloff, as an anatomist and his resurrectionist respectively, are terrific; Bela Lugosi, on the other hand, is such a waste of space I'd forgotten he was even in the picture.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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