Burke and Hare (2010) Script

Welcome to bonnie Scotland.

It is the year of Our Lord 1828.

And this is where I work, the market square in Edinburgh, our capital city.

They're calling this the Scottish Enlightenment.


You could have fooled me.

I mean, look at the state of them.

The only people round here looking to be enlightened are the medical students.

They come to study at the feet of our famous doctors.

Edinburgh is the medical capital of the world.

Get yourselves an education there, lads.

On one side of the city, you have Barclay's School of Anatomy, And that's run by the esteemed surgeon Doctor Robert Knox.

Now some say that he's the finest surgeon in all of Scotland.

All I can say about Doctor Knox is that he dresses well.

Quite the dandy.

Ah, there's nothing like starting off a new term with a fresh corpse.

Is there, Patterson? Indeed, sir.

Today I think I shall commence by removing the top of the cranium.

It will certainly give the freshmen something to write home about.

And on the other side of the city... you've got Scotland's Royal College of Surgeons.

And that's run by Professor Alexander Monro.

He's... how do you put it? Old-school.

That would be an artery.

Anyway, you'll have to excuse me for a wee moment, ladies and gentlemen.

It's... showtime.

Maggie O'Donnell of the West Port, also known as Mad Maggie.

You are convicted of the heinous crimes of thievery, prostitution, public drunkenness, and a bad attitude.

Do you have anything to say before you are consigned to hell?


Only that I hope it's as hot down there as they say it is!

You see, you can only teach anatomy by cutting up people's bodies.

And the law of the land says you can only cut up bodies of people like Mad Maggie here, the recently deceased.

So we sell them to the highest bidder.

But now, Professor Monro, the swine, has used his influence to pass a new city bylaw.

Where's the body, Angus?

But we had an arrangement.

Professor Monro at the Royal College gets all the bodies now.

Now when the demand for a certain commodity exceeds supply, it creates a business opportunity just waiting for the right kind of clever entrepreneurs to step in.

Ladies and gentlemen, gather round! Gather round!

My name is William Burke.

Like many of you, my colleague Mr. Hare and I came to this land looking for work.

We've dug canals, we've built roads, we've started a new life.

But none of us has forgotten that Emerald Isle from which we came.

That mystical land where a man...

Get to the bloody point, Willy. Right, sorry. (clears throat)

In the County of Donegal, on the highest, greenest slopes, there grows a certain moss which any educated person will tell you cures all known afflictions.

The smallest cut, ladies and gentlemen, can let in poisons from the earth and the air, and before you know it, your very brain starts to boil.

But a touch of the moss from the hills of Donegal, ladies and gentlemen, and it's gone in a flash.

A boil appears. You pay it no mind.

But suddenly there's a second! And a third!

And before you know it, the sufferings of Job are upon you!

A wart, madam. Starts off small, doesn't it?

But without a touch of the moss, it can grow as big as your head!

This is never moss.

It's cheese mould.

They're a pair of confidence men!

You bastards!

Fetch a constable!


Gentlemen, the Lord created the heavens and the earth.

But His greatest work, His most perfect creation is Man.

The study of human anatomy, therefore, is nothing less than a direct insight into the mind of God.


I give you the human form... in all its glory.

Jesus Christ!

I've a very, very good explanation, sir.

Well, Patterson?

Let's hear this very, very good explanation.

Not content with butchering his own patients, Monro has now taken to using political influence to hinder the advancement of medical science.

Beggars can't be choosers, sir.

I had to take the only one that Resurrectionist McTavish had left.

That's the third rotter I've had from McTavish and his gang of grave robbers in the last three weeks.

I can't go on like this.

Is there anything I can do, doctor?

You could start praying, Patterson, for the one thing that could save us.

And what's that, sir?

An enormous and awful calamity right here in Edinburgh.

An accident or a... or a natural disaster.

Something which generates the large numbers of cadavers I need for my work.

Wouldn't that be nice, sir?

Yes, Patterson.

It would be nice.

You told your wife you was gonna get a job.

You lied.

An economy with the truth, Willy, isn't the same as a flat-out lie.

And you think Lucky's gonna grasp that distinction?

She's not exactly a forgiving woman.

I'll not hear a bad word said against her.

All right.

I'll grant you she's had her problems with the bottle, but she's fighting her demons.

Besides she's bound to be in high spirits.

It's rent day for Old Donald. Ah!

Ah, ya see?

Within every cloud, there's a silver lining.

Where's the money you owe us, Mr. Hare?!

I know this looks bad, love, but there's a good explanation.

You see, Willy here came up with this fantastic new product.

Donegal moss. It started off a roaring success.

Aye, for a while it looked as though all our troubles were over.

Jesus, what's that smell?

Er, it was an accident.

You're a lazy good-for-nothing, William Hare.

We're flat-out broke.

What about Old Donald's rent money?

He's dead.

Dead. Dead!

What do you mean "dead"?

I mean deceased. He stopped living and died.

So he didn't pay his rent, then?

Are you telling us Old Donald is dead?

As a doornail.

So my suggestion is that you sort yourselves out and get rid of the body before it starts to stink up the place more than you two.

How are we supposed to do that?

Use your imagination, William.

It's about all you're good for these days.

That's not working.

Right, now push his right leg down. It won't go!

Gonna have to break his back. What?!

Well, it's either that, or we chop his legs off.

I know a building site in the New Town.

We can dump him there. No problem at all.

Don't know about this, William. It'll be a piece of cake.

It's only another mile or so. Only another mile or so?

Let's stop over there, William. This is thirsty work.

Right, get it up.

Watch your language, you fuckin' son-of-a-bitch bastard!

What are we gonna do, William? There's no more canals to dig.

Don't you worry, Willy. I have got all kinds of ideas.

Aye, but no money to speak of. No plan.

Just enough money for one last dram.

I'll drink to that.

Couple of large ones, Eileen. Right away.

Willy! How's business?

Never better, Fergus.

What about you?

Diversifying is what we're doing.

Mr. McTavish has moved into gambling, opium distribution and... pimping whores.

We've gone legitimate.

So no more digging up graves, then?

Eh, it's nae worth the bother anymore.

Wee Tam McLintoch and his militia, they've declared a war on grave robbery.

They're patrolling the graveyards every night.

It's a shame, really.

We used to sell to Doctor Knox at 3 pounds a cadaver.

And these days, he'd be happy to pay double that.

And I thought life round here was supposed to be cheap?

It is.

But the price rockets once you're dead.


So, this doctor is gonna give us money to cut Old Donald up?

Old Donald is in heaven. These are just his mortal remains.

You seem to have given this an awful lot of thought.

When have I ever let you down?

When have you ever let me down?! Oh, come on now, Willy.


Holy shite!

This is wrong.

There's only one Surgeon's Square in Edinburgh, Willy.

No, what we're doing is wrong.

I'm sorry to disturb you, Doctor, but we've two gentlemen at the door to see you.

They appear to have a herring barrel with them, sir.

I have no taste for herring, Patterson. Send them away.

I believe there's something else in their herring barrel for you, sir.

I commend you both on account of his freshness.

Thank you, Doctor.

Why is he bent in half like that?

Er, this man obviously died in some kind of construction accident.

That is exactly what hap... isn't that exactly what happened, Mr. Burke?

Aye, Mr. Hare, yeah, that's exactly what happened.

Right. I'll give you 3 pounds.

We was looking for 6 pounds, sir.

I'm afraid I can go no higher than 4 pounds 10 shillings.

Doctor Knox, sir, y-you yourself complimented us on account of its... freshness, sir.

Quite the salesman, aren't you, uh, Mr. Hare?

Could you make it 5 pounds 10 shillings?

What with so much... construction work going on in Edinburgh, if we were to, uh, stumble on any other unfortunates... would you be interested, Doctor?

I'll give you 5 pounds for your efforts, gentlemen.

And I'll pay you the same for any more unfortunates that you can deliver, Except in the summer, when we have a few problems keeping them fresh.

I completely understand, Doctor Knox.

All right, Patterson. Prepare this gentleman for the lecture.

What about his, uh... posture, sir?

Uh, straighten him out. I'm sure he won't complain.


Unbend him. These fellows will assist you.

And then show them out. Goodnight.

All right, give me a hand with this.

Here's to our new product.

And where exactly are we gonna find more?

Oh, there's lots more... product just waiting for us to dig it up.

He's looking at me.

I'm sure he knows what we're doing.

Forget the damn dog, Willy. Just keep an eye out for the militia.

You know this is hallowed ground. Touch of frost is all.

Look lively, men.

Who goes there?!

Fix bayonets!

It's the militia!

Listen up, lads!


They got guns!

Oh, for pity's sake, Private.

Come on.

Be careful.

Either we give ourselves up and risk being transported, or we run for it and risk getting shot.

As much as I like to travel, I think I'm gonna go with the latter.

On three. Right. One...


Well shot, sir!

Thank you, Sergeant.

I can't believe this.

Six years in the Donegal Militia, and I never got a scratch.

And three hours as a grave robber, and I get shot in the arse.

All right, Willy, show me your wounds.

All right, just be careful.

I think you've got a perfectly lovely arse.

Evening, Mrs. McFie.

Is it bad?

It's nothing but a scratch, you big baby.

Well, it still hurts. Come on, Willy.

Oh, who was that screaming in the graveyard like a wee girl?


For the love of Lord Jesus. She's fallen off the wagon again.

Are you all right, love?

It's God.

He's punishing us.

Oh, you know that's not true.

First Old Donald. Now Joseph.

What's happened to Joseph?

That's two rents just gone.


Are you all right, Joseph?

Do I look all right, you bleedin' Irish bastards?!

You'll no' be takin' my coat.

I remember.

Old Nosey was there himself.

He says, "Stand up, guards.

Now, Maitland, now's your time."

And over we go, fightin', fightin' the Frogs.

Did I ever tell you about the time...

The time... (coughs)

I saw the man, the wee man himself, Napoleon?

Aye, it were a treat.

And that idiotic hat.

Forgive me, Father... for I know not what I do.

He shouldn't have to go like this.

A hero should be laid to rest among his comrades in the corner of some distant foreign field, on the battleground surrounded by his fellow men-at-arms.

No, Willy, it's far better this way.

A man deserves to die in the comfort of his own bed surrounded by his friends.

Never again, William.

Old Joseph was the last one for me.

Look, we'll talk about it later, Willy.

For now just smile and try to look important.

Er, excusez-moi... You're not coming in wearing those.

But they are French. Exactly. So sling your hook.

Pardon? Sling your hook.

Hook? Your hook.

Hook? Your hook, sling it.

We're on the guest list. Name?

William Wordsworth.

Plus one.

Welcome to McOakley's, Mr. Wordsworth.

And may I say how much I admired your poem about the daffodils.

Oh, too kind.

Very nice, very nice. Aye.

No chance. Piss off. Get out.

What are you having?

It's inconceivable that the height of culture on offer in Edinburgh is this bloody dive.

Which is why I'm proposing... and don't laugh at me... that we put on...


It's got everything. Sex, murder, magic, betrayal.

I think it's a great idea, Ginny.

You do? I really do.

There's just one problem.

Wasn't Macbeth a king?

Wouldn't that make him a man?

I'm talking about the first all-female production of a Shakespeare play!

But it costs money to put on a play, Ginny.

None of us want to go back on the game.

Never. Nobody's going back on the game.

All we need is for a wealthy and discerning patron to take the bait.

What are you doing?

That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold, Em.

Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had liv'd a blessed time...

Someone's had a few too many.

Who can be wise, amaz'd, temp'rate and furious loyal and neutral in a moment?

No man.

The violent expedition of my love has outrun the pauser reason.

Have you not heard of William bloody Shakespeare?

Show some respect! Bollocks.

Can I help you?

Uh... just, your... your speech there was... it was wonderful, madam.

Doctor. Doctor.


You look like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary, Doctor Monro.

You must know what this is all about.

I do, actually.

But forgive me, I need to have a word with Doctor Knox.

I'd be surprised if Knox would speak to you, now that...

Excuse me Doctor Lister.

And please do not misunderstand this, but... your breath is appalling.


Doctor Knox. How wonderful it is to see you.

Yes, I'm sure it is.

And your new students, are they enjoying your lectures?

Er, not as much as I understand they're enjoying your wife, sir.

Oh, I hate that man.

Doctors, professors, gentlemen, please take your seats.

Your attention, gentlemen.

His Majesty will be in residence at Holyrood Palace in eight weeks' time.

The King has decided that, in his wisdom, he will create a competition to further the progress of medical science.

Accordingly, His Majesty has decided that during his visit, he will listen to presentations from Scotland's leading physicians.

Whomsoever he determines has made the greatest advances in the field of medicine, will be awarded the Royal Seal and a handsome monetary reward.


This honour will confer immeasurable economic and social status on Edinburgh, on Scotland, on the medical profession, and, of course, on its recipient.

I thank you, and goodnight.

Lord Harrington, I just...

Yes, I know.

I played Agnes in Molière's "School For Wives" at the Garrick Theatre in London.

And after that, times got tough, and I branched out into... physical theatre.

Ah, like acrobatics? Sometimes.

Then I became a dancer and a showgirl, and now I'm trying to produce my first play.

Sounds very exciting. It is.

I just need to put together a consortium of investors.

Anyway enough about me. Let's talk more about you.

What do you do for a living?

Er, I'm in surgical supplies.

Sorry to interrupt, Willy but, eh, we should be heading home.

Got an early start. It was lovely to meet you, Mr. Burke.

Well, can I see you again? Oh, I'd like that.

How about Friday night? I'll meet you here at 7:00.

Goodnight, miss. Come along, Willy.

Goodnight. Goodnight.

I'll not explain myself again. Mr. Wordsworth is already in the club.

That cannot be. I am he.

Newly returned from my tour of the continent.

And I am Samuel Coleridge.

Aye. And I'm Robbie fuckin' Burns! Now piss off, the both of youse!

Strange and peculiar gentleman.

I never realised there was so much to know about the human foot.

Doctor Knox? Will you be presenting to the committee?

I will, my Lord.

And I believe I shall prevail in His Majesty's competition.

And how will you do that, Doctor Knox?

I'm creating a complete map of the human body, both inside and out.

If such a thing were possible, it would constitute the greatest medical advance since Vesalius.

It is also impossible.

Such a map would be entirely useless unless it was 100% accurate.

And no artist can guarantee that.

No illustrator or painter, I agree.

So how on earth do you propose to achieve it?

You shall see, Professor, in the fullness of time.

My Lord.

Come, Patterson.

Vous êtes prêt?

Aye, ready.

Bon. Excuse me, sir.

Uh, Patterson?


Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf.


Voilà. (chuckles)

Mercí. (singing in French)

Ah! Merde.




It is an heliographic, a device to capture the image forever.

An heliographic?


We shall have to come up with something better than that.

That was a great night.

Best night of my life.

It was a different world.

A world up high where the air is balmy and anything's possible.

That's where we belong, Willy.

You know, we should probably keep this run of good fortune to ourselves.

Just till Lucky straightens herself out.

Not a problem, William.

Besides, for us to come across any more of those unfortunates, we'd need the devil's own luck.

That's where you're wrong, Willy.

Men like us make our own luck.

What do you mean?

Have you gone mad?

No, Willy. We've gone into business.

That doesn't give us the right to determine another man's fate.

Man is gonna die from the moment he leaves his mother's womb.

Their fate's already been determined.

All we'd be doing is... helping them along a bit.

You know... you look very elegant in that new suit.

Fine tailoring becomes you.

If you think you're gonna convince me like that, you're wrong.

I don't care about clothes.

No, but you care about women, right?

And a fine one costs an arm and a leg, at the very least.

And that Miss Ginny, she's a very fine one indeed.



Not to mention a fine pair... All right, you've made your point.

But not like this.

There's a place in the Old Town that'll suit us fine.

Madam... l-l-l-I'll... take the high road...


The next one we just stab in the heart with a knife.


And I will be in Scotland afore ye!

Look, I have another idea.

Yah! (whip cracking)


I say, coachman! Can't this bloody thing go faster?!


They're coming!

Faster, Willy, faster!


Yah! Yah!

Come on, Willy. Put your back into it.

Yah! Yah!


Fuck me.

I'm telling you, Willy, it'll be over in a flash.

And I'm telling you I don't like this one bit.

And I am confident that this is the only way.

You know, William, I had confidence in a fart once and I shat all over myself.

When a body meets a body comin' through the rye When a body meets a body, a body cry?

Who's there? Is anybody there?!

Agh! Ah!

D'you have a light?

Agh! Ah!

Are you... are you all right?

This man's untimely and premature death... was, as should be fairly obvious to all of you, the direct result of gluttony!

I cooked your favourite.

Arbroath smokie and champit tattie.

That's lovely.

Thank you.

I'm not stupid, William.

Three dead bodies and a pocket full of money?

Doesn't take a genius to work out what the pair of you have been up to.

I think it's the best bloody idea you've ever had.

One condition... I want a pound for every body you sell.

A pound? Man starts getting fancy clothes... also starts getting fancy ideas.

Just think of it as a tax between a man and a wife.

A kind of nuptial agreement, if you will.

You may be named Lucky, but I'm the lucky one, my darlin'.

I'm not listening to you. I'm watching you.

I'm watching you.

Oh, champagne! I am impressed, William.

That must have set you back a pretty penny.

Well... thank you.

To good news. To good news.

Mmm. What good news?

I have decided to finance your play.

No! (squeals)

Mr. Burke! (squeals)

Who's that over there with Ginny Hawkins?

That's Willy Burke. Who?

Regular at The Gravediggers. Always in the company of William Hare.

They're drinking champagne.

Find out what his racket is.

May I ask what persuaded you to be so bold as to invest in an all-female production of the Scottish play?

You have an incredible talent, Ginny.

I saw that the night we met.

A talent like that is a gift from God.

To see it go to waste over something as trivial as money, that'd be a travesty.

I had no idea you were so passionate about the theatre, Mr. Burke.

Not the theatre, Ginny. You.

Thank you for a lovely evening, Mr. Burke.

Uh, William, please.

Oh, sorry. Um...

When will I be able to see you again, Ginny?

At the Lyceum Theatre.

Really? When?

When we put down the deposit.

Goodnight, William.

I need to make more money. Fast.

Don't tell me she charged you for the night.

She is an actress, not a whore.

What's the difference?

I am gonna finance her play.

Well, with the economy in its current condition, I think I'd have to advise against such a high-risk investment.

Not everything is about money, William.

William Hare?

This is no time to be resting on your laurels.

Or to be getting yourself inebriated.

You got a business to run.

We was just talking about that. Why don't you join us, love?

She knows? Yes, she does.

Don't worry, Willy. I can keep me mouth shut.

I'm sorry to take so long.

But I was just having a word with that old lady over there.

Tragic story.

Just lost her whole family to the pox, and it's left her homeless.

I'll be back.

Lucky got her drunk. Now you just hold her still.

I'm trying!

You know, this is how they put wounded soldiers out of their misery on the battlefield.

Oh, aye, what's that called? Doesn't really have a name.

Perhaps we should invent one. Just get it over with, William.

I've got it, I've got it... in honour of my best friend, from now on this shall be called...


Help! Help! Help!

Help! Help!

Is she dead?

I think so.

Yeah, she snuffed it. I certainly hope so.

And thou opposed, being of no woman born, Yet will I try the last.

Lay on, Macduff!

And damned be him who first cry, "Hold, enough!"

Thank you, Lucy. That was...

Please let go. That was interesting.

Well done. We'll, um, we'll be in touch.

Just don't hold your breath. Shh, silence, gentlemen.


I thought we'd agreed you'd keep your mouth shut?

This is costing me enough without incurring any further delays.

I was just being honest.

This is the theatre, William. It's not a place for honesty.


Miss Clarissa Windsor reading for the part of Macbeth.

Thank you!

We're going to need another day of auditions.

Maybe even two, Willy.

That's not gonna be a problem, is it?

Eh... no, no.

You take as much time as you like, love.

Could you unbutton me, darling?

Aye, uh... (clears throat)

I trust all is well with your business?

Aye, I... (clears throat) Can't complain.

I just don't know if we're ever going to find a convincing Macbeth.

Well, er, I think you should play the role.

What makes you think I could star and direct?

Your talent and your vision.

I have been blessed with a lot of talent.

And I have a vision.

D'you think? I know.

Climb in, Willy.

We're going for a wee chat with Mr. McTavish.

Let me tell you how things work in this little city of mine.

Anyone who attempts to start a new business here has to agree to pay me a small percentage of the gross.

And in return, I make sure you stay out ofjail.

You're not harassed by the authorities, the competition, or any other antagonist that might just come along.

So we pay you for...


Why, yes, I like that. Protection.

How much of a percentage are we talking about?

50%. Half?!

Don't be unhappy, boys.

Mr. McTavish hasnae yet told you the good part.

And, uh... what would be the good part?

You get to remain alive.

We should leave town immediately. Go to London or America.

I think I might even have a cousin there.

And quit the most lucrative enterprise we're ever likely to find?

I don't think so.

Willy, we have identified a demand and found a supply.

It's perfect.

Yeah, but McTavish is not the full shilling, is he?

The last thing I want to do is get into bed with that man.

Ah, but you do wanna get into bed with Ginny, right?

And to do that, you're gonna have to stay right here and continue to finance her play.

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?

Ah! No! Aah!

This is my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green ones red.

My hands are of your colour, but I am shamed to wear a heart so white.

Wait, stop right there. Oh, what now?!

No, something's still not quite right. I need a minute to think.

Ginny, please! Just say the words!

I can't work out what makes this character commit murder.

Why, Ginny... he does it for love.

And power.

Macbeth isn't wholly evil.

There are traces of... of goodness and regret within him.

That's what makes him such a great tragic hero.

The whole play is about his... his inner struggle between good and evil.

Right and wrong.

You have hidden depths, William.

Women like that in a man.

May I see you tonight? Uh, um... l-I don't think that's a good idea.

I-I've got costume fittings tomorrow.

This is ground-breaking work, sir.

Now the King will be in residence at Holyrood in just three weeks.

Will this work be completed in time?

Aye, I shall have to step up the pace, but I don't foresee any major problems.

Sir Astley-Cooper acquired his knighthood by having successfully lanced a boil on the King's head.

I can only begin to imagine the level of patronage His Majesty will confer on you having seen these, uh...

Oh, I'm, um... I'm calling them "photographs," sir.


Excellent. (chuckles)

My Lord.


Any difficulties acquiring subjects, Doctor?

I'll admit the anatomical bylaw was a temporary inconvenience.

But not even you, Monro, can stand in the way of progress.

Good day, gentlemen.

You know, you got a good business going there, Willy.

I know.

But the problem is... product acquisition.


You know, killing people. That's how you acquire your product.

It's not efficient.

It's bloody hard work, that's what it is.

People are starting to notice, you know.

There's all kinds of crazy rumours flying around the West Port.

Keep going, Willy. Helps me think.

The thing is that nobody likes dealing with dead bodies.

So, for a fee, you could take them off their hands.

Sell them a coffin for their loved ones, arrange a burial.

Yeah, and when people are grieving they don't think about how much things cost.

We could call it a "funeral store."

Funeral store, no.

Sounds too down-market.

I'd prefer something like "funeral parlour."

Oh God, yes! Yeah, that's a fantastic idea!

Oh, don't stop! Don't stop, Willy! I'm almost there.

Ah, Mr. Hare.

Doctor Knox would like the pleasure of your company.

As from now, I shall require two bodies a week.

Fresh ones, mind you, in good condition.

That won't be easy, Doctor.

Mr. Hare I've never asked you how you came by these subjects.

Oh, my partner and I have arrangements with the low lodging houses in the West Port.

Whenever someone dies... Mr. Hare, I'm a doctor.

I know the difference between death by natural and unnatural causes.

Edinburgh's a very dangerous place, Doctor Knox.

And something tells me that recently, it's become a lot more dangerous.

I don't presume to judge, Mr. Hare.

But I know that as a result of my work and the doctors I train, thousands, perhaps millions of lives will be saved.

Two a week, Mr. Hare. Can you manage that?

At your service, sir.

What more could a man ask for?

Mighty fine place you have here, gentlemen.

How much will you be asking?

Nothing. (chuckles)

Willy, do something!

Unhand my boys!

Gentlemen... we live, thank God, in enlightened times.

The watchword of our age is "progress."

Progress in the arts.

Progress in science. Progress in technology.

Progress in transportation.

Progress in society.

Please help me.

Fox, get your sketchbook.

In all these fields, we've moved further and faster in the last two decades than in the previous two centuries.

Never before have ordinary people had so much freedom and opportunity.

The year is 1828, and we are building a new world.

A new and better world.

Sergeant, keep them quiet!

Quiet, please!

As men of science, it is our role... nae!

Our duty to be in the vanguard of that movement.

This is not the time for rest.

It is not a time for half measures.

This is not the time to sit on our achievements.

It is the time to work harder... and faster than ever before.

Gentlemen, I give you... a multiple dissection!

You don't think I look a little bit too masculine?

You know, too much like a man? I think you look lovely.

I'll see you on Friday?

Excellent work, Fox. Now we'll go and do the New Town.


The militia have posters up all over the streets.

Of us? No!

Of the people we've... you know...

They're closing in, William.

Then it's our good fortune that we're not doing it anymore.

I've been doing the sums, Willy.

I have got enough money put aside to start our new business.

What new business? Funeral parlours.

Funeral parlours?

It's a place where people bring bodies to be buried.

And we wouldn't have to kill 'em? They're already dead!

Thank you. I like it.

I knew you would. We're going straight to the top, Willy.

And nobody... nobody is gonna stop us.

All right... Shh! Everyone.

I'd like to propose a toast.

To the man whose hard work and whose commitment made this possible.

To William Burke.

To William Burke!

William Burke.. No, come on, now.

You embarrassed me. I know.

That's me!

Oh, Willy, I don't know how to thank you.

I can think of a few ways.

Come to buy a ticket, Danny?

Blood and guts aren't entertainment for me, William.

They're business. Now get in.

I've decided to bring you and Mr. Burke into the firm.


You'll have regular employment. A steady wage.

We'll be partners.

Partners, is it?

But Willy and I are out of the body-snatching business now.

Mm. So you say.

Do I have a choice, Danny? Of course you do, William.

Free will is what distinguishes man from beast.

Our final subject.

Isn't that Danny McTavish?

Danny McTavish has been dissected by Doctor Knox.

I am Captain McLintoch, and this is the Edinburgh Militia.

Your reputation precedes you, Captain McLintoch.

Thank you, sir.

Your preposterous war on grave robbery was a model of incompetence.

It has come to my attention, sir, that earlier on today, you publicly dissected a corpse.

Well, if this is him then your information is correct.

Pull yourself together, Private.

How did you obtain this body?


I believe it was dumped in the alley behind this building.

Some students found him.

This is a notorious villain. Danny McTavish.

Ah, at least his demise might not be in vain.

Saint Peter might look kindly on his services to the teaching of medicine.

Fox, show me your hand.

A defensive wound, clear evidence of foul play.

And you, sir, have been tampering with the evidence.

That's an outrageous accusation, Captain McLintoch.

I shall be reporting this matter to the Solicitor-General.

Lord Harrington will back my judgment on this.

I stake my job on it.

You just did.

Er, Ginny?

How many people are out there?

Standing room only.

Thank you.

When shall we three meet again?

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

When the hurly-burly's done.

When the battle's lost and won.

That will be ere the set of the sun.

Where the place?

Upon the heath.

There to meet with... Macbeth.

If I stand here, I saw him!

Fie, for shame!

Blood hath been shed here now, in the olden time.

Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal...

Ay, and since, too, murders have been committed.

Too terrible for the ear!

There was a time that, when the brains were out, the man would die, and there an end.

But now he rise again!

With twenty mortal murders on their crown!

And push us from our stools!

This is more strange.

Than such a murder is.

All our missing persons are here.

Qu'est ce que vous faites ici?

Who did all this?!

C'est moi.



I think they liked it.

Five curtain calls and a standing ovation.

I'd say it's a smash hit.

This is the happiest day of my life.

What's wrong, Willy? You don't seem happy.

I'm happy for you, Gin. I...

I just can't help thinking now this is over, you don't really need me any more.

You're right. I don't need you.

But I do want you.


Mm! Oh! We should take the play to London.

Make it a musical. I'm blessed with the voice of an angel.

Aye, they could do with something new in the West End.

Besides Edinburgh's changed. You know, people have changed.

I've changed. Me, too.

Oh, I want us to be together, Willy. Tonight?

Tomorrow. Tonight I'm the star. I must shine.

Oh, there's Mary. Mary!

Oh, Ginny! They absolutely loved us!

These are not bad, but as you can see, the heliograph is the future.

Did you kill these people?!

Certainly not! They were all already...

How you say? Chopped into pieces.

You disgusting little French fop!

I was just doing what I was told.

What you were told? Told by whom?!

How do I look, Patterson?

Like someone who's about to go down in history, sir.


We have questions on urgent militia matters for Doctor Knox.

He's not here.


Well, I'd appreciate if you could tell us where we can find him.

He's making an official presentation at Holyrood Palace.

Sharpen up, men. We're going to pay the King a visit.

Morning, Willy.

For the love of Lord Jesus, she finally gave it up.

No! No.

Although I'm pretty sure tonight's the night.

I know this amazing trick you can do with your tongue.

Thank you, William!

Well, that could have been worse.

Do you mean if he'd fallen asleep earlier?

Excuse me, what would you like us to do with these, sir?

I don't care. Just get rid of them.

Doctor Robert Knox!

The King is looking forward to seeing your map of the human body.


My advice is to keep the presentation short.

And don't ask him to read too much.

His Majesty can just, er, look at the pictures.

Doctor Robert Knox!

Stop right there!

I demand you hand over these photographs in the name of the Solicitor-General.

May I remind you, Captain, that I am the Solicitor-General.

What exactly do you think you're doing here?

Solving a crime, sir.

What on earth are you talking about?

I'm talking about murder, sir.

That volume contains evidence of foul play.

I don't know what this absurd little man is trying to prove, but he's making a mockery of our profession.

I want him removed.

It is you, sir who is making a mockery of the medical profession.

And if there is one single shred of truth in this man's allegations, we shall all have to pay the price.

His Majesty has asked to see my work.

I intend to fulfill his wish.

Good day.

Either you hand over the evidence, Doctor Knox, or I'll be forced to arrest you!

You're not touching it.

How many cadavers were used to create the portfolio?

16. 16?!

And who provided the 16 cadavers?!

Edinburgh Militia! Nobody moves!

Oh, for the love of Lord Jesus!

I beg your pardon.

Mr. And Mrs. Hare.

I'm arresting you both on suspicion of murder in the first degree!

We did terrible things, William.

A man has a right to scratch out a living.

Nobody's gonna blame us for that.

Ginny can.


She's gonna find out, isn't she? She'll know everything.

I won't lie to you, Willy, it is a possibility.

This is unbelievable.

"Macbeth accused of murder."

You really have no idea, do you?

Captain, you've no right to keep us here.

I have every right. Will you please sit down?

Now, Mrs. Hare, I have some questions I'd like to ask you.

I'm not saying anything, especially not to a Presbyterian.

I'm half Jewish.

I'm being persecuted by a heathen!

This is an outrage.

I demand to speak to the... Solicitor-General!

I demand to be released immediately. Immediately!

I demand to speak to a Catholic.

Miss Hawkins and Mrs. Hare, either you keep quiet, or I'll have you both shot!

"Wee Captain Tam McLintoch of the Edinburgh Militia

"has apprehended the perpetrators of the notorious West Port murders.

"The list of victims include Mrs. Mary O'Toole of the New Town...

"Daft Jamie of the West Port...

"the freed slave John Martin of London...

Mrs. Susanna McCorkindale of Aberdeen!"

In the name of the law!

I demand you disperse immediately!

Let's get the bastards! Come on!

Stand fast, men.

Kill the bastards!

I can't live with this on my conscience.

All right?

I've got to confess.

The minute we're outta here, we'll find you a priest.

There's no way I will ever be redeemed in the eyes of the Lord Almighty.

I've gotta confess to the proper authorities here on earth.

That's not such a, a good idea, Willy.

'Cause you'd be putting a noose around your own neck.

It's no more than I deserve.

Not to mention putting a noose around my neck.

And Lucky's.

And Ginny's.

Let me handle this.

Ahh, pleasure to see you again, Captain.

All right.

Can you tell us what we're supposed to have done?

Sixteen counts of first-degree murder.

That does sound serious. And do you have any of the bodies?

Do you have any eyewitnesses?

In fact, do you have a single shred of evidence?

It's all in there, laddie.

Captain, a message from Lord Harrington, sir.

He wants to see you, sir, at your earliest convenience.

His Lordship also said to bring Doctor Knox's portfolio with you.


Take a seat.

Oh, thank you, my Lord.

Chocolate? Uh, thank you, my Lord.

The Lord Provost and I are very interested to know how we're doing on this case.

Well, at present, I have Mr. Burke and Mr. Hare under lock and key.

They're not admitting anything, but I'm sure by the time I have finished with them, they will crack, I'm sure of that.

But is that really what we want, Captain?

Excuse me, sir?

This city is renowned for its medical facilities.

Students come from all over the world to train in our anatomy schools.

They bring a great deal of money with them.

We're rightfully proud of our status and of our traditions.

It would be a pity to sully them with a scandal such as a high-profile murder trial.

Especially a murder trial that might compromise the reputations of our esteemed teaching hospitals.

You're surely not suggesting that I let these two men go free?

No, no, we need someone to swing for these crimes, but no trial.

The city will gladly show its gratitude for your delicate handling of this affair.

In fact, in a city of this standing, surely the militia should be commanded by a-a Major.

Or even a Colonel. Hmm?


Rest assured, my Lord, my Lords, that the city can rely on me.

That's settled, then.

We'll look after that, Colonel.

Thank you, my lord. My lord.

So let me get this straight, Captain.



If one of us confesses to having committed these crimes the others will walk free?


But that is outrageous! We're all innocent!

Nobody's gonna confess to a crime they didn't commit just to make you popular with the mob out there!

It's all right, William!

This is the chance for one of us to do the decent thing.

You call that decent?

What kind of man would do such a thing?

I will.

Thank you, God.

On one condition.

I know what you did.

I am so sorry, Ginny.

I-I don't expect you to forgive me.

It's just so romantic.

Confessing to save the life of your lover.

It's like Shakespeare.

For never was there a story of... of such woe, as of Ginny and her Romeo.

William Burke of the West Port, formerly of County Donegal in Ireland...

Irish scum!

You are convicted of the heinous crimes of grave robbery and multiple murder.

Do you have anything to say before you are consigned to hell?

Only this.

I did it for love.

I know he seemed like a nice guy and all that.

And I suppose you have to respect the fact that he made the ultimate sacrifice for love.

But he did kill all those people just for money.

And that's just evil.

Thank you.

As for the rest of them...

The Doctor ended up in the New World.

After all, anything goes over there.

Rat catcher! Rat catcher!

Fergus took protection to a new level and made a fortune selling life insurance.

As for our French friend here, he also became a minor celebrity.

He returned to Paris and continued his work.

Allez, allez, allez. Vite, vite, vite.

Ah, come here.

I can't live without you. You're beautiful.

Ah, arrêt! Arrêt!

Say "cheese"!


Nicephore is widely credited as one of the inventors of photography.

Parfait. Bravo.

Lord Harrington, having weathered the storm of the West Port murders was later forced to resign after Colonel wee Tam McLintoch's racy private memoirs were a publishing sensation.

But the real star turned out to be Professor Monro's young assistant, Charles Darwin.

He went on to write a book that sold almost as well as the Bible.

It said only the fittest survive.

And living proof of that is young Ginny.

She finally overcame her grief and became a popular actress.

She's terrible!

Get her off!

Well, not that popular.

As for our two heroes, William Hare followed his dream.

In the end, only Hare got the Royal Seal.

And William Burke ended up in the same place as his victims.

Where shall I start?

I think the feet.

When I wake up Well, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you When I go out Yeah, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you If I get drunk Well, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you And if I haver Yeah, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you But I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles To fall down at your door When I'm working Yes, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who's working hard for you And when the money Comes in for the work I do I'll pass almost every penny on to you When I come home When I come home Yeah, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you And if I grow old Well, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you But I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walks 1,000 miles To fall down at your door

When I'm lonely Well, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who's lonely without you When I'm dreaming Well, I know I'm gonna dream I'm gonna dream about the time when I'm with you When I go out When I go out Well, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you And when I come home When I come home Yes, I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man who's comes back home with you I'm gonna be the man who's coming home with you

But I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walks 1,000 miles To fall down at your door

And I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles