Mini-Review: The Body Snatcher (1945)

Written by Philip MacDonald & Val Lewton, Robert Louis Stevenson (short story)
Directed by Robert Wise
Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell, Edith Atwater, Russell Wade
US Release May 17, 1945
RT 77 min.
Home Video Turner Home Entertainment
Classic Horrors rating = 6 (out of 10)


Cocky Dr. Wolfe “Toddy” McFarlane (Henry Daniell) and his assistant, Donald Fettes (Russell Wade) use bodies procured by Cabman John Gray (Boris Karloff) for practice so they can perform spinal surgery on a paralyzed child. Gray blackmails them and Joseph (Bela Lugosi) wants a cut, too.

Karloff is more a character in this one than a gentle, grandfatherly type. He’s fun to watch and his big scene with Lugosi is great. Overall, though, it seems a little too complicated, yet subtle, to be purely entertaining.

2 thoughts on “Mini-Review: The Body Snatcher (1945)

  1. Oh, I love this one. I think Karloff is great as the cocky, taunting Gray and Daniell is so torn as the doctor who wants to do the best for his students, but is beholden to his old chum. I wish Lugosi had more to do. A favorite!


  2. Pingback: TCM Digs up the Dead During Monday Marathon | Classic Horrors

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