The Body Snatcher

Synopsis: The Body Snatcher is a 1945 horror film directed by Robert Wise 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".
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Production: RKO Pictures
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
77 min



Edinburgh castle viewed from the Causeway. When the last

credit title dissolves


STOP FRAME of STOCK SHOT showing Edinburgh castle. Over this

is a title:

EDINBURG -- 1831

With the DISSOLVE of the words the stock shot comes to life

with a carriage coming toward the CAMERA.


FULL SPOT -- Down the lonely, almost deserted street comes a

cab drawn by a bony white horse. This black and sepulchral

vehicle passes through the long shadows and sharp gleams of

the late afternoon sun. On the box, bunched over, almost

lost in the folds of his triple-caped overcoat and with a

battered beaver on his hand, is the cabman. The horse plods

along, his hoof beats echoing with a hollow sound in the

narrow street. At the corner the vehicle turns left.


The black cab drawn by the white horse goes slowly past a

little cemetery. The driver turns his head and looks down as

he goes past.

From his ANGLE, but not a MOVING SHOT, a pleasant little

graveyard with mossy gravestones; old turf making a spot of

green between the gray walls of the kirk and the blank stone

wall of a large building.

Seated on a table stone is young Donald Fettes, a poor

medical student, dressed in worn neat clothing with only a

woolen scarf about his neck for warmth. He sits in such

scanty sunlight as he can find, munching on a cold bannock

and washing it down with thin ale from a round stone bottle.

MED. CLOSE SHOT -- Fettes. In the closer view it can be seen

that he is looking at a small Cairn terrier who lies morosely

guarding a newly-made grave. The dog, with his head down

between his forepaws, occasionally glances over

apprehensively at the young student. Fettes takes a bit of

his bannock between his thumb and forefinger and leans

forward toward the dog.


Here, -- here's a bit of something

for you.

The dog does not stir. Fettes leans further forward almost

putting the morsel of food to the dog's nose. The dog growls

savagely. Fettes draws back.

FETTES (cont'd)

Now, now, laddie -- I only wanted

to be friendly.

It is at this moment that a shadow falls athwart him and

looms up in the afternoon sunlight against the wall behind

him. He looks up.

ANOTHER ANGLE -- Fettes looking over as Mrs. MacBride, a

plump, motherly woman of middle-age, with a Tartan shawl over

her head and carrying a pannikin of water and a bone with

some meat on it, comes through the gate. She crosses over to

the little dog, puts the water before him and starts

shredding little pieces of meat from the bone to feed him.

The dog laps avidly at the water, then gratefully takes the

morsels of meat she gives him.

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Philip MacDonald

Philip MacDonald (5 November 1900, London – 10 December 1980, Woodland Hills, California) was a British author of thrillers. more…

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Submitted by shilobe on March 28, 2017


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"The Body Snatcher" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jul 2020. <>.

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