The film is THE BODY SNATCHER (1945), the character is John Gray, and the actor, of course, is Boris Karloff.
THE BODY SNATCHER is one of my favorite Boris Karloff movies.
Karloff plays John Gray, the man who robs graves for Dr. Wolfe “Toddy” MacFarlane (Henry Daniell). This story is loosely based on the true story of Dr. Knox and grave robbers Burke and Hare.
Karloff’s John Gray is basically Burke and Hare put together. It’s one of Karloff’s scariest roles, and it’s certainly one of his best roles in a non-Universal horror movie. He’s got some great lines in this one.
The screenplay by Philip MacDonald is based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s an atmospheric thriller, well-directed by Robert Wise.
This one also features Bela Lugosi in a small role.
But it’s Karloff who dominates this movie, who’s as frightening here as John Gray as he ever was. The photo above captures perfectly Karloff’s interpretation of Gray’s persona. Fearlessly robbing graves, he’s only too happy to collect his money, and happier still to torment his employer, the proper Dr. MacFarlane, reminding the good doctor that he’s every bit as guilty as those robbing the graves.
If you haven’t seen Karloff in THE BODY SNATCHER, you’re missing quite a treat.
Just look at that smile. Makes you want to visit a cemetery late at night, doesn’t it?
So, if you get the sudden urge in the middle of the night to take a nature walk through a graveyard or to venture across the countryside in search of dead bodies, you can thank Boris Karloff in THE BODY SNATCHER, featured in today’s Picture of the Day.
Thanks for reading!