review for The Body Snatcher on AllMovie

The Body Snatcher (1945)
by Richard Gilliam review

The Body Snatcher features one of Boris Karloff's best and most sinister performances, though it is the lesser known and lower credited Henry Daniell who spends more time on screen. Bela Lugosi, billed as Karloff's co-star, has a minor supporting role as Karloff's assistant. Despite (or perhaps because of) his brief screen time, Lugosi's performance is among the best of his career. Though he would continue to make films until his death in 1956, Body Snatcher is the last of Lugosi's "serious" horror films; his subsequent work would mostly devolve into parody. The production values are scant, as was the case with many RKO efforts from the 1940s, but producer Val Lewton (who also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Carlos Keith) and director Robert Wise create an eerie atmosphere that enhances the story. The film proved too strong for British censors, who kept Body Snatcher from being available in that country in its original form for more than fifty years.