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Elephant Man (1980)
     

Elephant Man (1980)

5.0 7
Director: David Lynch,

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft

 

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John Hurt stars as John Merrick, the hideously deformed 19th century Londoner known as "The Elephant Man." Treated as a sideshow freak, Merrick is assumed to be retarded as well as misshapen because of his inability to speak coherently. In fact, he is highly intelligent and sensitive, a fact made public when one Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony

Overview

John Hurt stars as John Merrick, the hideously deformed 19th century Londoner known as "The Elephant Man." Treated as a sideshow freak, Merrick is assumed to be retarded as well as misshapen because of his inability to speak coherently. In fact, he is highly intelligent and sensitive, a fact made public when one Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues Merrick from a carnival and brings him to a hospital for analysis. Alas, even after being recognized as a man of advanced intellect, Merrick is still treated like a freak; no matter his station in life, he will forever be a prisoner of his own malformed body. Unable to secure rights for the famous stage play The Elephant Man, producer Mel Brooks based his film on the memoirs of Frederick Treves and a much later account of Merrick's life by Ashley Montagu. The film is photographed in black and white by British master cinematographer Freddie Francis. Although nominated for eight Academy Awards -- including nods for Hurt and Lynch -- the film was ultimately shut out in every category. Across the Atlantic, it was recognized with a César Award in France as the Best Foreign-Language Film, and the BAFTA Award in England for Best Film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Prior to this breakout film, director David Lynch was a cult figure, whose only previous film was the bizarre cult favorite Eraserhead. Elephant Man was in many respects a longer, more accessible, better plotted version of Eraserhead, underlining Lynch's fascination with physical freaks and sporting the same strange atmospherics, including the constant background noise of humming and hissing machinery. John Hurt sensitively plays the title role, based on a true story about a severely deformed man in late 19th century London who becomes the star of a freak show and the toast of society. Anthony Hopkins's role firmly established his career, and the film did the same for Lynch, who became a cultural hot property. Stark and unforgiving, Elephant Man promotes Lynch's vision of a society at odds with its members. The film received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, though it won none of them.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/23/2010
UPC:
8809154126329
Original Release:
1980
Source:
Imports
Region Code:
0
Time:
2:03:00
Sales rank:
476

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Hopkins Dr. Frederick Treves
John Hurt John Merrick
Anne Bancroft Mrs. Madge Kendal
John Gielgud Carr Gomm
Wendy Hiller Mothershead
Fred Jones Bytes
Michael Elphick Night Porter
Hannah Gordon Mrs. Treves
Helen Ryan Princess Alexandra
John Standing Fox
Dexter Fletcher Bytes' Boy
Lesley Dunlop Nora
Phoebe Nicholls Merrick's Mother
Robert Bush Messenger
Maggie Cartier Actor
Peter Davidson Second Bobby
Roy Evans Cabbie
Orla Pederson Skeleton Man
Lisa & Teri Scobie Siamese Twins
Bernadette Milnes Actor
Carole Harrison Tart
Pat Gorman Fairground Bobby
Claire Davenport Fat Lady
Patsy Smart Distraught Woman
Frederick Treves Alderman
Stromboli Fire Eater
Richard Hunter Hodges
Tony London Porter
Hugh Manning Broadneck
Fanny Carby Mrs. Kendal's Dresser
Kathleen Byron Lady Waddington
Gerald Case Lord Waddington
David Ryall Man with Whores
Dierdre Costello 1st Whore
Pauline Quirke Whore
Kenny Baker Plumed Dwarf
Chris Greener Giant
Marcus Powell Midget
Eiji Kusuhara Japanese Bleeder
Robert Day Little Jim
Patricia Hodge Screaming Woman
John Rapley King in Panto
Teresa Codling Princess in Panto
William Morgan Sheppard Man in Pub
Tommy Wright First Bobby

Technical Credits
David Lynch Director,Musical Direction/Supervision,Screenwriter,Sound/Sound Designer
Eric Bergren Screenwriter
Mel Brooks Executive Producer
Maggie Cartier Casting
Robert Cartwright Art Director
Anne V. Coates Editor
Stuart Cornfeld Executive Producer
Stuart Craig Production Designer
Christopher de Vore Screenwriter
Graham Ford Set Decoration/Design
Freddie Francis Cinematographer
Robin Gregory Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Hayes Musical Arrangement
Graham Longhurst Special Effects
John Morris Score Composer
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer
Jonathan Sanger Producer
Hugh Scaife Set Decoration/Design
Wally Schneiderman Makeup
Alan Splet Sound/Sound Designer
Christopher Tucker Makeup
Anthony Waye Asst. Director

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Elephant Man 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that the story of John Merrik has inspired us all. Acclaimed artists,such as Audrey Kantrowitz and Richard Geary, have dedicated several painted figures to him, and many authors have been inspired to tell his story through thier vibrant, poetic words. The film itself has become a cult hit with sufferers of neurofibromatosis and people with Autismn. Most of the film is fictional,though.In the beginning of the film and after it it says that this film has been based on the life of John Merrik and not on any fictional account or Broadway Play by the same name,but most of it is fictional account. Most of it has been based on Frederick Treve's memoir,'' The Elephant Man and other Reminiscences'', but at that time Frederick was suffering from depression because his younger daughter,Kate,had died from appendicitis.He was prescribed to take Lithium which can memory loss. It is because of Frederick that Merrik is incorrectly referred to as ''John''. His birthname is actually Joseph Carey Merrik. This movie was made in the 80's and not much was known at the time about the true history of Joseph Merrik. At the time,it was beleived that Joseph had neurofibromatosis but recent studies show that he had Proteus Syndrome. As far as his mental state goes, Dr. Treves noted that he was retarded. This proves to be wrong. He was actually very intelligent but was not sophisticated enough so he still had the mind of a child. I was disapointed that the movie didn't portray his autistic personality. Yes, our Joey was, indeed ,an Autistic Savant. If you've ever seen ''Rain Man'', you would know what that is. Joseph was virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable to be independent, and he is given the full ability to function successfully. Anyway,you should check out the Joseph Carey Merrik Tribute Site at Google.com!! You would be surprised at what is fact and fiction in this film! By the way, I just found out that there has been a re-make of this film! The kids at school said that it wasn't as good as the original,and I decline to degree. As far as the film goes,it is a haunting and harrowing masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
every aspect of this film was coverd beautifully. iv'e read the book as well and this is a wonderfull supplement
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing, Lynchian film. It had great acting from Mr. Hurt & Hopkins. The make-up artist did fantastic. Who ever it was, they made John Hurt grotesque and obscure. It was a sad film that I feel oh so close to. I understand this, as I understand Edward Scissorhands (the greatest movie ever), so I give it five out of five.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film depicts how behind we really are. We as a species are overly concerned with the exterior rather than the interior. I recommend this for anyone who wishes to grow as a person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Elephant Man is a film that, in addition to holding your attention, makes you want to be a better person. The horror with which we first view John Merrick turns into a horror for how cruel people can be. There are some wonderfully poetic touches, like John's decision to mimic the picture above his bead. Everyone should have their children see this film so they learn compassion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 16 and i saw The elephate man just the other day and i really loved it.It lets you relize how society acts to people being different back then and sometimes now . John was a really cool guy . Since i saw that movie i will allways have a facination with John Merrick . For my 18 birthday i want to visit john's grave if they have one. Thanks to the movie i have read many books on john merrick
Guest More than 1 year ago
John hurt gives the best performance of his career. Just having enough compassion to do that role he should have gotten the an Oscar. Anthony Hopkins plays Fredrick Treeves, the doctor who saved John Merrick(John Hurt) for being the freak in a circus. The movie really makes you think how bad some people are treated because of the way they look. I think that everyone should see this movie.