The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

David Lynch (1980)

PG Certificate


Our Score
This stylish, poignant drama is probably the closest director David Lynch has got to the mainstream outside of the unwieldy Dune. It's based on the true story of the horrifically disfigured John Merrick (a superb, unrecognisable John Hurt), who battled the prejudices of Victorian society. Full marks, too, for Freddie Francis's striking black-and-white cinematography, the incredible re-creation of the period's industrial grimness and the excellent playing from a top-drawer cast (Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud). Surprisingly, given its weighty tone, it was made by comic Mel Brooks's production company.


A tragically disfigured Victorian man wins the compassion and friendship of respected doctor Frederick Treves and became the toast of fashionable society. Fact-based drama, directed by David Lynch, and starring John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller and Freddie Jones.

Cast & Crew

John Merrick John Hurt
Frederick Treves Anthony Hopkins
Mrs Madge Kendal Anne Bancroft
Carr Gomm John Gielgud
Mothershead Wendy Hiller
Bytes Freddie Jones
Night porter Michael Elphick
Mrs Treves Hannah Gordon
Princess Alex Helen Ryan
Fox John Standing
Bytes's boy Dexter Fletcher
Nora Lesley Dunlop
Merrick's mother Phoebe Nicholls
Director David Lynch
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalGuidance: Contains some violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Mar 2020