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The Elephant Man

  • Drama
  • 1980
  • David Lynch
  • 118 mins
  • PG

Summary

David Lynch's moving dramatisation of the life of John Merrick, starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. 1884: an ambitious young London surgeon is intrigued by a sideshow freak billed as the "Elephant Man". But behind the appallingly disfigured and brutalised exhibit, he finds an intelligent and sensitive person whose rehabilitation he undertakes.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
John MerrickJohn Hurt
Frederick TrevesAnthony Hopkins
Mrs Madge KendalAnne Bancroft
Carr GommJohn Gielgud
MothersheadWendy Hiller
BytesFreddie Jones
Night porterMichael Elphick
Mrs TrevesHannah Gordon
Princess AlexHelen Ryan
FoxJohn Standing
Bytes's boyDexter Fletcher
NoraLesley Dunlop
Merrick's motherPhoebe Nicholls

Crew

rolename
DirectorDavid Lynch

Details

Theatrical distributor
Studio Canal
Released on
2020-03-13
Guidance
Contains some violence.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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