David Lynch brings his own dreamlike style to the heartbreaking yet somehow uplifting story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a hideously deformed individual dubbed the Elephant Man during his years in a circus freak show in Victorian England. After suffering for years at the hands of his circus “master,” the eloquent, soft spoken Merrick is “rescued” by compassionate surgeon Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), who allows him to live at the hospital where he works. Merrick becomes a social celebrity when he meets a popular stage performer (Anne Bancroft), but he must continue to fight for his dignity with those who still choose to view him as a freak. Meanwhile, Treves begins to question whether his supposed act of humanity has been just as exploitative as Merrick’s former caretaker’s.
Lynch’s follow-up to his 1978 cult classic Eraserhead is a striking blend of art and entertainment, which earned the film eight Academy Award nominations in 1980. Freddie Francis’s breathtaking black-and-white cinematography combines with John Morris’s score to re-create Victorian England with a deeply haunting beauty. It is the compassionate performances of Hurt and Hopkins that lift The Elephant Man to a more emotional level, however, bringing an inspired sadness to Lynch’s striking vision. –Studio Canal
David Lynch grew up as a Presbyterian. David Lynch spent his childhood throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina depending on where his father’s job as a research scientist for the Department of Agriculture took him. His mother was an English tutor whose parents immigrated to the United States from Finland in the 19th century. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, as a teenager served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch took courses at The Corcoran School of Art during his high school career at Francis C. Hammond High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for one year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with childhood friend and contemporary artist Jack Fisk. In 1966 he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA).
While enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) he created the visual work, Industrial Symphonies… read more
I was strangely fascinated by the Elephant Man's portrait of Oscar Wilde above his mantelpiece (even if this wasn't supposed to be Wilde, it showed a very striking resemblance to the writer). This would provide a very interesting reading of the film as an allegory on the notion of degeneration in Victorian society.
I need to re-watch this because I haven't seen it in years. But I don't want to go anywhere near it again. The cruelty against John Merrick broke my heart when depicted in this film. I'm not sure if I can go back to this.
Lynch plasma un film dalla singolare intensità emotiva,feroce e commovente allo stesso tempo in cui ritroviamo una delle sue tematiche congeniali:nulla è ciò come appare, non bisogna fermarsi in superficie perchè anche un essere deforme come Merrick può nascondere un animo nobile.Fantastica la metafora della cattedrale come presa di coscienza di sè. Una regia superba e suggestiva corona una grandiosa pellicola.4*
Superb movie featuring an astounding performance by John Hurt. I have always been interested in this particular case, that is the Elephant Man and the movie does justice to the enigma and the mythos… read review
When dealing with subject matter such as a highly deformed man, one runs the risk of stooping to deliberate sentimentality or even unwitting sentimentality. However, only the scene where Anthony Hopkins… read review
I haven’t cried at a film in a good number years, but this one broke my streak. Wow. Just wow. I guess David Lynch is capable of creating something that is more than just surreal bizarreness. I wasn… read review