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Elephant Man (1980) - David Lynch

Related: film - American cinema - freaks - David Lynch - 1980 - cult movies

Elephant Man (1980) - David Lynch [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Photograph of the actual elephant man, Joseph Merrick


  • The Elephant Man (1980) - David Lynch [Amazon.com]

    You could only see his eyes behind the layers of makeup, but those expressive orbs earned John Hurt a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his moving portrayal of John Merrick, the grotesquely deformed Victorian-era man better known as The Elephant Man. Inarticulate and abused, Merrick is the virtual slave of a carnival barker (Freddie Jones) until dedicated London doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins in a powerfully understated performance) rescues him from the life and offers him an existence with dignity. Anne Bancroft costars as the actress whose visit to Merrick makes him a social curiosity, with John Gielgud and Wendy Hiller as dubious hospital staffers won over by Merrick. David Lynch earned his only Oscar nominations as director and cowriter of this somber drama, which he shot in a rich black-and-white palette, a sometimes stark, sometimes dreamy visual style that at times recalls the offbeat expressionism of his first film, Eraserhead. It remains a perfect marriage between traditional Hollywood historical drama and Lynch's unique cinematic eye, a compassionate human tale delivered in a gothic vein. The film earned eight Oscar nominations in all, and though it left the Oscar race empty-handed, its dramatic power and handsome yet haunting imagery remain just as strong today. --Sean Axmaker for amazon.com

    The Elephant Man is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of the 19th century British deformed celebrity Joseph Merrick. It stars Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon and Freddie Jones.

    The movie was adapted by Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren and David Lynch from the book The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Sir Frederick Treves and Ashley Montagu. It was directed by Lynch. For artistic reasons, it was shot in black and white. The movie's most famous moment comes when Merrick (played with tender realism by John Hurt) stands up to his tormentors and cries, "I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I AM A HUMAN BEING! I ...AM ...A MAN!!". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elephant_Man_%28film%29 [Nov 2005]

    Joseph Carey Merrick (August 5, 1862 - April 11, 1890), known as "The Elephant Man", gained the sympathy of Victorian era United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland because of his extreme deformity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Merrick [Nov 2005]

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