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The Elephant Man
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- Retrospective Cast and Crew Interviews
- Interview With Academy Award Winning Make-Up Artist Christopher Tucker
- Narrated Photo Gallery
Top Customer Reviews
Lynch was practically a neophyte at the time he directed this movie, yet to many (and to most, for that matter, save the true believers) THE ELEPHANT MAN is his magnum opus. I believe this is because of the mostly Britsh, classically trained actors that made up the cast. Hopkins and Hurt excell. Anne Bancroft (who I believe is the only American in the cast) delivers a flawless performance. Freddy Jones, as Bytes (this was before the internet, remember) is simply uncanny in his tour-de-force portrayal of arguably the vilest villain in cinema history. Who cares that the character was totally innacurate, historically? He chews up the scenery in true Grand Guignol fashion. Gielgud and Wendy Hiller are also on hand to provide levitas. One can't find a better ensemble. It's criminal that at least one of them weren't awarded an Oscar, but that's just another example of how meaningless those little gold statuettes are, more often than not.
Though this is a lot more linear than most of Lynch's movies, there is enough of the surreal on hand to keep the die hards happy. But the surrealism doesn't get in the way of the plot. Christopher de Vore and Eric Bergren, who collaborated with Lynch on the screenplay, can take some credit for that. Veteran cinematographer, Freddie Francis did perhaps the best work of his career here. The black and white images are as good as it gets. The sets are unforgettable.Read more ›
Anyway, when the movie concluded, the ENTIRE audience of 150 or so sat in its seats, numbed and unmoving. It was one of those experiences where you fight back your tears, because you're worried if you let go, you'll start bawling like a baby! The film was so profoundly moving to me and so artistically brilliant, that I went again the very next day, dragging reluctant friends with me. They were all stunned. I watched it AGAIN later that week.
I've watched it on video a couple of times years ago, but until I rewatched it recently on DVD, it had been nearly 10 years since I'd seen it.
The story is set in the early turn-of-the-twentieth-century London. John Merrick (John Hurt) is, for lack of a better word, enslaved as a sideshow freak. He has the most hideous growths on his bones, which give him a frightening appearance. His head is probably three times bigger than a normal human, and the shape resembles a lumpy dirigible. His limbs are mostly tangled messes. Noted physician Dr. Treves (Anthony Hopkins) hears of this "elephant man" and is fascinated so greatly by his condition that he brings him to his hospital for study.Read more ›
Would-be circus man Bytes has put The Elephant Man/John Merrick (Hurt) on display in the freak show, attempting to profit from another man's misery. Dr. Frederick Treves (Hopkins) "saves" Merrick from the evil Bytes, but what does he do with Merrick? Puts him on display in another freak show of sorts for a panel of doctors. Treves has again stripped Merrick of his dignity and tried to to profit from his misery. So who is worse? Bytes or Treves?
And this is only the first 15 minutes of the film...
What eventually saves Treves is that he actually gets to know Merrick. Behind the deformity he discovers a human being.
There are so many beautiful and touching moments in this movie: Merrick's awe at watching the play, Merrick removing the pillows from his bed so he can sleep like a normal person and, of course, Merrick trapped at the train station and shouting out "I am not an animal!"
But my favorite moment comes when Merrick's fellow "freaks" in the circus help him escape. As they put him on a ship so he can hopefully find his way back home, the dwarf (Kenny Baker) says to him "Good luck, my friend. And who needs it more than us?"
Filmed in gorgeous black and white. They don't come any better than this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a GREAT movie, everyone should watch it at LEAST once. It was in wonderful condition and got here before the others!Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great movie to watch and does have some love and care in it by the best man ever who is the best doctor every . And a great movie to watch every day.Published 1 month ago by Marguerite Poll
An amazing film. I believe this film expresses the affects of what its like to be alienated, segregated; what its like to feel what an animal feels when its treated harshly and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Myke
Wow, what can I say? This movie pretty much speaks for itself. It is difficult to review a movie this incredibly moving and beautiful, because there is so much to be said about it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Montera
The DVD case is actually in Korean (Synopsis, actors, everything on the case) characters. Otherwise, the package came as described and shipped quickly.Published 1 month ago by Binh
Thought provoking like few other movies. Real to life. Genuine. A probe into how the elephant man viewed the treatment of others. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Zeek
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|When will this excellent film be reissued again?||
Probably for its 30th anniversary next year, I would think. I was watching it on cable the other night and couldn't believe it's that old, there's nothing about it that looks like 1980 to me.
Wow, this post is old. :D
Feb 22, 2009 by justfribble | See all 3 posts