The Elephant Man 1982 PG CC

Amazon Instant Video

(7) IMDb 7.2/10

A filmed version of the popular stage play about a hideously deformed 19th-century London man and how he managed to triumph over his disease.

Starring:
Philip Anglim, Kevin Conway
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes

The Elephant Man

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jack Hofsiss
Starring Philip Anglim, Kevin Conway
Supporting actors Penny Fuller, Richard Clarke, Glenn Close, Jarlath Conroy, Rex Everhart, Christopher Hewett, William Hutt, Charlotte Moore, Josephine Nichols, David Rounds, Veronica Castang, William Duff-Griffin, Joe Grifasi, Myvanwy Jenn, John Neville-Andrews, Jean-Pierre Stewart
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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The skeleton of Joseph Merrick is whole and complete, and you can even see it if you visit London.
Bartok Kinski
As such, it doesn't necessarily strive for visual authenticity and it lacks much of the polish and grandeur of Lynch's Oscar winner.
K. Harris
The doctor, Frederick Treves, presents Merrick to his fellow physicians, describing his many deformities.
Mae Stroshane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mae Stroshane on December 15, 2009
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
That's the phrase spoken by one of the main characters in the play's most tender and heartrending scene. This is the tragic story of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, (called "John" Merrick here) by award-winning playwright Bernard Pomerance.

A prominent young surgeon comes across the Elephant Man earning a living in the sideshows (which the real Merrick did fairly successfully in real life until he was robbed and abandoned by a callous manager. This is shown in the play as well.) The doctor, Frederick Treves, presents Merrick to his fellow physicians, describing his many deformities.

As Treves displays slides of the real Merrick, an extraordinarily handsome young man (Philip Anglim) begins to twist and contort himself in an approximation of Merrick, and remains that way through the rest of the play. The audience is asked to suspend belief and perceive Anglim as the grotesque Merrick, based on the other characters' horrified response to him. It's not always easy to keep that in mind, but Pomerance makes the point that beneath his deformities, Merrick was a human being like the rest of us, with normal feelings, dreams and desires.

At the center of the play is Treves' relationship with Merrick as he changes from a somewhat overbearing protector and savior of the impoverished young man, to a self-doubting, spiritually adrift scientist in an age that seems bent on self-destruction. Merrick, on the other had, believes steadfastly in God and constructs a beautiful church as a symbol of his faith. The cynical Treves sees it only as a futile groping towards nothingness.

The real warmth of the play takes place in the friendship between an actress, Mrs. Kendal, and Merrick. Treves has asked her to befriend the lonely Elephant Man, which she does.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Crosby Brown on January 30, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic television version of the play. I remember that it originally aired on ABC in January of 1982.

My only complaint is that this is a download version and not a DVD. Should you decide to purchase this as a download, be forewarned that you cannot transfer it to another computer or burn it to a DVD. Therefore, I would strongly recommend waiting until a DVD version becomes available, unless you intend to watch this program on one computer.

My only reason for bothering with a non-transferable download is because I had never had the opportunity to watch this program when it originally aired in 1982 and wanted to see it just once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin on May 19, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I watched this when it was first on tv. Back then things were not available like they are now. I had been looking and finally came across it. The only thing bad about it is it's a download and not a DVD. Luckily it will download to the kindle fire so I don't have to sit in front of my computer.
You have to remember it is an older tv production of a play not an HD but it's just as I remember it.
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Format: DVD
As a big fan of David Lynch's stunning 1980 film "The Elephant Man," I'd like to offer an equally enthusiastic shout-out to the 1982 ABC TV production that you might not have seen. Based on the Tony winning 1977 play by Bernard Pomerance (which played on Broadway from 1979 to 1981), this version is basically a filmed interpretation of that stage play. As such, it doesn't necessarily strive for visual authenticity and it lacks much of the polish and grandeur of Lynch's Oscar winner. Largely confined to one set, the lead actor wears no prosthetics but attempts to convey the subject's deformity through action and dialogue. It is an entirely different look at John Merrick, more intimate, more personal, more up-close. Its power is achieved in a much more subtle way and I'm glad that this adaptation will finally be getting a DVD release. I remember watching this in its original broadcast and it still has enormous power to this day.

Philip Anglim portrays Merrick, reprising the role that won him a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award. He is discovered by Dr. Frederick Treves (Kevin Conway) in a traveling freak show, and the doctor is instantly intrigued by Merrick's condition. Merrick is invited to a London hospital where the doctor can get a closer look and this is where most of the action will unfold. As visitors rally around the unfortunate Merrick, oftentimes they get more than they bargained for. Merrick, as you might expect, is the cause of much interest. Whether cruel or curious, though, he does manage to impact many lives by thwarting initial expectations with his intellect and unorthodox world view. In addition to forging a bond with the doctor, he begins a flirtation with an actress (Penny Fuller). But Treves disapproves.
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