The Elephant Man

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

More accessible than Lynch's enigmatically disturbing Eraserhead, The Elephant Man has much the same limpidly moving humanism as Truffaut's L'Enfant Sauvage in describing how the unfortunate John Merrick, brutalised by a childhood in which he was hideously abused as an inhuman freak, was gradually coaxed into revealing a soul of such delicacy and refinement that he became a lion of Victorian society. But that is only half the story the film tells. The darker side, underpinned by an evocation of the steamy, smoky hell that still underlies a London facelifted by the Industrial Revolution, is crystallised by the wonderful sequence in which Merrick is persuaded by a celebrated actress to read Romeo to her Juliet. A tender, touching scene ('Oh, Mr Merrick, you're not an elephant man at all. No, you're Romeo'), it nevertheless begs the question of what passions, inevitably doomed to frustration, have been roused in this presumably normally-sexed Elephant Man. Appearances are all, and like the proverbial Victorian piano, he can make the social grade only if his ruder appendages are hidden from sensitive eyes; hence what is effectively, at his time of greatest happiness, his suicide. A marvellous movie, shot in stunning black-and-white by Freddie Francis.
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Release details

UK release:

1980

Duration:

124 mins

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Average User Rating

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1 person listening
Magmabulle

A wonderful movie, and one of the saddest I have ever seen. David Lynch once again shows his brilliance in directing.

Magmabulle

A wonderful movie, and one of the saddest I have ever seen. David Lynch once again shows his brilliance in directing.

Danielle . . .

I feel so sorry for the elephant man. He didn't deserve to be treated like this at all. He is just a human and normal person no matter what he looked like. This is such a sad movie but i enjoyed it so much. I would reccomed it to anyone. The sad but true story of John Joseph Merrick and his hard life that he endured. xx

Danielle . . .

I feel so sorry for the elephant man. He didn't deserve to be treated like this at all. He is just a human and normal person no matter what he looked like. This is such a sad movie but i enjoyed it so much. I would reccomed it to anyone. The sad but true story of John Joseph Merrick and his hard life that he endured. xx