The Elephant Man (1980)

DAVID LYNCH

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

USA, 1980.  Brooksfilms.  Screenplay by David Lynch, , , based on the book The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences by , and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1980.  Golden Globe Awards 1980National Board of Review Awards 1980.  

David Lynch’s mainstream breakthrough film captures a nightmarish vision of Victorian London society. Filmed in dreamy black and white, it tells the story of John Merrick (John Hurt), an English gentleman who was born hideously deformed after his pregnant mother was attacked by an enraged elephant while working in the circus. A kindly doctor (Anthony Hopkins) rescues the grown Merrick from circus life, installing him in his home and studying him while also opening him up to the pleasures of society. Anne Bancroft is excellent as a good natured actress who happily spends time with Merrick without flinching at the sight of him as most others do, and it is her friendship that inspires a sense of personal dignity in him that he never had before. Hurt is marvelous in the lead, reaching through the extensive prostheses to find the heart of this very lonely man who learns to see himself as more than a scientific curiosity.  There’s also a play based on Merrick’s story, but this film is taken from the books The Elephant Man And Other Reminiscences by Sir Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study In Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s