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The Elephant Man (1980)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 125,814 users  
Reviews: 331 user | 102 critic

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

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Top 250 #128 | Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Helen Ryan ...
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Fox
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Bytes' Boy
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Nora
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Pat Gorman ...
Fairground Bobby
Claire Davenport ...
Fat Lady
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Storyline

John Merrick (whose real name was Joseph, as this is based on a true story) is an intelligent and friendly man, but he is hated by his Victorian-era English society because he is severely deformed. Once he is discovered by a doctor, however, he is saved from his life in a freak show and he is treated like the human being that he really is. Written by Sam Cibula

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre elefante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 2,253,306 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to the constrictive deformity of his mouth, Merrick never spoke as clearly in real life as he does in the film. Doctor Frederick Treves often had to act as Merrick's interpretor for visitors. Those who knew him well, such as hospital staff and friends, grew used to his impeded speech but it remained indistinct and worsened as Merrick's condition deteriorated. See more »

Goofs

In nearly every scene, John Hurt's make-up changes in some way. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Skeleton Man: Get rid of them! I don't want to see them!
Fat Lady: Darling, don't be difficult! Let's take our sweet lovely children on an outing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing disclaimer: This has been based upon the true life story of John Merrick, known as The Elephant Man, and not upon the Broadway play of the same title or any other fictional account. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psycho Sleepover (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio For Strings
By Samuel Barber
Played by London Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by André Previn (as Andre Previn)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nothing Will Die.
30 July 2003 | by (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) – See all my reviews



This movie changed my life forever. To see someone so beautiful, dignified, and unique, hidden behind a body and face that society considers ugly, made me realize how the body is a decaying pile of dust, but the soul is a breath-taking and uniquely formed indestructible diamond.

I believe that everyone should get a chance to see this film, for those of an open mind, and a caring soul, there is nothing else like it.

It also shows the detestable ways some people treat others. I felt at first pity for John Merrick, but then my feelings changed to admiration, as the film went on. John, in the film starts as a severely deformed mute figure being badly mistreated, as the story progresses, he becomes the hero. A bold and courageous man, standing against the evils of modern society.

Joseph (John) Merrick, was a man so one-of-a-kind, that someone else like him physically or emotionally will never appear again. His life should be taken as an example to everyone.

As in the film, John's mother says "Nothing will Die", Joseph Merrick will live on in the hearts and souls of everyone who has witnessed the story of his life.

My love goes to Joseph Merrick, where ever he may be.


289 of 321 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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