8.2/10
180,569
369 user 124 critic

The Elephant Man (1980)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,545 ( 98)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #149 | Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Eraserhead (1977)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
Blue Velvet (1986)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Lost Highway (1997)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius
Wild at Heart (1990)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Inland Empire (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young FBI agent disappears while investigating a murder miles from Twin Peaks that may be related to the future murder of Laura Palmer; the last week of the life of Laura Palmer is chronicled.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Fox
...
...
...
...
Fairground Bobby
...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre elefante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,010,864, 31 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lynch narrowed his choices for the film's Cinematographer down to two names; Christopher Challis, who was considered a safe pair of hands, or Freddie Francis, who Lynch considered to be a much more talented Cinematographer, but hadn't worked in that role since 1964. Lynch decided to go with his gut instinct and hire Francis after Producer Stuart Cornfeld told him that, "No one ever made it big by being a pussy." See more »

Goofs

Bytes threw Merrick's mask out of the caravan. The mask then fell under the caravan's stair. But when Bytes' boy picked Merrick's cloth, we can see the mask (white one) is among the clothes. 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 Arrested Development: Sword of Destiny (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio for Strings
By Samuel Barber
Played by London Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by André Previn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Almost Too Heart-Wrenching To Watch
1 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

Man, this is a powerful and great movie. We are all moved different degrees by different things, but to witness sincerely nice people being treated cruelly always bothers me big- time....so this film is tough to watch in spots. Some scenes are just painful and depressing to view.

Whatever your sensitivity, the movie is very involving and hauntingly shown with eerie black-and-white photography. Eerie, and downright beautiful camera-work in here, so kudos to cinematographer Freddie Francis, one of the best in the business.

A young Anthony Hopkins is very likable and John Hurt is, well, someone you won't soon forget as John Merrick, "The Elephant Man."

This is an uplifting movie at times, too, not just a tear-jerker or horrific in showing man's cruelty to man. Be prepared for an emotional experience and an amazing story.


119 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 369 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Paul Scheer on Why There Are No Bad Movies

Paul Scheer discusses The Disaster Artist and his love of awesomely bad movies. Plus, we dive into the origins of midnight movies and explore how The Room became a cult classic.

Watch now