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The Elephant Man
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The Elephant Man (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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The Elephant Man -- Based on a true story, the film examines the complex emotional experiences faced by John Merrick. "The Elephant Man" (Hurt), when he is discovered by a dedicated surgeon (Anthony Hopkins). Rescued from his degrading life as a circus freak, Merrick is given a chance to live his last years with comfort, respect, and dignity.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   154,981 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Christopher De Vore (screenplay) &
Eric Bergren (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Elephant Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Masterpiece, Truly Remarkable See more (351 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Hopkins ... Frederick Treves

John Hurt ... John Merrick

Anne Bancroft ... Mrs. Kendal

John Gielgud ... Carr Gomm

Wendy Hiller ... Mothershead

Freddie Jones ... Bytes

Michael Elphick ... Night Porter

Hannah Gordon ... Mrs. Treves

Helen Ryan ... Princess Alex

John Standing ... Fox

Dexter Fletcher ... Bytes' Boy

Lesley Dunlop ... Nora

Phoebe Nicholls ... Merrick's Mother
Pat Gorman ... Fairground Bobby
Claire Davenport ... Fat Lady
Orla Pederson ... Skeleton Man
Patsy Smart ... Distraught Woman
Frederick Treves ... Alderman
Stromboli ... Fire Eater
Richard Hunter ... Hodges
James Cormack ... Pierce
Robert Lewis Bush ... Messenger (as Robert Bush)
Roy Evans ... Cabman
Joan Rhodes ... Cook
Nula Conwell ... Nurse Kathleen
Tony London ... Young Porter
Alfie Curtis ... Milkman
Bernadette Milnes ... 1st Fighting Woman
Brenda Kempner ... 2nd Fighting Woman
Carol Harrison ... Tart (as Carole Harrison)
Hugh Manning ... Broadneck
Dennis Burgess ... 1st Committee Man
Fanny Carby ... Mrs. Kendal's Dresser

William Morgan Sheppard ... Man In Pub (as Morgan Sheppard)

Kathleen Byron ... Lady Waddington
Gerald Case ... Lord Waddington

David Ryall ... Man With Whores
Deirdre Costello ... 1st Whore

Pauline Quirke ... 2nd Whore

Kenny Baker ... Plumed Dwarf
Chris Greener ... Giant
Marcus Powell ... Midget
Gilda Cohen ... Midget
Lesley Scoble ... Siamese Twin (as Lisa Scoble)
Teri Scoble ... Siamese Twin
Eiji Kusuhara ... Japanese Bleeder
Robert Day ... Little Jim

Patricia Hodge ... Screaming Mum
Tommy Wright ... First Bobby
Peter Davidson ... Second Bobby
John Rapley ... King In Panto
Hugh Spight ... Puss In Panto
Teresa Codling ... Princess In Panto
Marion Betzold ... Principal Boy
Caroline Haigh ... Tree
Florenzio Morgado ... Tree
Victor Kravchenko ... Lion / Coachman
Beryl Hicks ... Fairy
Michele Amas ... Horse
Lucie Alford ... Horse
Penny Wright ... Horse
Janie Kells ... Horse
Lydia Lisle ... Merrick's Mother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Bergren ... Lyra Box Player #1 (uncredited)

Adam Caine ... Kid at Train Station (uncredited)
Gypsy Dave Cooper ... Man in crowd (uncredited)
Christopher De Vore ... Lyra Box Player #2 (uncredited)
Harry Fielder ... Policeman (uncredited)
Norman Gay ... Doctor (uncredited)

David Lynch ... Man in the Bowler Hat in the Mob Chasing Merrick (uncredited)
Ralph Morse ... Young aristocrat (uncredited)
Kevin Schumm ... Kid at Train Station #2 (uncredited)
Fred Wood ... Injured Man (uncredited)

Directed by
David Lynch 
 
Writing credits
Christopher De Vore (screenplay) &
Eric Bergren (screenplay) &
David Lynch (screenplay)

Frederick Treves (book "The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences") (as Sir Frederick Treves)

Ashley Montagu (in part on the book "The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity")

Produced by
Stuart Cornfeld .... executive producer
Jonathan Sanger .... producer
Mel Brooks .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
John Morris 
 
Cinematography by
Freddie Francis (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Anne V. Coates 
 
Casting by
Maggie Cartier 
 
Production Design by
Stuart Craig 
 
Art Direction by
Robert Cartwright  (as Bob Cartwright)
 
Set Decoration by
Hugh Scaife 
 
Costume Design by
Patricia Norris 
 
Makeup Department
Paula Gillespie .... hairdresser
Stephanie Kaye .... hairdresser
Beryl Lerman .... makeup artist
Michael Morris .... makeup artist
Wally Schneiderman .... makeup application: 'Elephant Man'
Wally Schneiderman .... makeup supervisor
Christopher Tucker .... makeup creator: 'Elephant Man'
Christopher Tucker .... makeup designer: 'Elephant Man'
 
Production Management
Terence A. Clegg .... executive in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gerry Gavigan .... second assistant director
Anthony Waye .... assistant director
Andy Armstrong .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Reg Richards .... construction manager
Terry Wells .... property master
John Roberts .... set designer (uncredited)
Adrian Start .... chargehand painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Robin Gregory .... sound mixer
Peter Horrocks .... sound editor
John Iles .... engineer: Dolby
David Lynch .... sound designer
Alan Splet .... sound designer
Alan Splet .... special sound effects
Doug E. Turner .... dubbing mixer (as Doug Turner)
Terry Sharratt .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Graham Longhurst .... special effects
Neil Corbould .... special effects (uncredited)
Paul Corbould .... special effects (uncredited)
Martin Gutteridge .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Garth Inns .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
David Smith .... optical cameraman: Camera Effects Ltd (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Connor .... still photographer
Jim Dawes .... dolly grip
Jerry Dunkley .... camera operator
Roy Larner .... gaffer
Wick Finch .... electrician (uncredited)
John Matthews .... best boy (uncredited)
Tim Ross .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tiny Nicholls .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Patrick Moore .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
John Morris .... conductor
 
Transportation Department
Brian Hathaway .... transportation
Gerry Turner .... transportation
 
Other crew
Randy Auerbach .... researcher
Ceri Evans .... continuity
Graham Ford .... location manager
Loretta Ordewer .... production secretary
John Trehy .... production accountant
Ellen Adolph .... manager of production accounting (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Elephant Man" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
124 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director David Lynch's first studio film and Lynch's first commercial movie.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Frederick Treves is bring up the oatmeal to John Merrick and Carr Gomm startles him he puts the oatmeal behind his back as to hide it from him. In the next shot he has the oatmeal in front of him and puts it behind his back again while he is walking towards Carr Gomm.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Adagio for StringsSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Did everything happen to Merrick just like in the film?
See more »
145 out of 166 people found the following review useful.
A Masterpiece, Truly Remarkable, 10 May 2004

David Lynch is a remarkable director and The Elephant Man is a remarkable film. Inspired by a true story in the streets of London during the Victorian Age, the film is based entirely around the life of John Merrick (John Hurt), an individual dubbed by his `owner' Bytes (Freddie Jones) and others as 'The Elephant Man' because of his hideous deformities. With this film, Lynch grasps his audience and stretches them to a new parallel of an emotionally capturing film. And what makes this so daunting and so intriguing is the fact that 'The Elephant Man' is a true story, no part of it is fictional. Anthony Hopkins plays Dr. Frederick Treves, the man who somewhat saves John from those who persecute him for being a freak, being a `monster.' A story of human triumph could never be so remarkable as that of The Elephant Man. Lynch takes The Elephant Man to a new level of technical aspiration with a dark, dank setting shot completely in black and white. This film is amazing and would undoubtedly be just okay any other way. The black and white adds to the story in a way that touches the audience much deeper and much more personal. Not to mention stunning performances and dialogue by all cast, `David Lynch's portrait of John 'The Elephant Man' Merrick stands as one of the best biographies on film.' Literary critic Leslie Fiedler maintains that freaks stir `both supernatural terror and natural sympathies' because they `challenge conventional boundaries between male and female, sexed and sexless, animal and human, large and small, self and other.' In this very interesting and moving film, we are challenged to clarify our values in regard to `very special people.' However, in one powerful scene of tension and curiosity, John Merrick screams out, `I am not an animal! I am a human being! I.am.a man!' This particular sequence, I believe, is incredible and it ties in with the whole focus of the film itself, human dignity and emotion. David Lynch is known for some pretty twisted films, and yet, The Elephant Man is not that twisted at all. Even though his audience views John Merrick as not the average person because of his medical condition, the story is cherished because of how it is put onto the big screen. Compared to his other films such as Blue Velvet and Eraserhead, The Elephant Man is more surreal in terms of what Lynch was going for. Lynch does a magnificent job in portraying his version of The Elephant Man, and many people along with critics alike agree. I can easily rate The Elephant Man with four stars because David Lynch deserves no less. The Elephant Man is a classic, a striking and devastating film depicting the account of John Merrick's search for a dignified and normal life. I would definitely recommend this film to those in search of a wonderful story about one man's conquest to a regular life. Dr. Treves' account with John not only presents him with respect and normalcy, but also takes him as far as an uplifting scene where upon John states `my life is full because I know I am loved.' With such an inspirational and true story, David Lynch puts on a film that should be loved by many, if not all.

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Did "Victor Frankenstein" rip-off this? agraza
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Scariest movie ever!!!! dashaunfolife
Is There a Movie much sadder than this Masterpiece !! slayerkolik13
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