The Elephant Man (1980) Poster


John Merrick: I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!

John Merrick: People are frightened by what they don't understand.

[last lines]

Merrick's Mother: Never. Oh, never. Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die.

Mrs. Kendal: Why, Mr. Merrick, you're not an elephant man at all.

John Merrick: Oh no?

Mrs. Kendal: Oh no... no... you're a Romeo.

John Merrick: [after seeing pictures of Dr. Treves' family] Would you care to see my mother?

Dr. Frederick Treves: [surprised] Your mother? Yes please.

[John pulls out a small portrait]

Mrs. Treves: Oh but she's... Mr. Merrick, she's beautiful!

John Merrick: Oh, she had the face of an angel!


John Merrick: I must have been a great disappointment to her.

Mrs. Treves: No, Mr. Merrick, no. No son as loving as you could ever be a disappointment.

John Merrick: If only I could find her, so she could see me with such lovely friends here now; perhaps she could love me as I am. I've tried so hard to be good.

[Mrs. Treves begins to cry]

John Merrick: My life is full because I know I am loved.

Mrs. Treves: I'm very pleased to meet you, Mr. Merrick.

John Merrick: I'm very pleased...

[John begins to cry]

Dr. Frederick Treves: What is it, John? What's the matter?

John Merrick: It's just that I-I'm not used to being treated so well by a beautiful woman...

Dr. Frederick Treves: Am I a good man? Or a bad man?

Carr Gomm: Can you imagine the kind of life he must have had?

Dr. Frederick Treves: Yes, I think I can.

Carr Gomm: I don't think so. No one could possibly imagine it! I don't believe any of us can!

Dr. Fox: Have you ever mentioned his mental state?

Dr. Frederick Treves: Oh, he's an imbecile, probably from birth. Man's a complete idiot... Pray to God he's an idiot.

John Merrick: [haltingly] Hello... my name is... John Merrick.

Bytes: Life!... is full of surprises. Consider the fate of this creature's poor mother, struck down in the fourth month of her maternal condition by an elephant, a wild elephant. Struck down!... on an uncharted African isle. The result is plain to see... Ladies and gentlemen... The terrible... Elephant... Man...

John Merrick: There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now.

Dr. Frederick Treves: What's that?

John Merrick: Can you cure me?

Dr. Frederick Treves: No. We can care for you, but we can't cure you.

John Merrick: [matter-of-factly] No. I thought not.

Plumed Dwarf: Luck, my friend, luck. Who needs it more than we?

[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.

Mothershead: Sir! I don't quite... I don't quite understand why it is you allow that sort of people in there.

Dr. Frederick Treves: Why? Because he enjoys it, and I think it's very good for him.

Mothershead: Yes, but, sir, you saw the expression on their faces. They didn't hide their disgust. They don't care anything about John! They only want to impress their friends!

Dr. Frederick Treves: I think you're being rather harsh on them, don't you, Mrs. Mothershead?

Mothershead: I beg your pardon!

Dr. Frederick Treves: You yourself hardly showed him much loving kindness when he first arrived, did you?

Mothershead: I bathed him, I fed him, and I cleaned up after him, didn't I? And I see that my nurses do the same. And if loving kindness can be called care and practical concern, then I did show him loving kindness, and I am not ashamed to admit it!

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Dr. Frederick Treves: Abominable things these machines - you can't reason with them,

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Night Porter: [to Treves] Only Mothershead can sack me now.

[unknown to the night porter, Mothershead is behind him, she who proceeds to clobber him over the head, rendering him unconscious]

Mothershead: [in a satisfied voice] Done!

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