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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #148 | Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Frederick Treves
... John Merrick
... Mrs. Kendal
... Carr Gomm
... Mothershead
... Bytes
... Night Porter
... Mrs. Treves
... Princess Alex
... Fox
... Bytes' Boy
... Nora
... Merrick's Mother
... 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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is the reason why Bradley Cooper became an actor. 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 Bad Boy Street (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio for Strings
By Samuel Barber
Played by London Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by André Previn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There will always be Elephant Men
10 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I'm not writing any more plaudits for this movie, for most everything has been said about it before. Even a quarter century later, I weep everytime I watch Mr. Hurt and Mr. Hopkins in their roles. The great humanity of David Lynch and the producers has left us with an equally frightening and endearing vision of Mr. Merick.

Sadly, there will always be elephant men, as long as ignorance and the impulse for destruction rule men and their domain.


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