The Elephant Man (1980)

Elephant Man, The (1980, GBR/USA) 123m. SCOPE *** D: David Lynch. Starring Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones, Michael Elphick. Extraordinary drama, based on the real-life story of John Merrick, a grotesquely disfigured young man (Hurt), who is discovered by a renowned doctor (Hopkins) in Victorian London and saved from his freak show host/owner (Jones). The kind treatment by the doctors soon make the 'Elephant Man' reveal his true nature - that of a sensitive, intelligent being. Unsensationalistic, well-acted, Lynch's follow-up to his debut feature ERASERHEAD (1978) is almost completely atypical of his oeuvre but nevertheless hits the mark. Beautifully photographed in black-and-white by Freddie Francis, moving score by John Morris. Nominated for eight Oscars but didn't win any.


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