The Elephant Man (1980) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a 19th-century Englishman afflicted with a disfiguring congenital disease. With the help of kindly Dr. Frederick Treves, Merrick attempts to regain the dignity he lost after years spent as a side-show freak. Runtime: 124 mins Release Date: 09 Oct 1980
This movie changed my life forever. To see someone so beautiful, dignified, and unique, hidden behind a body and face that society considers ugly, made me realize how the body is a decaying pile of dust, but the soul is a breath-taking and uniquely formed indestructible diamond.I believe that everyone should get a chance to see this film, for those of an open mind, and a caring soul, there is nothing else like it.It also shows the detestable ways some people treat others. I felt at first pity for John Merrick, but then my feelings changed to admiration, as the film went on. John, in the film <more>
starts as a severely deformed mute figure being badly mistreated, as the story progresses, he becomes the hero. A bold and courageous man, standing against the evils of modern society.Joseph John Merrick, was a man so one-of-a-kind, that someone else like him physically or emotionally will never appear again. His life should be taken as an example to everyone.As in the film, John's mother says "Nothing will Die", Joseph Merrick will live on in the hearts and souls of everyone who has witnessed the story of his life.My love goes to Joseph Merrick, where ever he may be.
I just watched this movie last night and i must say... it touched me in a way no other movie has... some of the scenes even brought me to tears, which has never happened to me before.... John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins are simple incredible, and this movie is just filled with unforgettable scenes.... but like some people have mentioned here before, it is an incredibly hard movie to watch, especially after you realize what a sweet, kind, smart and innocent man John Merrick was, it is often painful to watch the way he's treated by some people, and like Hopkins says after he sees him for the <more>
first time "I pray to god that he's an idiot", sadly, he is everything but that...10/10, no question
A Masterpiece, Truly Remarkable (by mhs_njrotc2004)
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 <more>
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.
Almost Too Heart-Wrenching To Watch (by ccthemovieman-1)
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 <more>
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.
Spoilers herein.Some films are effective because they competently push all the buttons. Some work because they effectively transport you an unfamiliar place. And some reveal some new way of folding your imagination. This film shifts among these three excellent qualities, depending who is making the decisions.Of these three, only the last really matters. Oh, a good empathetic cry is worthwhile, especially if I can congratulate myself on my understanding, charitable nature. But that's cheap. What really matters in this film are the few places where the producers let David Lynch do his <more>
thing. There are two:--The first is the sequence in France where Bytes has taken up with the freak show that seemingly is the original one visited by Treves. This sequence is clearly patterned on the amazing `Freaks,' elaborating and extending many of the images first invented there. Leading up to the escape by the edge of the water, which is the single image that permanently rests in mind and anchors this whole film. Lynch and most other intelligent filmmakers is obsessed with what it means to make a show. Except for the obvious Trevers is much like Bytes but with clean sheets , there isn't much exploration of what society accepts as a `show' except for this and the next mentioned:--The freak show is mirrored by the other show Lynch is allowed to mess with, the play. This is also a show, but this time Merrick is a spectator. There are also wonders; also natural and societal forces at play; also an imprisoned ogre who presumably is shown to have a heart of gold. By 1980, it is already a hard rule that the abstraction `distance' between a film and the film or play within the film must be the same as between the film and `real' life. And so it is here.These two sequences of the freak show and the play, clearly siblings, are the two places Lynch has been allowed to be Lynch, and they are inventive, trenchant and lasting. But where Brooks and company constrained Lynch, we have a failure: all that stuff about clouds and smoke and boilers. I suppose knowing his later work that he was going for the industrialization as a Victorian template mapped to the hospital's rigid rules: `we only help patients who can be cured' . Going for the `hey, that's me struggling against the machine of society,' and linking that machine to machine of show business. The name : `Bytes' was designed to further that notion. Constraining him thus certainly was a wise decision given the goals of the film, and the emphasis on the actors. But I dare say that it would have been a better, more important and visceral experience if there had been less mawkish sentimentality and more image; fewer gems of actors' effects and more cinematic structure.Lynch and Freddy Francis were to team up again for `The Straight Story' where it is all about what they couldn't do here.Elsewhere, I have come down pretty hard on Anthony Hopkins' acting style, which is mannered, lazy, and completely uninterested in the director's intent. That comes from being constantly celebrated. But here, we have none of that. He is focused, committed, new in the character's skin. It is not really fine acting, where the doctor's skin itself would be worn and mannered, but there is no room in this film for such stuff. All the actors have to be abstractly sharp, and they are except the boss's wife, who is dreadful . And he is the sharpest.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
In memory of Joseph Carey Merrick 5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890 .The movie is Joseph Merrick's story who became known as The Elephant Man. This is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen and yet it is so good. My heart goes out to Merrick - he had to endure so much in his life.The Elephant Man is filmed in black and white - which is perfect for the film. The black and white gives the viewer a feeling of being a much older film than it actually is. It also has a feeling of being a classic horror movie - which works perfectly for the story because Joseph Merrick's condition is <more>
horrifying yet his story is so beautiful, touching and sad.A great film.9/10
A very unusual David Lynch movie, this tells the story of the life of a disfigured Victorian man and the doctor who tried to help him. Few American directors have really had a feel for Britain, let alone continental Europe, Landis An American Werewolf in London and Losey The Go-Between are exceptions that come to mind but Lynch's portrait of Victorian society is both powerful and poignant. Similar in concept to Bogdanovich's Mask, the film is profoundly different in execution. Lynch elicits outstanding performances from all the cast and succeeds in producing a deeply humane <more>
Nobody but Lynch could have directed this movie and made it the masterpiece that it is. Where other people would have gone for fake sentimentality and/or gruesome imagery; Lynch just presents the story how it is. The film is never gratuitous, and that is much to it's credit. It is, however, utterly repulsive. The black and white cinematography enforces this. There is nothing pleasant about The Elephant Man; it is as ugly as it's title character, and that is the way that this story needs to be. On the surface, it is ugly and repulsive; but just like it's title character; the movie <more>
has a hidden depth that is ultimately touching and heartbreaking. The movie sets itself up for this early on; the scene in which the Elephant Man is introduced is most of the most gut wrenching ever committed to film. As the doctor Anthony Hopkins sees the freak rise up and realises the extent of his deformity...a tear slowly form and rolls down his cheek. From this, you can see the pity that he feels for this man who has drawn the lot of a lowly circus freak; just from that one shot of a tear, David Lynch shows us the sorrow and the pity, and that's all he needs. Where some directors would have piled the sentimentality on, David Lynch is economic; that's all it needs, so that's all it gets. And that is the mark of a great director. Something that David Lynch most certainly is.The film is also ironic. Aside from it's visuals that link to the title character, it also observes how society is not unlike a circus. The good doctor has taken the Elephant Man away from the glares and the scowls of the circus audience, the exploitation that he's had to face, and put him a kinder and more loving environment; only now the scowls and stares come not from the circus audience, but from society's upper crust, who want to exploit the Elephant Man themselves for their own selfish reasons - to impress their friends. The Elephant Man is not merely a horror story of the life of a very unfortunate man; it's a story of love, a story of acceptance. Despite being taken from one circus to another, the Elephant Man is happier and more fulfilled than he ever was; he doesn't care about the looks and the exploitation, he merely wants to be loved. By 'normal' people, this is taken for granted; but The Elephant Man shows us that love and acceptance isn't something that can be taken for granted. As one doctor notes in the film, "we can't imagine the life he's had". We can't.David Lynch also succeeds in making voyeurs out of his audience. Just like the various audiences in the film; we too want to see the Elephant Man, and yet are utterly repulsed and disgusted by him. With this, David Lynch makes a mockery out of today's society, without ever making a mockery out of the character upon which this film is based. The Elephant Man himself is a perfectly balanced example of how pathos can be achieved. Not only is this man seen as a monster, but his character is pathetic also. With The Elephant Man, Lynch is saying to the world that it is society that is the monster, not the freaks that live within it.To put it simply: David Lynch has taken a story that could have easily been told simply and expanded it to take in themes that are outside of the central premise. This small story of one unfortunate man has been moulded into a striking comment on society. And all in all; it's a masterpiece.
I truly enjoyed this film. I've always been told that I'm fairly mature for my age - I'm not even old enough to drive yet & I'm already learning & respecting morals. In this case, 'Don't judge a book by its cover'.Some parts made me very angry - when Merrick was mistreated & exploited like an animal that he certainly wasn't. He didn't deserve the treatment that people like Bytes & the person working at the hospital gave him.I forgot that I was watching a movie for a while & became incredibly angered far more times than once.I loved the <more>
movie a lot, but it made me incredibly inraged that people that treated John like that can actually exist.