David Lynch brings his own dreamlike style to the heartbreaking yet somehow uplifting story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a hideously deformed individual dubbed the Elephant Man during his years in a circus freak show in Victorian England. After suffering for years at the hands of his circus "master," the eloquent, soft spoken Merrick is "rescued" by compassionate surgeon Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), who allows him to live at the hospital where he works. Merrick becomes a social celebrity when he meets a popular stage performer (Anne Bancroft), but he must continue to fight for his dignity with those who still choose to view him as a freak. Meanwhile, Treves begins to question whether his supposed act of humanity has been just as exploitative as Merrick's former caretaker's.
Sir Frederick Treves (book "The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences"), and Ashley Montagu (book "The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity"), Christopher De Vore (screenplay), and Eric Bergren (screenplay) and David Lynch (screenplay)
Anthony Hopkins (Dr. Frederick Treves); John Hurt (John Merrick (The Elephant Man)); Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Kendal); John Gielgud (Carr Gomm); Wendy Hiller (Mothershead); Freddie Jones (Bytes); Michael Elphick (Night Porter); Hannah Gordon (Mrs. Anne Treves); Helen Ryan (Princess Alex); John Standing (Dr. Fox); Dexter Fletcher (Bytes's Boy); Lesley Dunlop (Nora); Phoebe Nicholls (Merrick's Mother); Pat Gorman (Fairground Bobby). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
Important: the following essays and comments are authored by Soul Food Cinema readers. Whilst the Editor prays for the spiritual integrity of all content of this site, it should be noted that these represent personal opinions and carry no official endorsement. If you consider any content to be a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, please contact SFC. May God bless you and enlighten you in your reading.
Articles, Essays and Reviews
Please contact SFC if you are interested in submitting an essay on this film.
Readers' Comments and Opinions
Click the link to comment on this film. You may like to copy the film title and year (as given above) to your clipboard now for pasting into the following form.