The Elephant Man

1980

Directed By

David Lynch

Synopsis

An intensely moving true story of humanity and bravery, The Elephant Man  won 3 BAFTA awards including Best Film and Best Actor, and received 8 Oscar® nominations on release in 1980. Boasting an exceptional lead performance from John Hurt (Alien, 1984, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) in the iconic role of John Merrick, the stellar cast features Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of The Lambs, The Two Popes), John Gielgud (Gandhi, Julius Caesar), Anne Bancroft (The Graduate, The Miracle Worker), Hannah Gordon (Watership Down), Freddie Jones (Dune), Wendy Hiller (A Man for All Seasons) and Michael Elphick (Gorky Park).

John Merrick (John Hurt) is The Elephant Man, forced into becoming a circus sideshow freak and spurned by society due to the disfiguring disabilities he was born with. Rescued by a well-meaning surgeon (Anthony Hopkins), he escapes a life of prejudice and cruelty as he tries to fit into a world ruled by Victorian sensibilities. With news of Merrick quickly spreading, he becomes a celebrated curiosity amongst London’s upper class, including with the famed actress Mrs. Kendal (Anne Bancroft). Despite being treated somewhat more humanely, the question becomes whether Treves’ actions are in fact a just a further form of exploitation of Merrick.

Beautifully shot in black and white by the incomparable Freddie Francis (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Cape Fear) and with BAFTA-winning production design by Stuart Craig (The English Patient, The Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), The Elephant Man is an unforgettable story of human dignity and courage in the face of unimaginable adversity, that proved to be David Lynch’s first commercial and critical success.

Cast
John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, John Gielgud, Anne Bancroft, Hannah Gordon, Wendy Hiller and Freddie Jones
Other Credits

Produced by Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger

Release Date
5 April 2020
extras
  • New BFI Q&A with Jonathan Sanger
  • New Interview with stills photographer Frank Connor
  • Interview with David Lynch
  • Interview with John Hurt
  • Mike Figgis interviews David Lynch
  • The Air Is On Fire: Interview with David Lynch at Cartier Foundation
  • Joseph Merrick, The Real Elephant Man
  • The Terrible Elephant Man Revealed
  • Behind The Scenes Stills Gallery
  • English SDH
Restoration Details

The new 4K restoration of THE ELEPHANT MAN was carried out at L’Immagine Ritrovata (Bologna and Paris) under the supervision of David Lynch, who also personally curated the color correction which took place at Fotokem (Los Angeles). The restoration was created from the Original Camera Negative with the latest HDR 16bit workflow used in order to obtain the best possible result. As a result, the black and white image has been restored to its original look.

Pressbook

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