The Elephant Man

1980, Biography/Drama, 2h 5m

54 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

David Lynch's relatively straight second feature finds an admirable synthesis of compassion and restraint in treating its subject, and features outstanding performances by John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Dr. Frederic Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovers Joseph (John) Merrick (John Hurt) in a sideshow. Born with a congenital disorder, Merrick uses his disfigurement to earn a living as the "Elephant Man." Treves brings Merrick into his home, discovering that his rough exterior hides a refined soul, and that Merrick can teach the stodgy British upper class of the time a lesson about dignity. Merrick becomes the toast of London and charms a caring actress (Anne Bancroft) before his death at 27.

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