The Elephant Man

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his “owner” as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and sensitivity. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Dr. Frederick Treves: Anthony Hopkins
  • John Merrick: John Hurt
  • Mrs. Kendal: Anne Bancroft
  • Carr Gomm: John Gielgud
  • Mothershead: Wendy Hiller
  • Bytes: Freddie Jones
  • Night Porter: Michael Elphick
  • Mrs. Anne Treves: Hannah Gordon
  • Princess Alex: Helen Ryan
  • Dr. Fox: John Standing
  • Bytes’ Boy: Dexter Fletcher
  • Nora: Lesley Dunlop
  • Merrick’s Mother: Phoebe Nicholls
  • Fairground Bobby: Pat Gorman
  • Plumed Dwarf: Kenny Baker
  • Fat lady: Claire Davenport
  • Skeleton Man: Orla Pederson
  • Distraught Woman: Patsy Smart
  • Lady Waddington: Kathleen Byron
  • Man In Pub: William Morgan Sheppard
  • Alderman: Frederick Treves
  • Hodges: Richard Hunter
  • Messenger: Robert Lewis Bush
  • Cabman: Roy Evans
  • Cook: Joan Rhodes
  • Nurse Kathleen: Nula Conwell
  • Young Porter: Tony London
  • Milkman: Alfie Curtis
  • 1st Fighting Woman: Bernadette Milnes
  • Tart: Carol Harrison
  • Broadneck: Hugh Manning
  • 1st Committee Man: Dennis Burgess
  • Mrs. Kendal’s Dresser: Fanny Carby
  • Lord Waddington: Gerald Case
  • Man With Whores: David Ryall
  • 1st Whore: Deirdre Costello
  • 2nd Whore: Pauline Quirke
  • Midget: Marcus Powell
  • Siamese Twin: Lesley Scoble
  • Japanese Bleeder: Eiji Kusuhara
  • Screaming Mum: Patricia Hodge
  • First Bobby: Tommy Wright
  • Second Bobby: Peter Davidson
  • King In Panto: John Rapley
  • Horse: Janie Kells
  • Merrick’s Mother: Lydia Lisle
  • Lyra Box Player #1 (uncredited): Eric Bergren
  • Lyra Box Player #2 (uncredited): Christopher De Vore
  • Policeman (uncredited): Harry Fielder
  • Man in the Bowler Hat in the Mob Chasing Merrick: David Lynch
  • Young aristocrat (uncredited): Ralph Morse
  • Injured Man (uncredited): Fred Wood
  • Fire Eater: Stromboli
  • Pierce: James Cormack
  • 2nd Fighting Woman: Brenda Kempner
  • Giant: Chris Greener
  • Midget: Gilda Cohen
  • Siamese Twin: Teri Scoble
  • Little Jim: Robert Day
  • Puss In Panto: Hugh Spight
  • Princess In Panto: Teresa Codling
  • Principal Boy: Marion Betzold
  • Tree: Caroline Haigh
  • Tree: Florenzio Morgado
  • Lion / Coachman: Victor Kravchenko
  • Fairy: Beryl Hicks
  • Horse: Michele Amas
  • Horse: Lucie Alford
  • Horse: Penny Wright
  • Man at Lecture (uncredited): Jack Armstrong
  • Kid at Train Station (uncredited): Adam Caine
  • Thug from Pub (uncredited): Tony Clarkin
  • Man in crowd (uncredited): Dave Cooper
  • Man in Pub (uncredited): Chick Fowles
  • Doctor (uncredited): Norman Gay
  • Committee Member (uncredited): Juba Kennerley
  • Man at Lecture (uncredited): Jay McGrath
  • Man at Lecture (uncredited): Henry Roberts
  • Kid at Train Station #2 (uncredited): Kevin Schumm
  • Courtier (uncredited): Ian Selby
  • Committee Member (uncredited): Guy Standeven
  • Lecture Assistant (uncredited): Reg Thomason

Film Crew:

  • Original Music Composer: John Morris
  • Casting: Maggie Cartier
  • Sound Designer: David Lynch
  • Director of Photography: Freddie Francis
  • Costume Design: Patricia Norris
  • Production Design: Stuart Craig
  • Special Effects: Neil Corbould
  • Editor: Anne V. Coates
  • Assistant Director: Anthony Waye
  • Special Effects Supervisor: Martin Gutteridge
  • Executive Producer: Mel Brooks
  • Sound mixer: Robin Gregory
  • Boom Operator: Terry Sharratt
  • Producer: Jonathan Sanger
  • Special Effects: Graham Longhurst
  • Executive Producer: Stuart Cornfeld
  • Art Direction: Robert Cartwright
  • Costume Supervisor: Tiny Nicholls
  • Special Effects: Paul Corbould
  • Screenplay: Eric Bergren
  • Screenplay: Christopher De Vore
  • Set Designer: John Roberts
  • Production Manager: Terence A. Clegg
  • Assistant Editor: Patrick Moore
  • Makeup Artist: Wally Schneiderman
  • Set Decoration: Hugh Scaife
  • Special Sound Effects: Alan Splet
  • Property Master: Terry Wells
  • Sound Editor: Peter Horrocks
  • Script Supervisor: Ceri Evans
  • Still Photographer: Frank Connor
  • Hairstylist: Stephanie Kaye
  • Electrician: Wick Finch
  • Makeup Designer: Christopher Tucker
  • Special Effects: Garth Inns
  • Gaffer: Roy Larner
  • Orchestrator: Jack Hayes
  • Transportation Captain: Brian Hathaway
  • Book: Ashley Montagu

Movie Reviews:

  • Wuchak: _**The ultimate outcast**_

    In 1884 London, a doctor (Anthony Hopkins) meets Joseph Merrick, aka The Elephant Man (wrongly called John Merrick in the film) who was being exploited as a freak show attraction. Treves (Hopkins) tries to help Merrick (John Hurt) for the last six years of the latter’s life wherein he becomes cultured, but he inevitably remains an object of curiosity, to high society as well as low society. Anne Bancroft plays a winsome entertainer who is warm toward Merrick.

    Directed by David Lynch and shot in B&W, “The Elephant Man” (1980) is a melancholic biographical movie, and understandably so, but Merrick’s story is worth checking out despite the fact that it inspires pity. It calls into question the concept of beauty: Natural beauty is something one is born with and did nothing to acquire, but so is physical unattractiveness. Then there’s inner beauty. The charismatic actress (Bancroft) displays both. Of course there’s also inner ugliness, like the carnival huckster.

    A myth developed about Merrick’s disfigurement that his mother was raped by an elephant, probably started by sideshow hawkers. The opening conveys this in an artistic manner, but it’s not to be taken literally, which is why it’s surreal. Meanwhile the factory scenes with the pipes and corresponding dangers exhibit the reality for workers in Victorian times.

    The score by John Morris is noteworthy with one piece being ripped-off for the moving parts of “Platoon” (1986), e.g. Elias’ melodramatic death scene.

    The film runs 2 hours, 4 minutes, and was shot entirely in London and nearby Shepperton Studios, just west of the city.

    GRADE: B

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