THE ELEPHANT MAN
Review: Based on a true story about John Merrick who earns his living as the “Elephant Man” and is forced into circus sideshows because of his disfiguring disabilities he was born with. He is rescued by a well meaning surgeon who brings Merrick into his home.
Director: David Lynch
Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon, Helen Ryan, John Standing, Dexter Fletcher, Lesley Dunlop, Phoebe Nicholls, Pat Gorman, Orla Pederson, Patsy Smart and Frederick Treves
Genre: Biography and Drama
John Hurt is unrecognizable in this film. I have to say that John Hurt has done some incredible films but his performance is outstanding in this. His make-up in this film took seven to eight hours to apply each day, and two hours to remove. Anthony Hopkins also gives a faultless performance. Actor Bradley Cooper once stated that this movie is the reason why he became an actor. He would then later go on to play the role of John Merrick on Broadway. I think this is David Lynch’s best directing. The few things I like is David Lynch’s use of Victorian London and also the way that he has shot the film in black and white. I think the film therefore has more depth to it and is more stunning visually. The directing role was originally offered to Terrence Malick, but he passed. I found the whole story about this one guy completely moving. I was nearly reduced to tears after watching this. At the Bafta Awards in 1981 this won 3 awards. They were for Best Actor (John Hurt), Best Film and Best Production Design/Art Direction.