I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!
John Merrick (John Hurt) in the biography The Elephant Man (1980), which tells the story of a heavily disfigured man’s struggle to be accepted into Victorian society. Directed by David Lynch in only his second film, it was nominated for eight Oscars, but was unsuccessful in all of them.
It’s such a powerful film.Incredible to think it was based on a real-life person. I was lucky enough to see the Bradley Cooper stage adaptation too.
It is incredible that it was based on a true story and very brave at showing the horrible prejudice suffered by him.
The film never shies away from it. He certainly had a tough life. Thankfully things did improve for him. I do like this quote from the film too. “My life is full because I know I am loved”
A brilliant line and a brilliant film. Certainly my favourite David Lynch movie.
I’ve always been fascinated with the life of Joseph Merrick anyway. the fact he was such a quiet and sensitive man. It’s very heart breaking. Great post Alex!
I’d heard the name mentioned before but never looked into it too much before I saw the film and play with Bradley Cooper. It really one of those film that highlights just how cruel, selfish and unpleasant some people are, and how wonderfully kind and caring others are.
Lynch really is so unique. It’s my favourite film by Lynch too. (And how good was Anthony Hopkins?!) I do like Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the Twin Peaks TV series. I’ve never seen his artwork or heard any of his albums. He certainly is creative!
I’ve never seen Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet (I know, I know!) but I did enjoy Mulholland Drive.
I always think how The Elephant Man seems pretty un-Lynch save for the weird elephant rape bit !! But it’s a great film and yes Hopkins was amazing in it, Hurt too. It’s such a sad film, when that mob of people are all teasing him in his room it really breaks my heart.
What was Bradley Cooper like in the play? I love going to the theatre, I’d love to see that!!!
I know what you mean. The beginning and end were offbeat for sure, but apart from that the rest of the film was sort of conventional, yeah. It was beautifully shot. People’s cruelty will always shock me.
And Cooper was fantastic. The film inspired him to act so it was a real labour of love for him. I should add that he didn’t go through all the make up and prosthetics which must have helped!
I know exactly what you mean, I can never understand cruelty like that either, I mean do people have NO empathy or compassion?! I can understand easier people who have been treated badly, treating other people badly (like a cycle) but some people have no excuses apart from being cruel and spiteful.
Is this the one with Cher? That movie was amazing.
That’s Mask. I should see that and you see The Elephant Man 🙂
Oh yeah! That’s right. I loved Mask. It was really great. And yes! I’m writing Elephant Man down on my list of movies. Maybe it’s on my cable provider’s list of movies. 🙂
The cast for Mask is certainly impressive. I’ll look out for it.
Please do! let me know when you see it. I’d like to know how you like it.
A great film– a sad story.
The saddest moment of the film for me was when he is having tea with Dr Treves and his wife and Merrick says: “If only I could find her, so she could see me with such lovely friends here now; perhaps she could love me as I am.”
Had no idea that The Elephant Man was a David Lynch film. It was a great role for Anne Bancroft. Thanks for the reminder to see it again!
One of his more conventional films for sure, though the beginning and end hints at his unique take on things I guess. I know, I was shocked to see Anne Bancroft’s name.