- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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"I will fear no evil, for thou art with me ... "
- Jeff Boston
As Merrick told Dr. Treves, "The 23rd Psalm is beautiful. It is my favorite." And Merrick need not fear evil when Treves was with him, with Treves' treating him as a man and not a monster, only questioning himself as to whether he had "made Mr. Merrick into a curiosity all over again." Anne Bancroft is the tie that binds this good film to a great one she took part in almost two decades prior, with both highlighting in black and white splendor four inspirational individuals who lived full lives. In doing so, the two films remind us that everyone has something to contribute in making this a better world, everyone has more to contribute than they themselves realize, and everyone need not remain, and should not remain, in darkness if shown the light.
A Very Deeply Moving Film
I first saw this film when I was in high school and it had such a tremendous impact - deeply moving, and the b&w cinematography really captures the mood of the time period. All of the performances were quite extraordinary, and, I never sobbed so much in a movie theatre.
The Elephant Man
One of the strangest and saddest films made by director Lynch. Hurt was deservedly nominated for an Oscar as the real-life freak show attraction, John Merrick; solid work from Oscar-winners Bancroft, Gielgud, Hiller and Hopkins. Lynch's Victorian London is an ugly, industrialized place shot in beautiful B/W photography. The opening and ending scenes are the only problems, but the emotionally-powerful story is compelling. I give it a 4.5/5.
Riveting but not truly factual!
Firstly, his name was JOSEPH, not "John" Merrick. Secondly, the books this film was based on have become truly suspect in many ways. While it is important that his brief life (27 when he died) is told, I wish it had been more true and less supposition. John Hurt lost out to Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull") that year but it should have been a tie with both men getting the Academy Award, as Hurt was superb in this role. Five star film! Joseph Merrick wrote this and it exemplifies the soul of this man:"'Tis true my form is something odd, but blaming me is blaming God.Could I create myself anew, I would not fail in pleasing you.If I could reach from pole to pole, or grasp the ocean with a span,I would be measured by the soul, the mind's the standard of the man."
THE ELEPHANT MAN
A great film, a masterpiece. that should leave the individual viewer, to stop and take stock of there own mortal souls and how they live there lives and treat others. I believe this is what the Great LON CHANEY SR. AND JR. tried to get across and Did in there films. also read the book, you may come away a different person.
Touching and moving
Thank you TCM for showing this sad but touching movie of a human being that wasn't as fortunate to live a normal life. The movie is very sad, and touching, but an eye opener, for the rest of us to be grateful for our blessings.I admire the strength and courage of Mr. John Merrick. God gave him the valor to endure until the end.
Anthony Hopkins alone is worth Four Stars.
This film deserves nothing less than four stars. From Freaks, to Oliver, to A Space Odyssey, the experience is the same. A four star experience. If you dare allow- or are even able to- identify with the characters Hopkins and Hurt are portraying, you are in for an experience. The greatest films are made from the inside out. This one is no exception. Sir Gielgud and the supporting cast are perfectly cast, and spot on. The depth of Hopkins subtle facial expressions during the finer moments of this experience are more than worth the price of admission to this circus. The film stands alone.
The Saddest movie I've ever seen
Personally, I like sad movies, but this one was extrememly sad. Then when I found out is was a true-life movie I liked it even more. I almost cried.