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  • The Elephant Man (Widescreen)
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The Elephant Man (Widescreen)

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Elephant Man
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller
  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Writers: David Lynch, Ashley Montagu, Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, Frederick Treves
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger, Mel Brooks
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Release Date: May 9 2003
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CX9S

Product Description

Product Description

The Elephant Man

You could only see his eyes behind the layers of makeup, but those expressive orbs earned John Hurt a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his moving portrayal of John Merrick, the grotesquely deformed Victorian-era man better known as The Elephant Man. Inarticulate and abused, Merrick is the virtual slave of a carnival barker (Freddie Jones) until dedicated London doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins in a powerfully understated performance) rescues him from the life and offers him an existence with dignity. Anne Bancroft costars as the actress whose visit to Merrick makes him a social curiosity, with John Gielgud and Wendy Hiller as dubious hospital staffers won over by Merrick. David Lynch earned his only Oscar nominations as director and cowriter of this somber drama, which he shot in a rich black-and-white palette, a sometimes stark, sometimes dreamy visual style that at times recalls the offbeat expressionism of his first film, Eraserhead. It remains a perfect marriage between traditional Hollywood historical drama and Lynch's unique cinematic eye, a compassionate human tale delivered in a gothic vein. The film earned eight Oscar nominations in all, and though it left the Oscar race empty-handed, its dramatic power and handsome yet haunting imagery remain just as strong today. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Warner TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 14 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
David Lynch was, for the most part, an unknown when Hollywood, specifically Mel Brooks ( of all people !!! ), took him on to direct "The Elephant Man". He had only one feature film under his belt at the time, the incredibly dark, disturbing and hypnotically dreamlike "Eraserhead". Not exactly a precedent for taking on a film of such deeply moving and upsetting emotional tenor, but Brooks had complete faith in him. That faith was paid off in spades.

"The Elephant Man", since deleted by Paramount ( !!! ), is, in my opinion one of the best films of all time. The cast is incredible. John Hurt gives his greatest performance to date and he is completely unrecognizable as John ( Joseph ) Merrick. Anthony Hopkins' Frederic Treves is a study in reserve and restraint with tumultuous emotions and conflicts boiling under the surface. Freddie Jones as the slimy, despicable Mr. Bytes conjurs up both a hatred of his callous, opportunistic exploitation of another man's suffering and something akin to pity for the "losing his grip" desparation he portrays. Sir John Gielgud is Sir John Gielgud, all class, refinement and authority. And Dame Wendy Hiller transforms from a seemingly heartless, officious dragon lady into a woman of true compassion and strength. Finally a special mention of Anne Bancroft's turn as Dame Madge Kendall is absolutely necessary. For it's in the scene where she brings John Merrick the collected works of William Shakespeare and they randomly pick a scene from "Romeo and Juliet" to read from where we have the most heart-rending emotional moment in the entire film. I defy anyone not to be VERY deeply moved, even to tears, when she tells Mr. Merrick " ... you're Romeo".

The film is shot in black and white which is a stroke of genius.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First, I have to say I bought this title through a UK marketplace seller and what I got was not as pictured on amazon where I'm placing this review. The 'book' shown is not separate from the digipak case, but attached to the inner left side opposite the disc. This is Region A & B release.

The picture and sound, DTS HD MA 5.1, are definitely better than on the original Paramount DVD.

The special features on this Studio Canal Blu-ray release are also different from the DVD release, so you might want to keep the DVD.

One of the main features that is lacking on this Studio Canal Blu-ray is the Theatrical Trailer found on the DVD. As I've written in many of my reviews on Blu-ray releases, " I'm film fan that strongly believes if a Theatrical Trailer is available it should be on any of the film's digital releases because it is a part of the movie's history."

I don't feel like I have to go into the story of this movie as it is in many other reviews. I will say that it is one of my favourite films shot in beautiful black & white.
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By Kasey G TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 9 2011
Format: DVD
I first saw this film back in 1981 at the theater when I was 12. It frightened and saddened me though I cannot say I was really traumatized by it. However, it must have made some sort of emotional impact before I have always been terrified of viewing this film in the 20-plus years that have past since then. The most disturbing aspect to me was the inhumane treatment John Merrick received. Just today I got up my courage and bought the DVD at the music store. I sat, white knuckles and all-expecting the worst. Well, I got through it. For one thing, it didn't seem as ominous this go-round. (Funny how your perceptions change as an adult). The fact that this was a period piece works to the film's benefit in that it hasn't dated at all. I am glad the producers and director agreed to use black-and-white film because it adds to the authenticity. What surprised me most was how much I had actually forgotten: the scene in the monkey cage, the fact that Anne Bancroft appeared, and more. What did always stick in my memory was what I refer to as the "raid" scene. (When the sleazy Night Porter brings his "customers" from the pub to Merrick's room, carrying John around, forcing the cheap tarts to kiss him, and then holding a mirror up to his face to purposely shock him.) Upon viewing The Elephant Man as an adult, my favorite scenes are now the most beautiful yet the saddest ones: when John meets Treeves' wife and says he never meant to be a disappointment to his mother, and the final scene as Merrick carefully takes the pillows off the bed and places them on the table. This film should be mandatory study for all North American high school students. Though even then, I am sure there would be more than a few jaded teens who would find some sort of comedy in it. Those kind are the real freaks.
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Format: DVD
The Elephant Man is a film of incredible passion and power. For those who think "power" in the movies involves supernatural abilities or mastery of martial arts or destructive weapons - The Elephant Man is perhaps not for you.
David Lynch's film is shot in black and white which gives a Victorian feel to the era depicted, but also gives a startling chiarascuro visual to many scenes.
Much of the information about the life of Mr. Merrick was obtained from accounts written by Dr. Treves, who became so celebrated that he was chosen to be Royal Physician, so it is perhaps not surprising that Treves comes off well in this film. The central performances are by John Hurt as Merrick and Anthony Hopkins as Treves, and they are both absolutely stunning. I have viewed the film a half-dozen times, and there are moments that I am moved every single time.
The Elephant Man suffers from terrible physical deformities that are only gradually shown to the audience. But we discover that his mental faculties are not hindered at all, and the scene in which this discovery is made is absolutely astonishing.
The late John Gielgud does excellent work as the hospital administrator, Mr. Carr Gomm. In the scene after it is revealed that the Elephant Man has normal intelligence Carr Gomm takes Treves aside.
"Can you IMAGINE what sort of life he has had?" (Merrick has spent his life up to that point as a side-show freak, beaten and jeered at.)
Treves looks absent-mindedly out the window before starting to reply "Yes, I think I ...."
Carr Gomm rebukes him sharply. "No you can't!" He softens his voice. "No one can.
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