The Elephant Man review – David Lynch’s tragic tale of compassion

Four decades on, John Hurt’s performance gives this biopic a poignancy that marks it apart from the rest of director’s work

This beautiful, measured and rather atypical movie by David Lynch from 1980 is now on re-release, written for the screen by Lynch with Christopher De Vore and Eric Bergren. It tells the story of John Merrick, the “Elephant Man”, a Victorian-era person with disfigurements who was rescued from a cruel fairground show by the concerned physician Frederick Treves and established as a fashionable figure in London society, despite nagging fears that Merrick had simply become a grander and more acceptable form of freak attraction[…] Continue reading

Anthony Hopkins in “Elephant Man”

Welsh-born actor Anthony Hopkins has long been one of Johnny Foreigner’s favorite artists. Hopkins’ brilliant performances include his roles as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, Mr. Steven in The Remains of the Day, Corky (and “Fats”) in Magic, and Dr. Treves in Elephant Man.

This scene, when Treves first meets John Merrick, is an example of profoundly great acting without speaking a sing word.