"The Elephant Man" is without a doubt one of the most beautifully realised movies ever made. Every element is spot on, from the compassionate performances to the striking black and white cinematography.
I first saw this film as a floppy-haired schoolboy in the 1980's. It knocked me sideways back then, and on each subsequent viewing it has never failed to coax the tears from my eyes.
Briefly - It is the true tale of John Merrick, an astonishingly deformed man who was admitted to the Royal London Hospital in the 1880's. To say that he faced hardships is an understatement. He was fully exposed to the ugly prejudices of Victorian society. I will not reveal too many details, but his harsh treatment is presented here unflinchingly. If you have not seen this movie, experience it now and prepare for a heart-rending two hours that can be cherished again and again.
If you HAVE seen this movie, this special edition DVD is still well worth a purchase. It features a highly insightful documentary that presents life in Victorian London; the accuracy of the movie with regards to Merrick's life, and the book upon which this movie was based. Also featured on the disc is a great interview with John Hurt (who gave the performance of his career as Merrick). Finally, and most tantalisingly, there is a conversation with the enigmatic director David Lynch. Lynch discusses the development of the film in intricate detail, and his words are invaluable. It is rare that we get to see Lynch interviewed at all, being the elusive creature that he is...which makes this extra feature all the more vital!
So...a great DVD package all said and done. An absolutely stunning movie accompanied by wonderful extras. I bought this DVD when it was previously released in a basic format, but still I had no hesitation in snapping up this special edition. Some things are just too special to miss...