The Elephant Man 1980

Amazon Instant Video

(74) IMDb 8.2/10
Available in HD

In this heart-breaking and uplifting story, John Merrick is a deformed man rescued from a circus freak show by a surgeon who allows him to live at Treves' hospital. He meets a stage performer who takes him into society but still has to fight for his dignity. Then Treves questions if he's exploited him too.

Starring:
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt
Runtime:
2 hours 3 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

The Elephant Man

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director David Lynch
Starring Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt
Supporting actors Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Hannah Gordon
Studio Studiocanal
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Now Zoltan on 5 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It's easy to forget what a one-off work of genius this movie is. Think about it - a young David Lynch fresh off Eraserhead and bubbling with talent and creativity. A cast of the UKs finest actors - pre ham Anthony Hopkins, Johns Hurt and Geilgud, a wonderful turn by Freddie Jones. All shot by arguably the best cinematographer ever from these shores, Freddie Francis. Did I mention Chris Tuckers makeup effects? It's a never to be repeated mix of talents and the resultant film is luminous, dark, tragic and unforgettable.
This blu ray is a revelation - the glistening, steamy Victorian world is even more vivid. This is a must have for all movie lovers, and the packaging is great too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "arthurmcguire2" on 16 July 2002
Format: DVD
'The Elephant Man' is a must-see film that tells the heart-wrenching tale of John Merrick, a man severely deformed by a rare disease.
The black-and-white picture brings you from joy, seeing Merrick slowly progress, with the help of Frederick Treves, a London doctor, to an intelligent member of society. The joy turns to despair in the depths of the film as we are forced to watch human society tear down this man of everything he is, just so they can have a cheap laugh.
It is an emotional masterpiece, a true story that deals with the depth of human acceptance and care for its fellow man. Beneath the skin, John Merrick was just as human, perhaps more, than any of the others - particularly those who were so blind as only to see him as a 'monster' without ever considering that he might be the same underneath as any of them.
If you want a film that asks serious moral questions and examines the human psych beautifully, then this is it. I would recommend it to any age. Let us just hope that humanity can learn from its past mistakes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By maxventham@aol.com on 24 May 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"The Elephant Man" is almost unbearably moving.It concerns the true story of John Merrick and the doctor who rescues and befriends him. Every aspect of this film is stunning - the acting (John Hurt as Merrick and Anthony Hopkins are particularly outstanding), the cast (including John Guilgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones ...), the photography and direction, the music. The final combination is a poetic tribute to the human spirit and a damning inditement of the cruelty mankind can inflict on those they perceive as different and deformed. It is an agonising film to watch but somehow afterwards, I felt uplifted, even though I had cried copiously from Trieves' first view of Merrick (a remarkable piece of acting by Hopkins) until after the video had finished rewinding!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 May 2001
Format: DVD
This wonderful film about the life of the tragic John Merrick and the man who gave him shelter and love, Treves, should be compulsive viewing for everyone. It shows both man's inhumanity to other men as well as the compassion and care that is so often lacking in peoples lives. John Hurt's eyes and voice are still distinctive in a magnificent performance, even under the mass of make-up. Hopkins rates his own performance as one of the best of his career and the supporting cast are superb. With the film being shot in black and white and the locations often being dark and dingy this film lends itself to DVD media. The anamorphic picture is both sharp and well defined, the sound, although not Dolby 5.1, still brought out words and atmosphere I have never heard before and certainly highlighted the evocative music that I for one have always thought massively underrated. With this release, it gives us the definitive version of a classic film, I recommend this to anyone who has seen the film or currently owns it on video - no contest !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 April 2014
Format: DVD
John Hurt has been unforgettable in a number of roles, but never more so than in The Elephant Man. It is the one where he is unrecognisable, both facially and in voice, yet retains something of his essential self in spite of this, coming through in the gentleness of speech and the expression of the eyes of John Merrick, the central character in David Lynch's unique film. At times it is hard to watch, Lynch captures the cruelty of human nature so precisely and unflinchingly. I dread seeing the scene where the crowd bursts into his rooms and he is humiliated to a kind of grotesque waltz, and this tone continues for quite a time. Yet there is great kindness shown him as well, by Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), an actress played by Anne Bancroft, and ultimately by the theatre-going public, in a very moving tribute to him. That goodness has the upper hand is perhaps suggested by the fact that the "owner"'s assistant, a young boy played by Dexter Fletcher - who a few years later would be so memorable in Jarman's Caravaggio - is the one who frees him at considerable risk to himself. This inclines towards the view that youthful innocence contains a degree of compassion before society coarsens it, although other children in the film contradict this. In the end it is unfathomable, although the theme of man's cruelty is certainly an important one. But it is also about the human spirit, and the value of gentleness, and how charity is the greatest virtue, as well as implying a comparison of the mores of different eras. All these things are sublimely brought out, culminating in the symbol of the model cathedral Merrick is building. The scene where he recites the 23rd psalm is one of the most revelatory in all cinema - a startling, unbearably moving moment. Hopkins and John Gielgud are very good, but the spirit of Merrick and his example of rising above the severest handicap are what make the deepest impression.
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