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The Elephant Man - Special Edition [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones
  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Aug. 2008
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019GJ4BU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Brutalised in childhood for his appalling deformities, 'Elephant Man' John Merrick (John Hurt) has been treated as a human freak ever since. When he is discovered by London doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), Merrick is finally treated with the kindness and intelligence he deserves. Unfortunately, by awakening his true character the problems continue, for he can never lead a 'normal' life. David Lynch's atmospheric, fact-based film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Director and Best Actor.

From Amazon.co.uk

You could only see his eyes behind the layers of makeup in The Elephant Man but those expressive orbs earned John Hurt a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his moving portrayal of John Merrick, the grotesquely deformed Victorian 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 and offers him an existence with dignity. Anne Bancroft co-stars 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 co-writer of this sombre 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 ceremony empty-handed, its dramatic power and handsome yet haunting imagery remain just as strong today. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com

On the DVD: Being black and white, it's easier to judge the digital transfer in terms of shade and thankfully this print looks just fine. There's a little confusion over the sound, however, which is advertised as Stereo on the box but says Mono on the Audio Menu. It certainly seems to be a basic Dolby stereo but it's a shame Lynch hasn't given it the personal touch since he's obsessed with mixing his films' sound himself. From the nicely thought-out animated menus there's a gallery of 20 photos and a misguiding, dramatic theatrical trailer. The only other extra is a 64-page book of which only 10 pages relate directly to the film (the rest re-tell Lynch's career and the real Elephant Man's life). --Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By schumann_bg TOP 50 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"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...
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Format: Blu-ray
The tale of John merrick, crueley dubbed the elephant man is brought to the screen by genius/madman director David lynch in a film that was nominated for 8 oscars. I don't need to go deeper into any plot synopsis for this one, Amazon's gives you the gist suffice to say all these years on the film is still brilliant and well worth watching, even if your one of those strange people that hates black and white film. Some of Britains finest actors appear giving it their all including John gielgud Anthony hopkins and John Hurt as merrick himself in a performance that should have got him the oscar.
Older films can often be hit or miss on blu-ray, some like the omega man or close encounters can look fine others like evil dead 2 are not so good. Fortunately this one fits in the latter quality with hi-def bringing out all the details in the picture supurbly, ok some of the print grain also shows as this is the sharpest picture quality I have seen with the movie, the sound mix and general audio quality are also excellent. The extras on the disc, as with any lynch disc, are limited to interviews and on this a short documentary on the real elephant man but this is certainly better than previous bare bones releases and the packaging and book that come with it are excellent. I got this as an xmas present and was highly impressed and while it's certainly dearer than the standard dvd blu ray owning lynch fans and apreciaters of quality cinema could do a lot worse than treating themselves to this disc.
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