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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
The Elephant Man [DVD] [1980]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£5.30+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 5 May 2011
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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on 2 April 2017
Superb film brilliantly acted - but it is very hard to watch at times, seriously heart-rending. You despair of human nature, and ache for the pain this man suffered.
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on 9 July 2012
This film holds a denominate place in my heart. Its core is unpretentious and undemanding, never attempting to alter the life of a man and place it in a modern setting. And this is what makes The Elephant Man, or John "Joseph" Merrick, so believable and so lovable. It took the work of Anthony Hopkins' character, Dr. Frederick Treves, to expose the class and intelligence, allowing his tormented past and his defamers to loose their hold on his existence. It is only because of the actions of others, and Merrick's passivity, that he succumbs to their fears and disgust, but ultimately he is the one that fights back in a beautiful scene that showcases him not as a violent man lashing out against those that have berated him, but that of class, collected demeanour, and proud sensibility. This shocks the ignorant and even earns him their respect. It is a wonderful testament to the power of words, forgiveness and of confidence. John's pride, built up gradually by the support of Frederick Treves, surpasses the inherent fears of the public and teaches them a lesson in human decency. This is incredibly inspiring.

However, the film never tries too hard to do this; to teach the audience about understanding and acceptance, for that would be hypocritical in itself. You are shown through excellent editing, scripting and acting from John Hurt that David Lynch understands the human psyche regarding the strange abnormalities of life and how it affects everyone else around. There are many ways this is done, but none more obviously and powerfully than the fated conclusion. The end of the story could be seen as somewhat of a downer, as you're reminded of the frailty of The Elephant Man and all that surrounds him, but this is crucial because it demonstrates not only the pride of this brave man, even to his last breath, but also that life within such pride comes to an inevitable end, and that one shouldn't worry too much about it. I think it's making the point that if we are to go out then we should go out with a bang and with a song in our hearts. And to me, that is not such a negative thing; to me, it's pride at its most prevailing and powerful.

David Lynch is a fantastic director, as he is able to capture various different themes and voices by utilizing light, sound, angles, and pacing. This means that we are not only offered a tale of pride and loving support overcoming adversity, but also a fine example of film-making. The black and white is entirely befitting and does not strain the eyes or feel forced -- not once did I feel disconnected from the universe or that something was added for shock value or needless artistic merit. The settings and backdrops were full of details and, at times, over-the-top beauty and grime. This helped the audience understand the contrasts of the supportive staff at the hospital and the manipulative group of slackers at the taverns and the circus's. But again, Lynch never forces anything down your throat. The morality of it is certainly not left up to your own self, but John Hurt's acting as John Merrick shows how someone belittled. hurt and totally disfigured and destined for death can still love, still show understanding, and still show some class. That is incredibly inspiring.
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on 19 May 2017
A great film for everyone, except perhaps young children. It is a 1980 film which has not dated at all. It is David Lynch's first professional film, and to me his best!
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on 10 March 2017
An excellent film. Shows a lot of humanity and about how others view someone who has a disabilty. John Hurt is excellent as the Elephant man. Antony Hopkins is excellent as the Doctor.
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on 2 June 2015
David lynch directs this true story surrounding victorian era london society and its willingness to accept the elephant man john merrick. The casting is superb and the film itself deserves 5 stars. But unfortuately this blu ray has no added features. A real wasted opportunity. That being said the sound and picture quality are superb. Highly recommended!!!
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on 14 September 2016
Great film about John Merrick a Victorian victim of an inherited condition who was rescued from a freak show and housed in a London hospital to later become a well known personality.
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on 15 February 2017
I'm delighted with this purchase, and to top it off I got a free dvd..what a lovely gesture. I bought this to add to my John Hurt collection.
I would most definitely purchase from this seller again..thanks again.
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on 5 July 2011
Another wonderful performance by John Hurt. He portrays the sad, touching character of John Merrick.
It's a powerful story of the mistreatment of one human being by an ignorant and insensitive population. Ultimately the refined and determined Merrick displays a tenderness and grace that most of us can only try to aspire to. The final scenes will move you to tears as Mr Merrick finds his own solution to his tormented life. Highly reccommended.
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on 11 April 2017
Superb acting of a heartbreaking story.
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