Dr Frederick Treeves, a surgeon in the late 19th centruy London, rescues a hideously deformed young man called John Merrick from an abusive sideshow entrepeneur. Merrick is first taken to examinations. at first, the hospital staff seems convinced that this horribly deformed man is also mentally retarded, but after Treeves gains his trust, Merrick turns out to be a very intelligent and refined, as well as sensitive person. This only adds to the poignancy of the story, as Merrick is obviously more than capable of comprehending the disgust and insults he has had to put up with his whole life. As Merrick's existance comes more and more public knowledge, he recieves more and more attention form the Victorian London socialites. Although this makes Merrick more delightful, Treeves is becoming more and more uncomfortable as he feels he is just one of the many people taking advantage of the man he originally set out to save. After on of the lowllife guards in the hospital starts to make money by organizing tours to see Merrick, his original abusive captor kidnaps to Europe.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Tero Hakulinen
This is the true story of Joseph (called John here) Merrick, a British man horribly deformed by a congenital disease -- either Neuro Fibromastis or Proteus Syndrome. Dr. Frederick Treves discovers him in a carnival sideshow and rescues and cares for Merrick, a truly gentle soul who gradually regains the dignity he lost through years as a freak show item subject to ridicule and torture. Mel Brooks hired David Lynch to direct and got the okay to shoot in black and white but kept his name off the film as executive producer so moviegoers would not get the wrong idea about this dark, stately tale. John Hurt acted the title role for free, undergoing 12 hours to don his makeup for each shoot (the makeup based partly on plaster casts made of the original Merrick's head, arm, and foot before he died at the age of 27). This film also featured Samuel Barber's achingly beautiful "Adagio for Strings" in 1980, six years before Oliver Stone used it in "Platoon."
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
A moving, true biography portraying the heartbreaking story of the life of John Merrick. Born as a misfit in the society of the 1800's, with a terrible condition, he is called the "elephant man" due to his grotesque appearance of deformity. He is rescued from a circus sideshow by a kind doctor(Anthony Hopkins) who finds out the intelligence of this poor man. The doctor goes on to show Mr. Merrick that humanity can be kind, but rescues him again from the torment of his oppressors before his ultimate death. A very sad account of humanity, but kindness that can sometimes be shown.
The review of this Movie prepared by Beth Schnell