The Elephant Man

Criterion

The Elephant Man


With this poignant second feature, David Lynch brought his atmospheric visual and sonic palette to a notorious true story set in Victorian England. When the London surgeon Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) meets the freak-show performer John Merrick (John Hurt), who has severe skeletal and soft-tissue deformities, he assumes that he must be intellectually disabled as well. As the two men spend more time together, though, Merrick reveals the intelligence, gentle nature, and profound sense of dignity that lie beneath his shocking appearance, and he and Treves develop a friendship. Shot in gorgeous black and white and boasting a stellar supporting cast that includes Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, and Wendy Hiller, The Elephant Man was nominated for eight Academy Awards, cementing Lynch’s reputation as one of American cinema’s most visionary talents.

FILM INFO

  • David Lynch
  • United States
  • 1980
  • 123 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • English
  • Spine #1051

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration
  • Director David Lynch and critic Kristine McKenna reading from Room to Dream, a 2018 book they coauthored
  • Archival interviews with Lynch, actor John Hurt, producers Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger, director of photography Freddie Francis, stills photographer Frank Connor, and makeup artist Christopher Tucker
  • Audio recording from 1981 of an interview and Q&A with Lynch at the American Film Institute
  • The Terrible Elephant Man Revealed, a 2001 documentary about the film
  • Joseph Merrick: The Real Elephant Man, a 2005 program featuring archivist Jonathan Evans
  • Trailer and radio spots
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: Excerpts from an interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch, and an 1886 letter to the editor of the London Times concerning Merrick, by Francis Culling Carr Gomm, chairman of the London Hospital

New cover by Sister Hyde