The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

Release Date



  • David Lynch


  • Anthony Hopkins
  • John Hurt
  • Anne Bancroft

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a sideshow freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

David Lynch's lucid period piece follows the story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a Victorian-age man afflicted with a disfiguring congenital disease (now known as Proteus syndrome). Shunned by society, Merrick has spent years suffering humiliation for his appearance, treated as nothing more than an animal and sideshow curiosity, until he meets Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins). With the doctor's help, Merrick struggles to regain his dignity and to show the world the profound humanity behind his tortured face. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.

Past Programs


Genetic Mutations in Progressive Diseases

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA


How Science and Commerce Reconfigured the Grotesque Body

Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society, Juneau Public Libraries, and Gold Town Theater, Juneau, AK