One of my favourite movies,and the soundtrack is so beautiful and atmospheric.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hillier, Freddie Jones, Phoebe Nicholls, Dexter Fletcher 

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The Elephant Man 

The “Royal Society” scene

(Lynch, 1980)

Anthony Hopkins as Dr Frederick Treves and John Hurt as Joseph (John) Merrick in The Elephant Man (Lynch, 1980)

Anthony Hopkins as Dr Frederick Treves and John Hurt as Joseph (John) Merrick in The Elephant Man (Lynch, 1980)

The character of Bytes never existed, from all accounts Joseph was mostly well looked after by the people that managed him (he was never owned), but as the tide was turning “freak shows” such as Merrick’s were being seen as less and less acceptable in the UK. So Merrick had to move to Europe, but sensibilities there too were changing,  Merrick was losing his ability to earn a living as a sideshow Freak.

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"Luck my friend, luck, and who needs it more than we."

"Luck my friend, luck, and who needs it more than we."

Tonight’s movie The Elephant Man (Lynch 1980)

This is  a movie that is close to my heart.  After watching this movie many years ago  I had to learn more and it was my first “research” project where I read books, located old maps and old newspapers, I followed the steps of “The Elephant Man”, I followed his daily trips trying to sell door to door before he entered the Workhouses and decided on a career as a professional “Freak”.  

The life of Joseph* Merrick was indeed very sad, but it was different than this movie shows, but that does not mean that I do not like this movie, it is a great movie; Lynch’s finest moment.

Firstly the choice of using Black and White film was a master stroke, the cast is amazing, the make-up on John Hurt as Joseph is brilliant, and John is astounding as Joseph.  Lynch recreates a gritty 1880’s a world where the industrial age seems to be claiming victims as some sort of sacrifice. He uses a constant beat in the background in this movie,  whether it be clocks or the sound of the making of roads as a way to build suspense.  The constant showing of men’s bodies throughout the movie serve as a reminder that work during this period for people of Joseph’s class was mainly physical, and if you couldn’t partake you were left destitute.

*In the movie Joseph is called John and also in Treves’ memoirs he is called John,  It is known that Joseph did not call himself John, but rather Joseph, so you wonder why Treves’ who was so close to Merrick would call him John,  I can only think that perhaps Joseph  had trouble pronouncing Joseph so they came up with the name John?   

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