PG | | Biography, Drama
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
The opening scene of Merrick's mother being attacked by an elephant is not factual. His deformities were the result of disease, and he was called "The Elephant Man" because of his lumpy skin. However, the idea of an elephant attack comes from the melodramatic speech originally delivered by Tom Norman to those who paid to see Merrick exhibited.
Get rid of them! I don't want to see them!
Fat Lady: Darling, don't be difficult! Let's take our sweet lovely children on an outing.
When we see an image of smoking pipe stacks, it's obviously stock footage because it's much grainier then the rest of the film.
Closing disclaimer: This has been based upon the true life story of John Merrick, known as The Elephant Man, and not upon the Broadway play of the same title or any other fictional account.
Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.