To celebrate The Elephant Man’s 40th anniversary, we are showing the film in 4K with the restoration, complete with new audience mix, overseen by David Lynch himself.
John Merrick (John Hurt) is The Elephant Man, forced into becoming a circus sideshow freak and spurned by society due to the disfiguring disabilities he was born with.
Rescued by a well-meaning surgeon (Anthony Hopkins), he escapes a life of prejudice and cruelty as he tries to fit into a world ruled by Victorian sensibilities.
With news of Merrick quickly spreading, he becomes a celebrated curiosity amongst London’s upper class, including with the famed actress Mrs. Kendal (Anne Bancroft).
Despite being treated somewhat more humanely, the question becomes whether Treves’ actions are in fact a just a further form of exploitation of Merrick.
With an exceptional lead performance from John Hurt in the iconic role of John Merrick, David Lynch’s acclaimed film won 3 BAFTA awards including Best Film and Best Actor, and received 8 Oscar nominations.
The new 4K restoration was carried out at L’Immagine Ritrovata (Bologna and Paris) under the supervision of Lynch, who also personally curated the colour correction which took place at Fotokem (Los Angeles).
The restoration was created from the Original Camera Negative with the latest HDR 16bit workflow used in order to obtain the best possible result. As a result, the black and white image has been restored to its original look.
A deformed man, who travels as a circus exhibit, is rescued by a doctor and introduced to high society.
“Hurt is brilliant as Merrick, projecting in his anguished eyes and mournful body language a humanity past the makeup that embodies so convincingly the pain of Merrick, the original "elephant man," whose rare disease was exploited by the people running a Victorian freak show. ”