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BFF20 The Elephant Man

M 124 MIN
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Celebrating the 40th anniversary of its release, award-winning historical drama The Elephant Man is an unforgettable story of dignity and survival in late 19th century London.
John Merrick (John Hurt, in intricate prosthetics) is the ‘Elephant Man’, a man spurned by society because of the disfiguring disabilities he was born with and forced into circus sideshows to make a living. Rescued by well-meaning surgeon Frederick Treves (Sir Anthony Hopkins), he tries to escape a life of prejudice and cruelty as he attempts to fit into a world ruled by Victorian sensibilities. Yet, as the two men spend more time together, Merrick reveals himself to be a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.
Aesthetically shot in black and white, The Elephant Man boasts a stellar supporting cast including Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, and Wendy Hiller. Presented in a stunning 4K restoration, with both picture and sound overseen by one-of-a-kind auteur David Lynch (Eraserhead 1977, Mulholland Drive 2001), The Elephant Man is a high-brow period drama nominated for eight Academy Awards that cemented Lynch’s reputation as one of world’s most visionary talents.


NOMINATED: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Academy Awards 1981.  

NOMINATED: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Screenplay, Golden Globes 1981.  

WINNER: Best Actor, Best Film, Best Production Design, BAFTA Awards 1981.  

WINNER: Best Foreign Film, César Awards 1982.  

NOMINATED: Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special, Grammy Awards 1982 


"Four decades on, John Hurt’s performance gives this biopic a poignancy that marks it apart from the rest of director’s work."

- The Guardian

Movie Information

Release date

Tuesday 10th November


124 min




John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller


David Lynch


Film Festival



Participating Cinemas

Palace Verona, Palace Electric