The Elephant Man
Dir. David Lynch. 1980, 124 mins. 35mm. With John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft. Lynch is mostly thought of as the quirky director of inscrutable oddities like Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. But he also directed this sensitive, Oscar-nominated portrait of the tragic life of John Merrick, whose cranial deformities made him a sideshow freak in nineteenth-century London. Even behind layers of makeup, Hurt is remarkable and dignified as the poor soul, and Hopkins is exceptional as the sympathetic surgeon who introduces him to civilized society. This work of rare compassion is enhanced by dreamlike black-and-white cinematography by the great Freddie Francis.
Free with Museum admission.