UK 1980
Directed by David Lynch
Production Company Brooksfilms
Running time 118 min
Certificate PG

Shot in superb black and white by Freddie Francis, David Lynch’s marvellous, deeply moving film concerns John Merrick, a man so terribly deformed that he’s displayed in freak shows until a doctor (Hopkins) takes an interest in his condition and welfare. Though this variant on the beauty and the beast theme is in some ways Lynch’s most conventional film, its vision of Victorian London is also the stuff of nightmares. Hurt’s subtly nuanced performance as Merrick is enormously expressive.

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