Where's The Love For "The Elephant Man?"

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Andrew_Sch, May 15, 2004.

  1. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I ran a search and couldn't find a single reference to David Lynch's splendid film on this whole forum. I watched it for the first time last night, and I honestly can't recall the last time I've been this excited about a film. Obviously the story itself is a captivating one, full of both warmth and compassion as well as the ugliness of human nature, but besides that I found just about every aspect of the film-making process to be perfect. I know this is lofty company, but I would put it in the same class as "Citizen Kane" as far as a movie that does everything perfectly. All of the performances, especially Anthony Hopkins, who did such a great job portraying the various emotions that Merrick brought out of Treves, especially the doubt about his real motives for helping Merrick, were great. Besides that, the setting, cinematography, David Lynch's direction, and especially the score (the last beautiful, haunting strains of which were also used in "Platoon") were perfect for the film. So, anyone else here a fan of this wonderful film?
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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  3. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Ah, thanks for the links. None of them came up when I used the search engine.
     
  4. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    I adore this film, along with every other film Lynch has done. Its one of the most moving films I've ever seen, and the acting is easily some of the best as well. Beautiful black and white cinematography to boot, and the film is a true masterpiece.
     
  5. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Andrew, The Elephant Man is on my top 10 of all time. I think this film is one of the best. I couldn't believe it lost some of those Academy Awards. I think the dvd is an excellent transfer, finally a good one. I had never known until I saw a documentary about Mel Brooks that he produced it and purposely left his name off of it so as to not make people think it was in any way his regular style.

    I think David's direction is fantastic, the acting first rate. It's still one of the few movies I can see over and over and STILL cry during the final 10 minutes.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Andrew, buddy, your taste is refining. :p)

    Good to see you are moving beyond the Fight Club set.


    Elephant Man is a wonderful film. Freddie Francis did some of his best work shooting it, and that's saying a lot. Seems he shot another one I'm a big fan of. What was that movie? [​IMG]
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's one of the best films ever, period.

    I saw the film for the first time on DVD, so I'm glad I never had to experience the film in pan & scan.
     
  8. Anthony Neilson

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    What makes it doubly incredible is that it's all true. Even just the photos of the matchstick buildings Merrick made are enough to make you weep.

    He actually did die by deciding that he wanted to sleep like a normal person. I can hardly even write that without getting a lump in my throat.

    It's a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul.
     
  9. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    David Bowie played John in the original stage version and was surprisingly good since he used no makeup (American Playhouse taped it for PBS I believe), but John Hurt's performance was nothing short of perfect.

    I too get a lump in my throat during the end, in particular the image of John flying through the heavens towards his mother...
     
  10. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Beautiful film, and one I'd like to own on DVD. Unfortunately, my mind blanks the minute I step into the store.
     
  11. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Like Robert, it is one of my 10 favorites of all-time. It's one of those movies that I try to get everyone to see.

    ~T
     
  12. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Like Dome, I've been meaning to pick it up, but can't bring myself to justify the outrageous pricetag that it retails for. But it's a wonderful movie, and the comparison with Citizen Kane is appropriate!
     
  13. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Justin, it's only 14.99 at Best Buy, a little cheaper at some online retailers. I'll probably pick it up during this Tuesday's run to Best Buy.
     
  14. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    My problem isn't money, but memory. [​IMG]
     
  15. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    I saw it on VHS a while back, horrible cropping job, totally hurts the cinematic integrity of the film. I'd love to revisit it in widescreen.
     
  16. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    The DVD is definately worth it, the picture and sound were definately remastered and both are top quality, I've never seen it look so good, or for that matter, sound so good-now in true 5.1 (yes I hear true stereo in the surrounds). I was actually very impressed with the stunning soundtrack, every sound carefully placed from the sounds of the furnace room in the hospital to doors closing, all in stereo (unfortunately, as with most Dolby tracks, not the dialogue). Plus it has a narrated photo gallery, an interview with the make up artist Christopher Tucker, in his studio and he shows us the casts, and cast and crew interviews. While they are not very long, they really added some value and have alot of information I never knew. In one of the interviews, it states David insisted on black and white film, rather than filming in color and transfering it to B&W, so little tid-bits like that come out in the interviews.

    But the nice part is having such a beautiful transfer. Finally 5.1, finally a beautiful clear B&W image, finally enhanced for 16x9. I think this is one of Paramount's top quality transfers, you can tell time was spent on this one unlike some that seem quickly transfered. Definately worth the price. This is one of the treasures in my collection!
     
  17. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    VHS, Robert? [​IMG]


    Good to hear Paramount finally lowered the far too high price on this title. I ended up getting mine through CH for next to nothing. One irritation, I'm sick of David Lynch not allowing chapter stops on his DVDs. Join the real world David.
     
  18. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Count me in. I think it's a truly excellent film and absolutely David Lynch's best work. And yes, that includes Blue Velvet. [​IMG]
     
  19. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    John, that was one thing that was working against it in my decision whether or not to buy it, but I re-watched some of it today (we've got it from Netflix currently) and I really didn't find fast-forwarding to specific parts to be that big of a hassle. Definitely not as convenient as chapter stops, but not that big of a deal.
     
  20. Tim_C

    Tim_C Stunt Coordinator

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    It's the only Lynch film I've seen, but I really loved it too.

    I haven't found the DVD at a store yet, but that's probably because, like several others have mentioned, I always forget what I'm looking for when I go into a video store.
     

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