John Merrick (whose real name was Joseph, as this is based on a true story) is an intelligent and friendly man, but he is hated by his Victorian-era English society because he is severely deformed. Once he is discovered by a doctor, however, he is saved from his life in a freak show and he is treated like the human being that he really is.
Before being offered the chance to direct this film, David Lynch was working as a roofer.
This is director David Lynch's first commercial and studio film.
Executive producer Mel Brooks deliberately left his name off of the credits, as he knew that people would get the wrong idea about the movie if they saw his name on it, given his fame as a satirist.
The Elephant Man make-up took seven to eight hours to apply each day, and two hours to remove. Sir John Hurt would arrive on the set at 5:00 a.m., and shoot from noon until 10:00 p.m. He worked alternate days because of the strain caused by this routine.
Sign up and get access to some cool features. Create watchlists, check in at movies, rate them or even write whole reviews! You can also share literally everything on Moviebuff with your friends, enemies, frenemies, family, babysitter or pets. Is that enough incentive for you?