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.
Continuity John Hurt's make-up changes in every scene in some way.
David Lynch was working as a roofer before he was offered the chance to direct the film.
Director David Lynch's first studio and commercial film.
Anne Bancroft plays a theater actress in the film and in real life she was a stage actress before starring in films.
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