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.
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