Making Of...
Making Of...

The Elephant Man Behind The Scenes

The Elephant Man Picture
Go behind the scenes and learn what went on during the making of the 1980 Drama movie starring Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft et al.
Contributed by: Joshua
John Hurt, the actor who portrays the Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, played the role without pay. Upon being interviewed for the part, informed of the story, he told the producers, "Don't tell my agent, but I will do this role for nothing."
Rewind Archive
Following the death of the real John Merrick, parts of his body were preserved for medical science to study. Some internal organs were kept in jars, and plastic casts were taken of his head, an arm and a foot. Although the organs were destroyed by German air raids during the second world war, the casts survived and were kept at the London Hospital. The makeup for John Hurt who played Merrick in the film, was designed from those casts.
Rewind Archive
This film was executively produced by Mel Brooks who was responsible for hiring Director David Lynch solely on the basis of his one previous film, the highly surreal cult movie Eraserhead. He also obtained permission to film in black and white. He deliberately left his name off the credits as he knew that people would get the wrong idea about the movie if they saw his name on the film, given his fame as a satirist.
Rewind Archive
Director David Lynch originally tried to do the makeup for the elephant man himself but simply wasn't able to.
Deleted Scenes
When movies are made, scenes are often left on the cutting room floor.
Contributed by: pdclemens
I know of two deleted scenes from David Lynch's 'The Elephant Man', 1) Because I saw a preview screening of the film at 20th Century Fox Studios and that pre-release print contained two scenes which were later deleted, and, 2)Because I have an old VHS tape of Anthony Hopkins on a TV talk show and one of those two deleted scenes was shown on the program.

One of the two scenes was of Hopkins reading poetry aloud with John Hurt, back and forth, with each of them reading a stanza. I don't know the name of the poem, but a bit of it is still used at the end of the film and contains the phrase "Nothing will die."

The other deleted scene is between Hopkins and Hannah Gordon, as his wife, and takes place in their bedroom as Dr. Treves questions the ethics of his own motivations in his helping Merrick. That is the scene I still have on video.

There is a huge new release of various Lynch films and other supporting materials in a pricey collection called the "Lime Green Boxed Set" and there's a chance that those deleted scenes MAY be included there, but I'm not sure.
Alternate Versions
Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie.
Contributed by: Anonymous
In the original video release, Merrick isn't seen properly until the scene where Nurse Nora enters his room with porridge and screams in terror.

The current version has Treves see him stand up and turn around. The original version had Treves just onlooking, with tears in his eyes.
The Elephant Man