Movie News

A Movie A Day: Quint watches THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980)
I am not an animal! I’m a human being! I am a man!

Published at: June 30, 2008, 12:16 a.m. CST by quint



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Today is THE ELEPHANT MAN. I bought this DVD at Pedazo Chunk’s closing a few years ago, having seen many scenes and hearing great praise for the photography and the performances. Over the years I kept meaning to watch it and now I’ve finally done it. What an incredible film. Powerful in every way. David Lynch’s direction, Freddie Francis’ cinematography, John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins’ performances…

John Hurt is a revelation in this film. He really does Boris Karloff justice, creating a creature that is more innocent, human and kind than many “normal” people. At first Hurt’s performance is only given in grunts and body language. Lynch hides Merrick’s deformity from us for the first quarter of the film, keeping him in shadow and silhouette… and that iconic sack-head mask, making us, the audience, just as curious as the people paying to see him in the freak show. When we see him, it is shocking and even as we begin to see him as a person, not a creature, it’s still impossible to take your eyes off of him. It is quite genius on Lynch’s part and a real testament to the performances in the film.

Watching this movie it really made me long for David Lynch telling a coherent narrative with real production value. When was the last one? THE STRAIGHT STORY? Don’t get me wrong, I love bizarre Lynch, but all we seem to get anymore is bizarre Lynch. He’s such a smart and inventive director and we don’t get to see films of his like THE ELEPHANT MAN anymore. Hopkins is magnetic in the film and I especially love his inner-conflict in the second half of the movie. Is he just as bad as Freddie Jones’ carnival huckster, Bytes, who enslaved Merrick and ran him on a freakshow tour? Is he doing the same thing, but instead of carnie attendees it’s the upper crust and professionals? Does it matter that John Merrick is happier? Does that make what he’s doing right? Really heady stuff that isn’t really resolved, at least not in a big “resolution” scene, which I loved. Now, I couldn’t write this up and not have the famous “I’m not an animal!” quote in the subhead, but I think my favorite quote in the whole movie is the touching moment between Hopkins and Hurt in which Merrick tells the doctor that he’s happy. “I’m happy every hour of the day. My life is full because I know I am loved.”

This is a heartbreaking movie, with amazing black and white photography by Freddie Francis and performances that hit you deep in the gut, the brain and, most importantly, the heart. If you haven’t given this one a viewing yet, make it a priority. The schedule for the next 7 days is: Monday, June 30th: THE GOOD FATHER (1987) Tuesday, July 1st: SHOCK TREATMENT (1981) Wednesday, July 2nd: FLASHBACK (1990) Thursday, July 3rd: KLUTE (1971) Friday, July 4th: ON GOLDEN POND (1982) Saturday, July 5th: THE COWBOYS (1972) Sunday, July 6th: THE ALAMO (1960) Now, fair warning… I have a little voice in the back of my brain telling me that I have seen the John Wayne THE ALAMO, but if I have it was early in my childhood and I haven’t revisited it since, so I’m going to include it on the list. Tomorrow we follow Anthony Hopkins over to Mike Newell’s THE GOOD FATHER. See you folks then!

-Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula

Readers Talkback

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  • June 30, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST

    second

    by virtual_ninja

  • June 30, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    third

    by Ryang

    it's almost July!

  • June 30, 2008, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Amazing

    by bod33

    An incredible movie, everyone in front and behind the camera are on top form.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:23 a.m. CST

    by whatyoufear

    Great movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Damn great movie

    by Mezzanine

    I too wish we could get more mainstream Lynch. Although, I think that even his greatest mainstream movies pale in comparison to his masterpiece: Erasherhead.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Yeah, good movie..

    by Aethyrr

    ..or the "Least Lynch" movie made by Lynch, as I say (or something like that--my english isn't that good and I can't quite translate my idea of this film..)

  • June 30, 2008, 12:32 a.m. CST

    One of the best movies ever!

    by ganymede3010

    One of the few Black and White films that I've really enjoyed.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:43 a.m. CST

    The sound design

    by BenBraddock

    was fantastic too. Those industrial sounds and the trademark Lynchian bass sound - heavy, low-notes that help build that oppressiveness that the film has, in the beginning at least.. brilliant. This really was a case of everyone involved doing their best work. From casting director, through sound designer to makeup artist (Chris Tucker I think). Masterpiece.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:49 a.m. CST

    The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet

    by fiester

    Then it all went to decadent, dream-logic wanking for Lynch.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Glad you liked it!!!

    by s00p3rm4n

    I still maintain that Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks are Lynch's best hybrids of the insane and the understandable.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST

    I saw it in the theater when it originally came out

    by disfigurehead

    Damn I'm getting old

  • June 30, 2008, 1:03 a.m. CST

    The Elephant Man, Dune and Blue Velvet are the...

    by Powers Boothe

    only David Lynch films I ever really loved.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Amazing film!!!, great comments

    by quantize

    before the special school brigade get in with the completely worn out jokes... this is an incredible film and YES, we need Lynch directing more mainstream movies again..what he brings to a solid narrative creates amazing experiences.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST

    poster child for pro-abortion

    by Rupee88

    I mean pro-choice. Anyway, it's a good film.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Was I dreaming or did the original DVD release...

    by Powers Boothe

    have absolutely no chapter breaks? Was that changed for the later DVD editions? I hate the colourised DVD cover art of the version printed above.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Released the same year as Scorsese's Raging Bull!

    by Powers Boothe

    Two outstanding period films both deliberately shot in black and white.<br> Speaking of black and white: I dig Coppola's underrated 1983 film Rumble Fish too.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Hey Quint!

    by Powers Boothe

    For later titles in this series, can you include a few of those great (but underrated) Walter Hill films from the 80s? I'd love to see someone on this site give a little love to Hill's misunderstood genre flicks like Streets of Fire, Extreme Prejudice or Johnny Handsome. <br>Hopefully you haven't already seen 'em all.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:29 a.m. CST

    I'm a man! I'm 40! Come after me!

    by Cotton McKnight

    Maybe Mike Gundy is the elephant man.<p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VytIZZzee0

  • June 30, 2008, 1:39 a.m. CST

    That's exactly right, Rupee88

    by Cotton McKnight

    I hope you are under 30 because I fully plan on taking your brilliant observation one step further and pushing for a Logan's Run type society. There is no place for imperfection in our world. The "elephant man" had no value to us or to himself.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:45 a.m. CST

    My underrated junk movie recommendations:

    by fiester

    1970's "Joe" with Peter Boyle. Fucking awesome movie about hippies. Add that one to your list.<p>Oh and 1985's "Tuff Turf" with James Spader as The New Kid. Classic.<p>And for good measure add in 1982's "Last American Virgin." Most underrated coming-of-age comedy ever (watch with gut-curdling cringing as the protagonist gets pwned by the chick in the end--if ever there was a more unflinching movie about how much chicks suck, it's this movie. Heh.)

  • June 30, 2008, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Anger! Hostility towards the opposition!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Aaaaaangeeeeeer!!!

  • June 30, 2008, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Chapter-breaks?

    by BenBraddock

    I have it on dvd - no chapter breaks. Or at least I don't think so, must look

  • June 30, 2008, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Last American Virgin was great.

    by Pops Freshemeyer

    Or at least I remember it being pretty awesome when I watched it on HBO back in the mid 80s when I was like 12 or 13...

  • June 30, 2008, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Mel Brooks

    by Shoegeezer

    Let's not forget Mel Brooks' contribution to this, the film was produced for his Brooksfilm company. Considering Lynch had only made Eraserhead by this point you have to give Brooks some props for seeing "mainstream" potential in such a unique talent. Brooksfilm also handed The Fly to Cronenberg. Brooks really knows his movies. Also, Christopher Tucker's prosthetic make-up work is among the finest.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Lynch doesn't like DVD chapters

    by Circean6

    He doesn't have them in The Straight Story DVD either. If I read it right he wants them to be "a whole experience" when viewing.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    "Can I have a bun, please...?!"

    by Charlie & Tex

    Sorry couldn't resist it. The Elephant man is a great movie and probably one of the best examples of a period movie where there is a genuine feeling of authenticity to the thing. Sterling stuff!

  • June 30, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    Weird...

    by RawShark13

    I almost watched this earlier today for the first time ever, too... But chose to watch Casino instead.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Elephant Man 'least' Lynch?

    by half vader

    Go watch Eraserhead then Elephant Man. It's amazing how similar they are (you can't even really argue that the storytelling in EM is more linear). Not to mention the sound design similarities! <p> Good on Mel Brooks for having the balls to make both this and Cronenberg's The Fly I say! <p> Cotton, the effectiveness of this story/the man contradicts you and myopic views of humanity. Then again, I guess you were joking. Otherwise I'll now refer to you as Hitler.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:20 a.m. CST

    Oh and Quint, first Cool Hand Luke then this?

    by half vader

    But in a way I do envy your ignorance of these classics.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Quint!

    by kwisatzhaderach

    What are you playing at man? Can't believe you hadn't seen this before. Lynch's best film by miles, an absolute stormer. The dolly in on Anthony Hopkins reaction as he sees Merrick for the first time is one of the all-time great moments in cinema. Glad you liked it Quint and I agree, Lynch should make more films like this one.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Propper Heartbreaking

    by FILMFUNK

    When he talks about his mother and when he goes to bed at the end! fuck me i just crack everytime. Lynch at his most coherent and powerful and one of the best movies ever made about the best and worst in Humans!<P>If you didn't know it was Lynch you'd never guess unlike his weirdy stuff like Mulholand drive which was ace or Inland Empire which was poo!

  • June 30, 2008, 4:41 a.m. CST

    FILMFUNK

    by kwisatzhaderach

    One of the greatest endings to a film ever.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Wonderful effort this

    by Lost Jarv

    absolutely brilliant. You've had some good ones on that list Quint.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Oops, missed your post shoegeezer

    by half vader

    but I agree, wholeheartedly. Kinky name, mate. I hope you're talking chicks in heels, not something weird like workboots or boring like trainers! <p> As for Christopher Tucker, there's a book called Special Effects (well there are many called that, but it's-) by Pascal Pinteau, which shows the very first colour pictures of the makeup, as well as Tucker applying it. <p> As well as retelling that favourite old story about how the production only got in touch with him for info on makeup suppliers, then came begging for him to do it when the initial test (supposedly Lynch himself had designed a HARD/RIGID prosthetic!!) failed completely. <p> I do hope one day Lynch tells us how he did Eraserhead though. Skinned rabbit or not, that thing was pretty cool. I bet he won't though, like a good magician.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:56 a.m. CST

    I don't care if you mock me..

    by TheAllSeeingEye

    But this is the only movie that actually makes me choke up. I love the movie, but daren't watch it for fear of tearing up and looking stupid. It's definately one of the best movies I've ever seen. Glad you've watched it Quint,just surprised no one has insisted you watch it earlier :)

  • June 30, 2008, 4:59 a.m. CST

    FILMFUNK

    by half vader

    Like I say, watch it and Eraserhead. I don't know how you could possibly think anyone BUT Lynch made Elephant Man. Not dissing you mate, just genuinely surprised, that's all.

  • June 30, 2008, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Allseeing

    by half vader

    Hey mate, haven't seen you 'round here for a while. <p> No, I think pretty much everyone around here understands, and it'd be a heartless prick that mocked anyone for misting up at this one.

  • June 30, 2008, 5:37 a.m. CST

    To me, it's Hopkins finest hour

    by MontyPigeon

    With Remains of the Day a very close second.

  • June 30, 2008, 6:17 a.m. CST

    my favourite Lynch film is THE STRAIGHT STORY

    by Maniaq

    there, I said it

  • June 30, 2008, 6:25 a.m. CST

    loved this movie!

    by Mr_X

    finally a movie quint has seen that i've seen! loved htis movie. brilliant. i rememebr watching it when i was akid and thinking, Michael Elphick, what a bastard! bearing in mind he was always on tv in "lovable" character sitcom roles

  • June 30, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Now that's a review

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Great job Quint. I need to see this too.

  • June 30, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen this or Straight Story

    by MediaNerd

    Haven't necessarily avoided them, but never watched them as they seemed to neuter what was unique about Lynch. Guess I'll have to re-evaluate that idea and give them a look.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Elephant Rape Dream Sequence

    by BobParr

    That's the opening scene. Soooo fucked up!!!

  • June 30, 2008, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Redford and ORDINARY PEOPLE win the Oscar!!

    by BobParr

    That well made Lifetime movie won over RAGING BULL and ELEPHANT MAN and Redford must be a better director that Scorcesse and Lynch. But God bless Mary Tyler Moore. What a perfect bitch she was in that movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST

    This made me ball my eyes out . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . but that was when I was a little kid and this was first out on HBO. I haven't seen it since, but the emotional impact kind of gets me every time I think about it. Might just have to put it in the queue.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Funny how people always think of Platoon...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... when they hear Barber's Adagio for Strings, even though Elephant Man used it 6 years before Platoon did. Elephant Man's use of the music is also far more moving, in my opinion.<p> Also, isn't it funny that Elephant Man and Raging Bull were released in the same year (both incredible black-and-white films at a time when everyone thought they'd never see a black-and-white movie ever again). And both these films' lead characters use the phrase "I am not an animal". Freaky.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    actual footage of the Elephant man found

    by HypeEndsHere

    http://tinyurl.com/53cxfp - it's not THAT bad.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    excellent film...

    by Gungan Slayer

    yet very depressing.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    It's funny that nowadays I deliberately avoid...

    by Powers Boothe

    films with Tony Hopkins in them. He's so bloody good in The Elephant Man.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Ordinary People is actually an...

    by Powers Boothe

    outstanding film. Even though it won Best Picture over the legendary Raging Bull, it shouldn't be bad mouthed. It's a powerful and deeply moving picture.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    This is the kind of movie I don't want to watch again

    by CherryValance

    I'm fairly certain I saw it more than once as a kid, but I remember it really bumming me out. Too sad.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Why was there a 4 year gap between...

    by Powers Boothe

    The Elephant Man and Lynch's next film, Dune? I wonder when he was hired for Dune. I'll guess filming started in '83. <br>What was Lynch up to, directly after The Elephant Man?

  • June 30, 2008, 9:36 a.m. CST

    I've never made it through Raging Bull

    by CherryValance

    There, I said it. And I've tried a couple times. I might as well go ahead and admit that as a general rule I don't enjoy Scorcese movies. It seems like he focuses on stuff that I'd never really pay attention to. And the characters are often people I find pretty repugnant like in Goodfellas. ORDINARY PEOPLE was really good. I'm assuming at the time there was a similar outrage at that win, as their was when SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE beat SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. You can probably guess what camp I was in on that one too.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST

    I've got this on HD-DVD

    by jae683

    It looks and sounds fantastic. Highly recommend it if you can find a copy (and still have a player, obviously).

  • June 30, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST

    1980 Best Picture nominees!

    by Powers Boothe

    Tess<br> The Coal Miner's Daughter<br> Raging Bull<br> Ordinary People<br> The Elephant Man

  • June 30, 2008, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Cherry Valance

    by BobParr

    Your RAGING BULL confession reminds me of FAMILY GUY when Peter Griffin confesses to not liking THE GODFATHER. His arguments: "It insists upon itslef". "Let me just respond by saying that I love THE MONEY PIT".

  • June 30, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Which was more shocking?

    by Powers Boothe

    Rocky winning Best Picture over Taxi Driver, Network and All The Presidents Men in '76<br>OR<br>Kramer Vs Kramer winning Best Picture over Apocalypse Now in '79?

  • June 30, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST

    I like ORDINARY PEOPLE and SHAKESPEAR IN LOVE

    by BobParr

    But their legacy in no way compares to films like RAGING BULL and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Let's not forget about DANCES WITH WOLVES over GOODFELLAS. What a sin!!

  • June 30, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Hey Soylent, what about

    by half vader

    Eraserhead on Blu-ray, too. You know, to make the experience even MORE vivid! - Just like regular chickens!! <p> Cherry, it's cool. The people that think SPR is genius (including Academy members) seem to mainly focus on the start, and forget about the dead bits, and the apalling melodrama and jingoism with the beating of chests and tear-in-the-eye over-the-top salutes and all. Maybe, like 'Contact', if you ran it backwards it would get better and better...

  • June 30, 2008, 10 a.m. CST

    1979 nominees

    by BobParr

    APOCOLYPSE NOW<P> KARMER VS KRAMER<P> BREAKING AWAY<P> ALL THAT JAZZ<P> NORMA RAE<P> Bad year for movies. APOCOLYPSE NOW is too much of a downer to win that wawrd. The other movies were nice little movies but nothing too special.

  • June 30, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Contact

    by Powers Boothe

    John Hurt was in that too! What an incredibly rich (and very "Geek Friendly") filmography that fella has. Hellboy, Alien, 1984, Rob Roy, Space Balls, Frankenstein Unbound, Dead Man, Indy 4...

  • June 30, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Elephant man in *From Hell*

    by Rameses

    No ones mentioned that From Hell has a pretty good Elephant man , though it was a bit of a pointless cameo , and though more accurate in appearance , lacked the pathetic look of john Hurts make-up.And if peaple find the front view of Merrick disturbing , the back view is even worse , he looked exactly like a pile of cauliflowers.His skeleton was seriously messed up as well.His skull looked like its covered in deep sea coral.It's amazing a guy could be that seriously deformed and still function to any degree.The film is a classic I might add.

  • June 30, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    The Oscars

    by skimn

    Always tend to "heart over art". Something emotionally engaging is always easier to reward than artistic integrity.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Rameses

    by Powers Boothe

    For a moment there I thought you were saying the makeup work for John Merrick, in Lynch's film, was pathetic. Must read more carefully in future :P

  • June 30, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    on golden pond for the 4th?

    by Bouncy X

    oh my...someone's gonna sleep well that day. :P

  • June 30, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    *ahem* El Dos Gremlinos?

    by theredtoad

    you're picking all these movies that I've never seen, so I'm enjoying your reviews. Keep up the good work Quinto!

  • June 30, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Powers boothe..

    by Rameses

    Yeah after I posted it , I realised that it sounded like I was having a go at the quality of the make-up not it's effect!I meant that , the design consciously made john hurts elephant man , more childlike and pitiable , whilst toning down the horror of his deformed face/head

  • June 30, 2008, 12:25 p.m. CST

    The standing ovation scene

    by I am the most horrible

    is what chokes me up every time I see this flick. Then I get a bit of a breather, then blubber again when he sleeps horizontally. Good movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Acting that rocked!

    by INDIETHIS

    One of the BEST movies of all time - and Hurt just downright nailed the performance - and really - Hopkins has never been better - now I love Lector - but the skills it took Hopkins to pull off this character - the subtleness of the character... one of the best screen performances. Great movie - I remember seeing it in the theater and this big ol guy in the row ahead of me - balling at the end of the movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    I agree, makes me depressed too guys.. .

    by krullboyisback

    really makes you think about life, death, and most sadly people that have no connection to their mothers. . .

  • June 30, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Lynchisms

    by fuldamobil

    I've always felt this film was very consistent with Lynch's other work. It deals with some of his favorite themes like horror and identity. One of my favorite moments is when the camera zooms into the opening in Merrick's mask. It's exactly like when we enter the world in (behind?) the radiator in Eraserhead. I watch this movie every few years and it always blows me away. Can you imagine it getting nominated for Best Picture today?

  • June 30, 2008, 1 p.m. CST

    Pitty Michael Jackson owns his bones.

    by HoboCode

  • June 30, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Great

    by CrazySlasher27

    One of the greatest movies ever made. Wish you wrote a bit more about it.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Anne Bancroft was great in this one

    by I_am_not_Henry_Silva

    So was everybody else. When the tormentors show him the mirror ... ouch. Great movie!

  • June 30, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Jett

    by MaxG

    It's the Good Father he hasn't seen, not The Godfather. Different movies, this one has Anthony Hopkins. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009KQP9Q/102-0869784-9252121?ie=UTF8&tag=aintitcooln0b-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0009KQP9Q

  • June 30, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    No film critic has seen everything ...

    by WernerBrandes

    Check out this interesting article by Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle: http://tinyurl.com/36wrx3 It takes balls to admit you have never seen a classic film.

  • June 30, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I'm Sorry

    by EliteStance

    because this is probably lame as I doubt everyone who loves films has seen every great film - but how the fuck haven't you seen this film until now? This is just one of a fairly small (when all is said and done) number of must see films if you really care about cinema, and I'm just speechless that you haven't seen it until now... and sorry to be elitist but if you haven't seen it on the big screen then you still haven't seen it properly...

  • June 30, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    QUINT

    by ddog

    TOTALY AGREE TAHT THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE THOUGH I DO LOVE HIS AVANT GARDE IF TAHTS THE CORRECT TERM FOR THE TYPES OF FILMS HE BEEN DOIN LATELY. STILL SCRATCHIN MY HEAD ON WHATS GOIN ON IN INLAND EMPIRE EXCEPT THE FACT THAT LAURA DERN WAS AMAZING IN IT!! LOVE THEM FREAKY RABBITS!!! THIS IS A PRETTY GREAT COLUMN SCRATH THAT GREAT COLUMN THAT HOPEFULLY WONT GO AWAY ANYTIME SOON, DESPITE ALL THE HATERS OUT THERE ON QUINTS OPINIONS ON HIS FILMS SINCE THEY ARE OPINIONS. IM SORRY BUT I HAVENT SEEN EVERY MOVIE EVER MADE MYSELF. THATS JUST HOW I ROLL, SO I ASSUM QUINT HAS A LIFE AND HASNT SEEN EVERYTHING OUT THERE OTHER WISE HOW CAN HE PROVIDE THIS GREAT SERVICE. YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE HAVENT SEEN THE FILMS HE IS DOIN A MOVIE A DAY ON SO FOR THEM THIS IS NEWS AND I PERSONALY THNK ITS GREAT.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Feel obligated to post because...

    by DanielKurland

    The scene where Merrick and the woman read Romeo and Juliet together, and she treats him like a regular person, and even kisses him is so fucking beautiful. It's definitely not the least Lynch movie though. Stuff like the elephant at the beginning is classic Lynch. The Straight Story is definitely Lynch at his most un-Lynch like (although he'd probably argue that Dune is the least like him).

  • June 30, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Maniaq, convince me on Straight Story...

    by DanielKurland

    I love Lynch to death. I've seen everything he's done, including some really obscure stuff, but talk to me about why you like The Straight Story over all his other stuff. Granted, I've only seen it once, but it kind of bored me. I understand the simplicity of it, and how it's not supposed to be "exciting". I get the emotion. I think the performances are great, but besides some beautiful cinematography (that does get repetitious eventually), there's no way I can say this film offers anything nearly as good as some of the stuff in Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks, INLAND EMPIRE, or even Wild at Heart. I'm not attacking or criticizing your opinion. I WANT to like the movie more. But is there anything more to it than a simple touching story being told in a simple touching way?

  • June 30, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Powers Boothe, what Lynch was up to...

    by DanielKurland

    Lynch was mostly trying to get his pet project "Ronnie Rocket" made during this time and was even doing location scouting and principle photography for it while they were in London for Elephant Man. Mel Brooks and Brooksfilms tried to help him, but things just didn't work out. He eventually met up with Dino De Laurentis and again, more movies almost took place, including an adaptation Lynch was working on of Kafka's Metamorphosis. De Laurentis offerred Lynch to direct Red Dragon . Lynch read it and wasn't a fan (and this later went to Michael Mann, and became Manhunter). De Laurentis eventually presented Lynch with Dune. Lynch read it, enjoyed it, and started working on it (as well as partly finishing the script of a sequel which he considered better than the original Dune). Lynch had issues with De Laurentis and not having final cut and making a lot of compromises on the film, but he eventually was allowed to keep these liberties with Blue Velvet (albeit taking a pay cut), which De Laurentis produced. After Blue Velvet, Lynch became pretty well established.

  • June 30, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    watched this for the first time last week

    by BurgerKing

    amazing movie, looks great, is creepy and atmospheric first half then really tears at the heart strings in the second half. Good character centric film.

  • June 30, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST

    my problem with Flashback

    by I am the most horrible

    if I am remembering this correctly, was when they crossed the border from Oregon into Canada.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Lynch is always coherent. Did it ever occur . . .

    by lavaboat

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe some of his stuff is outside of your intellectual register? Could it be possible that some of his stuff is actually radically coherent? God forbid somebody should actually admit that maybe certain material exists a plane they simply don't have access to.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Yes, Lynch does make sense...

    by DanielKurland

    When I saw INLAND EMPIRE the second time I completely understood what was going on. Lynch firmly understands and believes what he's working with at all times.

  • July 1, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST

    My favorite part of the movie

    by ufoclub1977

    Is when he goes to see the theatre show and enjoys and loses himself in delight to the surreal spectacle. For once he has lost himself (without self consciousness) in a moment that seems dazzling from his perspective . He's laughing with joy.

  • July 1, 2008, 2:25 a.m. CST

    love this film

    by robamenta

    but is so painful to watch. what a tragic story

  • July 1, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    What ever happened to One Saliva Bubble?

    by half vader

    That was a weird one. I want to draw/paint a Ronnie Rocket graphic Novel for him. That'd be cool.

  • July 1, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    You know...if you put a long res curly wig and a red beard on th

    by ChocolateJesusMan

    Aw hell that joke is way too easy.. carry on talbackers

  • July 1, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Never.

    by Mattyboy122

    Oh, never. Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die. <p> An amazing movie.

  • July 5, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Powersboothe

    by Mostholy

    Don't forget: John Hurt was also the original Aragorn, in the Bakshi LotR.

  • July 5, 2008, 11:03 p.m. CST

    GIVE ME THE AMULET, YOU BITCH!!!!

    by DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET

  • Sept. 15, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    I saw this as a kid

    by drunkenmonkey73

    and cried at the ending. I completely lost it the more i tried not too the worse it became. Its the only movie that did this to me. His real name was Joseph Carey Merrick

  • Sept. 15, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST

    my favourite quote

    by drunkenmonkey73

    Mrs. Kendal: Why, Mr. Merrick, you're not an elephant man at all. John Merrick: Oh no? Mrs. Kendal: Oh no... no... you're a Romeo.

  • Sept. 15, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    another one

    by drunkenmonkey73

    Dr. Fox: Have you ever mentioned his mental state? Dr. Frederick Treves: Oh, he's an imbecile, probably from birth. Man's a complete idiot... Pray to God he's an idiot.