2020 is a year of anniversaries for filmmaker David Lynch. While he just recently celebrated the 30th birthday of his legendary TV series, “Twin Peaks,” this year marks the 40th birthday of his celebrated drama, “The Elephant Man.” And with a new 4K restoration of the film being released this year, StudioCanal has decided to tease film fans with the first 10 minutes of the 1980 film.
For those not familiar with the film, “The Elephant Man” tells the story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a man that is forced to take part in circus sideshows due to his disfigurement. That’s when he meets a surgeon (Anthony Hopkins) that hopes to help Merrick change his appearance and, hopefully, blend into the society that ridicules and spurns him. The film would go on to be nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director for Lynch.
The film arrived at a crucial time for Lynch. He was just coming off his feature directorial debut in “Eraserhead,” an experimental film that earned him acclaim but was largely ignored by the masses until later in its life. “The Elephant Man” secured Lynch as one of the best auteurs working, which led him to 1984’s “Dune,” which threatened to derail his upward trajectory.
You can watch the first 10 minutes of the film below, in all its 4K restoration glory.
Here’s how StudioCanal describes the film:
A stunning new 4K restoration of THE ELEPHANT MAN, with both picture and sound overseen by revered director David Lynch, this release is the perfect celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary. Starring Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt, THE ELEPHANT MAN is an extraordinary and intensely moving true story of bravery and humanity. John Merrick (John Hurt) is The Elephant Man, forced into circus sideshows and spurned by society because of the disfiguring disabilities he was born with. Rescued by a well meaning surgeon (Anthony Hopkins), he tries to escape a life of prejudice and cruelty as he tries to fit into a world ruled by Victorian sensibilities. Beautifully shot in black and white by the incomparable Freddie Francis, THE ELEPHANT MAN is an unforgettable story of human dignity and survival.