This Tony Award-winning drama offers an intense look at John Merrick, a physically deformed Londoner of the late 1880s. Intelligent and sensitive, he strives to be normal, even as he is viewed as a carnival freak and later a scientific celebrity by London’s socialites. The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A star of a traveling freak show, Merrick is taken into the care of a society doctor. Under his care, Merrick's true identity shines through, revealing his intelligence, and desire for acceptance and love. The Elephant Man is a timeless story of love and courage, and its themes are as universal as they are unique. This deeply poignant story raises questions about faith, science, charity, and with particular resonance for our time, asks us to consider societal responsibility—what does it mean for citizens to be responsible for one another?
Themes: Questions about faith, science, charity, societal responsibility, abuse/cruelty
Language/Sexual References: Language standard during the period including the use of the word "damn." Actors portraying Victorian period carnival performers known as "Pinheads" act out an African tribe dance and make one reference to "our niggers are bigger." An actress removes the top of her blouse with her back to the audience implying partial nudity. There is no actual nudity.
Smoking/Drinking/Drug Use: Negligible: Characters occasionally drink alcohol and smoke.
For Which Audiences? Parental guidance is recommended. Some of the material may be not suitable for ages 12 and under.
Rating: The movie is rated PG-13