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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by David Lynch
USA / UK 1980

 

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.

***

David Lynch brings his own dreamlike style to the heartbreaking yet somehow uplifting story of John Merrick (John Hurt), a hideously deformed individual dubbed the Elephant Man during his years in a circus freak show in Victorian England. After suffering for years at the hands of his circus "master," the eloquent, soft spoken Merrick is "rescued" by compassionate surgeon Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), who allows him to live at the hospital where he works. Merrick becomes a social celebrity when he meets a popular stage performer (Anne Bancroft), but he must continue to fight for his dignity with those who still choose to view him as a freak. Meanwhile, Treves begins to question whether his supposed act of humanity has been just as exploitative as Merrick's former caretaker's.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 2nd, 1980

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Studio Canal - Region 'B' /' A' - Blu-ray vs. Studio Canal Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

 

 

  

  

Also available in a 3 disc 4K Ultra HD set includes pop-up gatefold sleeve, a 64 page booklet with a brand new essay from Kim Newman and 5 Art cards (see image below)

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studio Canal - Region 'B'  '/ A' - Blu-ray Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD
Runtime 2:03:40.041         2:03:06.250 
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,445,247,463 bytes

Feature: 33,895,176,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 83,854,900,920 bytes
Feature: 78,659,969,280 bytes
Video Bitrate: 76.51 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:  

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD

Audio DTS-HD Master Audio English 1838 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1838 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DUBs:
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1646 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1646 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1729 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1729 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1641 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1641 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1638 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1638 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1574 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1574 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1690 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1690 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1018 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1018 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, None English, German , French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Studio Canal

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,445,247,463 bytes

Feature: 33,895,176,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Interview with David Lynch (24:49 in SD)
• Interview with John Hurt (20:14 in SD)
• John Derrick - The Real Elephant Man (19:53 in SD)
• A Conversation with David Lynch (19:50 in SD)
• The Air is On Fire (14:50 in SD)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 18th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Studio Canal

 

2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 83,854,900,920 bytes
Feature: 78,659,969,280 bytes
Video Bitrate: 76.51 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW - Interview with Frank Connor, Stills Photography (25:15)
• NEW - BFI Q&A With Jonathan Sanger (24:21)

Included Blu-ray:
• Interview With David Lynch
• Interview With John Hurt
• Mike Figgis Interviews David Lynch
• The Air Is On Fire: Interview With David Lynch at Cartier Foundation
• Joseph Merrick: The Real Elephant Man
• The Terrible Elephant Man Revealed


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
April 6th, 2020
Standard 4K Ultra HD Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the discs.

ADDITION: Studio Canal 4K UHD (April 2020): Studio Canal (UK) have transferred David Lynch's The Elephant Man to 4K UHD. There are differences from the previous Blu-ray(s), with the UK, French and German BDs being the same. The new 4K UHD has HDR applied and the resulting image shows a darker image in the darker scenes and a brighter image in the better lit scenes. The transfer, unusually shows more information on the left side of the frame and slightly less on the right side. The Elephant Man 4K UHD can look horizontally compressed beside the 1080P but I actually think the 2009 Blu-ray may have been slightly vertically compressed (thinner faces). In-motion neither of these are noticeable or consequential, imo, since the presentations are consistent. The contrast on the 4K UHD of The Elephant Man is... brilliant. The grain is so rich and textured and detail jumps demonstratively. The 4K UHD has over 3X the bitrate of the Blu-ray. The new 2160 visuals have frequent depth, not a speckle anywhere and the film looks like it was shot yesterday - not at all showing its 40-year age. DoP Freddie Francis' cinematography looks stunning with beautiful shadow and light play.

NOTE: 56 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures for Patrons are available HERE.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz,(software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).  

Studio Canal's 4K UHD audio, while not elevating to Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1 levels, has another bump over the Blu-ray with a 24-bit (as opposed to 16-bit) transfer in 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master, in the original English language with similarly encoded DUBs for French or German. Some effects can export a scary intensity (the hospital bell, clock tower, nurse screams or furnace operations sequences) through this lossless audio. The score is by John Morris (Ironweed, The Woman in Red, The In-Laws, Table for Five, Young Frankenstein, Clue) with Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" (used more heavily in Oliver Stone's Platoon) sounding sublime in that beautiful scene supporting the film deftly via the DTS-HD Master transfer. Subtitles include options for English, French and German and as with all 4K UHD discs, this is Region 'Free' playable worldwide. 

The Studio Canal 4K UHD disc itself has two new featurettes. We get a 25-minute interview with Stills Photographer Frank Connor, who has quite the resume working on The French Lieutenant's Woman, Gandhi, A Passage to India and many more including what he considers his big break - 1977's A Bridge Too Far. It was nice to hear his evolution into that career, his dyslexia and recollections on The Elephant Man including his interview with uncredited executive producer Mel Brooks. There is also a 24-minute BFI Q&A with Jonathan Sanger and his debut as a producer with The Elephant Man, how the script came to him (his babysitter's boyfriend), meeting with Lynch and much more. 

The package includes a newly remastered Blu-ray which has (repeated from below) almost 100 minutes worth of 5 video pieces including two highly interesting interviews with a frank David Lynch, another with John Hurt where he discusses his portrayal of Merrick, the extensive make-up and working with some of the great-name actors in the film. John Derrick - The Real Elephant Man has Jonathan Evans, Archivist and Curator of the Royal London Hospital Museum giving a decent overview of the history of Merrick with some keen vintage photos. I enjoyed this a lot and wished it was more in-depth (longer). The Air is On Fire is 15-minutes including Michel Chion, Professor at La Fιmis and Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle). He meets Lynch while viewing an exhibition of his paintings at the Cartier Foundation circa 2007. A pretty decent bunch of supplements in lieu of a commentary

I was blown away by The Elephant Man the first time I saw it and my appreciation has only grown with my recent 4K UHD viewing. It remains one of the most impactful and fascinating biographical dramas ever made. A stunningly beautiful transfer of a masterpiece. Our highest recommendation to those who have adopted this new format.

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE Blu-ray (2009): Again, I have both the Optimum and the Kinowelt Blu-ray editions and I can't find much difference so far aside from packaging and liner notes language. They have the same subtitle and audio options - and the same video transfer size. Both are coded for regions A + B - as we presume the more recently released French Studio Canal editions are. Each stem from the 'Studio Canal Collection' and are now sold via Blu-ray with the legal rights - released by Kinowelt in Germany, Optimum in the UK, and Studio Canal in France. The discs initially allow you to choose from a list of countries.

The Elephant Man appears very strong if, on closer inspection, seeming a shade soft at times. Contrast is the notable feature with inky blacks and bright whites (maybe too bright?) and visible fine grain is appreciated. Grayscale and shadow detail are often superb. I kept thinking black levels had been boosted but there was no concrete evidence of edge-enhancement and moiring never fully surfaced to obviousness. Overall, I can't see anyone offering excessive complaints - it's so much better than the DVDs that the visuals can often make you gasp (from their brilliance - not from Hurt's Merrick). It's a chocked-full dual-layered disc with the feature filling almost 34 Gig and the video bitrate supports respectability. There are some surprising infrequent speckles and a scratch or two, with more artistic close-ups showing deep grain, but aside from that niggling the presentation is a positive one for sure.

We have a DTS-HD Master 5.1 English track and 4 different foreign language DUBs in 2.0 channel - all around 1500 kbps. Bass response is quite notable at times and separation very subtle to practically non-existent for most of the film. When it does come into play - it kind of sticks out like an elephant's penis. I'm not complaining - although we still strain to hear Merrick's first dialogues - as I assume we are supposed to. There are plenty of subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region A + B disc playable on Blu-ray machines in those two vast areas of the globe.

Quite a lot - all in SD. Almost 100 minutes worth 5 piece including two highly interesting interviews with a frank David Lynch, another with John Hurt where he discusses his portrayal of Merrick, the extensive make-up and working with some of the great-name actors in the film. John Derrick - The Real Elephant Man has Jonathan Evans, Archivist and Curator of the Royal London Hospital Museum giving a decent overview of the history of Merrick with some keen vintage photos. I enjoyed this a lot and wished it was more in-depth (longer). The Air is On Fire is 15-minutes including Michel Chion, Professor at La Fιmis and Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle). He meets Lynch while viewing an exhibition of his paintings at the Cartier Foundation circa 2007. A pretty decent bunch of supplements in lieu of a commentary.

Aside from Hurt's defining role we have great performances from Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, and notables Wendy Hiller, Anne Bancroft as well as others. This is a highly interesting film in 1080P - worthy of multiple viewings where it only seems to get better. The
Blu-ray is not quite perfect but it is still mesmerizing at times via the complexity of its black and white visual splendor. We certainly recommend. Yes.

 


Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD

Included Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY AND 4K UHD CAPTURES TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 / 3840 X 2160 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD
 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD  BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

 

  

  

Also available in a 3 disc 4K Ultra HD set includes pop-up gatefold sleeve, a 64 page booklet with a brand new essay from Kim Newman and 5 Art cards

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studio Canal - Region 'B'  '/ A' - Blu-ray Studio Canal - Region 'FREE - 4K Ultra HD


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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