YMMV / The Elephant Man

  • Award Snub: At the time, Best Makeup at the Oscars was a "Special Citation" award that was given out twice.note  So, this film's failure to get the citation was seen as a snub. The resulting controversy was the instigator for the establishment of the Best Makeup Oscar the following year.
  • Awesome Moments: John finally letting loose after being cornered by the crowd. "I AM NOT AN ELEPHANT! I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I...am...a human being...I...am...a man..."
  • Awesome Music: John Morris's mournful, tragic circus music score.
  • Hype Backlash: The presentation of Merrick as Inspirationally Disadvantaged has not gone without criticism, especially since the real-life Merrick was perfectly happy with his side-show life, from which he earned a very handsome living.
  • Memetic Mutation: I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I AM A HUMAN BEING! I AM A MAN!
  • Moral Event Horizon: "Sunny" Jim the Night Porter letting drunken citizens in to see and harass Merrick for both money and Forthe Evulz is rightfully deemed unforgivable by Dr. Treves when he learns of it. In the film novelization, Treves even tries to kill Jim in his outrage over it.
  • Narm: Despite the film being one big long Tear Jerker, the part where John falls over after delivering his famous "I Am Not An Animal!" tirade may seem unintentionally funny to some.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Though Merrick is the "freak", what the "normal" people do to him is a mix of Tear Jerker with pure horror.
    • The surreal, Lynchian beginning and Merrick's dream.
  • Signature Scene: The train station scene. Bring tissues.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheElephantMan