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THE ELEPHANT MAN
1980, Paramount, 124 min, Dir: David Lynch

Based on two books about the real-life Elephant Man, John Merrick, director David Lynch recounts this severely deformed man’s perilous life in Victorian England in breathtaking black-and-white. Sir Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues Merrick from a circus freak show where he is assumed to be retarded, takes him to a hospital for tests and discovers that Merrick, in fact, has great intellect and capacity for emotion. John Hurt’s ability to project Merrick’s humanity earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, along with the film’s seven other nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Lynch’s use of costumes, makeup, Freddie Francis’ cinematography and John Morris’ score remain commendably understated, allowing the sadness of the film to avoid sentimentalism. With Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller. "ELEPHANT MAN has the power and some of the dream logic of a silent film, yet there are also wrenching, pulsating sounds -the hissing steam and the pounding of the start of the industrial age. It's Dickensian London, with perhaps a glimpse of the process that gave rise to Cubism." - Pauline Kael.


DESPERATE HOURS
1990, Park Circus/MGM, 105 min, Dir: Michael Cimino

Bristling with energy, director Michael Cimino and producer Dino De Laurentiis’ remake of the 1955 crime drama stars Mickey Rourke as Michael Bosworth, a psychotic criminal who uses his lawyer to escape while on trial. With two associates, Bosworth invades the home of Tim and Nora Cornell (Anthony Hopkins and Mimi Rogers), holding them and their kids hostage while they hide out for a few hours. Rourke’s and Hopkins’ full-throttle performances are matched by that of Lindsay Crouse as the FBI agent in pursuit.


THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
1991, Park Circus/MGM, 118 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

Break out the fava beans and Chianti! Newbie FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) undergoes a trial by fire when she’s asked to track down the deadly Buffalo Bill. In search of leads, Clarice interviews another serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), whose confinement in prison makes him no less dangerous. This hit thriller is one of only three films to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).


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