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#047 David Lynch: The Elephant Man vs. Dune w/ guest David Hart of “Pop Culture Case Study”


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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare David Lynch’s best and worst rated films, The Elephant Man (1980) and Dune (1984), respectively. Nate fell in love with Gurney, Austin shed a tear, and David made the biggest sacrifice of all: he watched Dune again.

David hosts his own podcast, Pop Culture Case Study, where he mixes psychology with pop culture. Check him out on twitter @pccasestudy.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Nancy Meyers’ The Intern (2015) and What Women Want (2000), her best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with David Lynch talking about Dune:


Dune Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.

  • Ratings: IMDb 6.6 | RT 57% C / 67% A
  • Released: 1984
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Writer(s): Frank Herbert (novel), David Lynch (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Freddie Francis (Glory, Cape Fear)
  • Notable actors: Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino, Brad Dourif, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Silvana Mangano, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Max von Sydow
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box office: $30.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • David Lynch has said he considers this film the only real failure of his career. To this day, he refuses to talk about the production in great detail, and has refused numerous offers to work on a special edition DVD. Lynch claims revisiting the film would be too painful an experience to endure.
    • David Lynch turned down the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) to direct Dune (1984).
    • The tendons visible when Paul hooks the worm were made from condoms.
    • Original director Ridley Scott left the production after his older brother suddenly passed away. Scott wanted to start working as soon as possible, but Dune would take far too long to reach production. Scott decided to leave the project in favor of Blade Runner (1982), which was ready to start production immediately.
    • Patrick Stewart said the stillsuit was the most uncomfortable costume he had ever worn. Max von Sydow said the same, but also said he put up with it because he loved the way his body looked in them.

The Elephant Man Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.2 | RT 90% C / 93% A
  • Released: 1980
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Writer(s): Christopher De Vore & Eric Bergren & David Lynch (screenplay), Frederick Treves (book), Ashley Montagu (book)
  • Cinematographer: Freddie Francis (Glory, Cape Fear)
  • Notable actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon, Helen Ryan, John Stranding, Kenny Baker
  • Budget: $5 million
  • Box office: $26 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The Elephant Man makeup took seven to eight hours to apply each day and two hours to remove. John Hurt would arrive on set at 5.00am and shoot from noon until 10.00pm. Because of the strain on the actor, he worked alternate days.
    • This film was executive produced by Mel Brooks, who was responsible for hiring director David Lynch and obtaining permission to film in black and white. He deliberately left his name off the credits, as he knew that people would get the wrong idea about the movie if they saw his name on the film, given his fame as a satirist.
    • When Paramount studio executives were shown a cut of the film, they wanted the film’s opening and closing surrealist sequences to be cut. Executive producer Mel Brooks, according to producer Stuart Cornfeld, said to them: “We are involved in a business venture. We screened the film for you to bring you up to date as to the status of that venture. Do not misconstrue this as our soliciting the input of raging primitives.”
    • David Lynch was working as a roofer at the time he was offered the chance to direct.
    • Following the death of the real Joseph “John” Merrick, parts of his body were preserved for medical science to study. Some internal organs were kept in jars, and plaster casts were taken of his head, an arm, and a foot. Although the organs were destroyed by German air raids during the Second World War, the casts survived and are kept at the London Hospital. The makeup for John Hurt, who played Merrick in the film, was designed directly from those casts.
    • Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of the good doctor Frederick Treves in this film is reportedly what inspired Jonathan Demme to cast him as the evil doctor Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). (Hopkins later said that he felt the sharing-and-caring role of Dr. Frederick Treves a rather dull one.)

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 

The Best and Worst of the Best Podcast is a show where host’s Nate and Austin compare a film director’s best and worst rated movies to see where they went wrong.



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