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.
Extremely moving and tasteful rendition of a tragic story; masterfully created in all departments (performances, b/w cinematography, period detail) it exemplifies what commercial cinema is capable of, when it's made with an artistic vision.
Halliwell***: "A curious story which happens to be true; the film sets its scene superbly, has splendid performances and a fascinating make-up. Yet it fails to move quite as it should, perhaps because the central figure is treated as a horrific come-on, like the hunchback of Notre Dame."
Maltin***1/2: "Moving dramatization...Fine performances by all; rich Victorian atmosphere created by Lynch and veteran cameraman Freddie Francis - in beautiful black and white."