John Merrick, a horribly deformed young man—victim of rare skin and bone diseases—becomes the star freak attraction in traveling sideshows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to the prestigious Whitechapel Hospital. Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati, only to be denied his ultimate dream – to become a man.
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