Dr. Frederick Treves Quotes in The Elephant Man (1980)


Dr. Frederick Treves Quotes:

  • John Merrick: [after seeing pictures of Dr. Treves' family] Would you care to see my mother?

    Dr. Frederick Treves: [surprised] Your mother? Yes please.

    [John pulls out a small portrait]

    Mrs. Treves: Oh but she's... Mr. Merrick, she's beautiful!

    John Merrick: Oh, she had the face of an angel!


    John Merrick: I must have been a great disappointment to her.

    Mrs. Treves: No, Mr. Merrick, no. No son as loving as you could ever be a disappointment.

    John Merrick: If only I could find her, so she could see me with such lovely friends here now; perhaps she could love me as I am. I've tried so hard to be good.

    [Mrs. Treves begins to cry]

  • Mrs. Treves: I'm very pleased to meet you, Mr. Merrick.

    John Merrick: I'm very pleased...

    [John begins to cry]

    Dr. Frederick Treves: What is it, John? What's the matter?

    John Merrick: It's just that I-I'm not used to being treated so well by a beautiful woman...

  • Carr Gomm: Can you imagine the kind of life he must have had?

    Dr. Frederick Treves: Yes, I think I can.

    Carr Gomm: I don't think so. No one could possibly imagine it! I don't believe any of us can!

  • Mothershead: Sir! I don't quite... I don't quite understand why it is you allow that sort of people in there.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: Why? Because he enjoys it, and I think it's very good for him.

    Mothershead: Yes, but, sir, you saw the expression on their faces. They didn't hide their disgust. They don't care anything about John! They only want to impress their friends!

    Dr. Frederick Treves: I think you're being rather harsh on them, don't you, Mrs. Mothershead?

    Mothershead: I beg your pardon!

    Dr. Frederick Treves: You yourself hardly showed him much loving kindness when he first arrived, did you?

    Mothershead: I bathed him, I fed him, and I cleaned up after him, didn't I? And I see that my nurses do the same. And if loving kindness can be called care and practical concern, then I did show him loving kindness, and I am not ashamed to admit it!

  • Dr. Fox: Have you ever mentioned his mental state?

    Dr. Frederick Treves: Oh, he's an imbecile, probably from birth. Man's a complete idiot... Pray to God he's an idiot.

  • Dr. Frederick Treves: Am I a good man? Or a bad man? That's all...

  • John Merrick: There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: What's that?

    John Merrick: Can you cure me?

    Dr. Frederick Treves: No. We can care for you, but we can't cure you.

    John Merrick: [matter-of-factly] No. I thought not.

  • Dr. Frederick Treves: [Upon seeing Bytes] How did you get up here?

    Bytes: I want my man back.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: Just a moment, how did you get up...

    Bytes: Never mind that. I want my man.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: He's still very sick. Now please, come downstairs with me and I will explain the situation.

    Bytes: DON'T! Don't. You've had plenty of time to... cure him. And now, he's leaving with me. Do you understand me now Mr. Treves? We made a deal.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: You misunderstood. This man has suffered a severe fall if you take my meaning. Now, he's my patient now.

    Bytes: Pull the other one, why don't you.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: Mr. Bytes I'm sorry, but all you do is profit from another man's misery.

    Bytes: [Grabs Treves' lapel] You think you're better than me?

    Dr. Frederick Treves: No...

    Bytes: You wanted the freak, to show to those doctor chums of yours to make a name for yourself. You my friend, I gave you the freak, on trust, in the name of science, and now I want him back!

    Dr. Frederick Treves: You do not own this man. Now STOP IT!

    Bytes: I want him back.

    Dr. Frederick Treves: So you could beat him! So you could starve him! A dog in the streets would fare better with you!

    Bytes: I shall go to the authorities.

    Carr Gomm: [Speaking to Bytes] Go to the authorities then. Go to them by all means. I'm sure they would be very interested to hear your story as well as ours

    Dr. Frederick Treves: [Speaking to Bytes] Now, I really do think we understand one another. Hm?

  • Dr. Frederick Treves: Abominable things these machines - you can't reason with them,

  • Dr. Frederick Treves: Because of the extensive area covered by papillomatus growths, the patient has been called "The Elephant Man".

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