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Face of Fire (1959)

A local handyman saves a child in a fire, but the burns he receives disfigure his face so much that the townspeople avoid him.

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, (story "The Monster") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ned Trescott
...
Monk Johnson
...
Grace Trescott
Miko Oscard ...
Jimmie Trescott
...
Jake Winter
...
The Judge (as Robert Simon)
...
Al Williams
...
Sheriff Nolan
...
Ethel Winter
Jill Donohue ...
Bella Kovac
Harold Kasket ...
Reifsnyder, the barber
Althea Orr ...
(as Aletha Orr)
Charles Fawcett
Vernon Young
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Storyline

In 1898, in a small American town, Dr. Ned Trescott and his family live a quiet life. The family employs Monk Johnson as a handyman who also spends time with Dr. Trescott's son, Jimmie and is considered part of the family. Monk and Jimmie enjoy going fishing. Monk's fiancée, Bella, plans to marry him.One day, Monk goes to Bella's house to propose and she accepts. On his way back home, Monk hears clanging fire bells shattering the calm evening and sees the townspeople gathering at the Trescott house which is ablaze. Dr. Trescott and his wife are safe but their son is trapped inside the burning house. Monk runs inside the burning house and fetches Jimmie. But the flames block their exits and Monk must find an alternative escape route through Dr. Trescott's homemade basement lab. In the lab, Monk stumbles and falls. Chemicals on a table explode burning Monk's face. Dr. Trescott rushes into the basement lab through the back door and grabs Jimmie. Firemen save Monk but his face is badly ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

son | handyman | fire | pariah | child | See All (75) »

Taglines:

Stephen Crane's Suspense Story of the MAN WHO LOST HIS FACE! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

9 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face of the Fire  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stage and television actress Bettye Ackerman made her motion picture debut in this film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rare faithful adaptation
24 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having been stung by a few efforts of my own, it is rare outside of educational or PBS to see a film faithful to its literary source like Face of Fire, based on Stephen Crane's story, The Monster. Albert Band's direction sets the atmosphere of small town 1890's America down to the last detail. James Whitmore plays Monk, a hired hand who burns his face rescuing the doctor's son from a horrendous fire. No cures of the time can restore his face so his sweetheart and the townspeople who once admired him soon turn into a lynch mob when women and children frightened by seeing him injure themselves. Monk was a Negro in Crane's story, though, the only detail which might have elevated the film to a racial allegory. The boy's transformation from fear and ignorance back to his kindness and friendship for Monk are a heart string-tugging depiction indeed with photography comparable to Orson Welles' Magnificent Ambersons or Igmar Bergman movies. Filmed in Sweden with excellent music from Erik Nordstrom.


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