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The Face of Another (1966)
"Tanin no kao" (original title)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi  -  9 June 1967 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,193 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 36 critic

A businessman facially scarred in a laboratory fire receives psychotherapy from a psychiatrist, and obtains an amazingly lifelike mask from the doctor. Soon after being fitted for the mask,... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mr. Okuyama
Mikijirô Hira ...
Psychiatrist
...
Nurse
Miki Irie ...
Girl with Scar
...
The Boss
Minoru Chiaki ...
Apartment Superintendent
Hideo Kanze ...
Male Patient
Kunie Tanaka ...
Patient at Mental Hospital
Etsuko Ichihara ...
Yo-Yo Girl
Eiko Muramatsu ...
Secretary
Yoshie Minami ...
Old Lady
Hisashi Igawa ...
Man with Mole
Kakuya Saeki ...
Elder Brother of Girl with Scar
Sen Yano ...
Mentally Ill Man A
Bibari Maeda ...
Singer in Bar
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Storyline

A businessman facially scarred in a laboratory fire receives psychotherapy from a psychiatrist, and obtains an amazingly lifelike mask from the doctor. Soon after being fitted for the mask, he seduces his wife and succeeds. But his wife claims she was aware all along who he was and believed that both were just masquerading together as most couples usually do in different ways. Strangely enough, his personality seemingly begins to change after he puts on the mask as if the mask has influenced his personality. His new identity does not enable him to reintegrate into society after all. A subplot is inserted in fragments. A good-natured young woman, the right side of whose face is disfigured, has been hurt by others' inquisitive eyes and insults, and has been shunned by men. She asks her older brother, the only man who understands her pain and solitude, to make love to her, hiding from him the intent of killing herself after then. Written by Prion

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Have a Stranger's Face  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Psychiatrist: You're not the only lonely man. Being free always involves being lonely. Just there is a mask you can peel off and another you can not.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Tôru Takemitsu
Lyrics by Tatsuji Iwabuchi
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User Reviews

 
Dark and morbid but wholly enthralling
13 November 2008 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

After an industrial accident that leaves his face disfigured for life, Mr. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai)begins to question the meaning of life and his own identity, should he keep working, will his disgusted wife ever sleep with him again. His psychotherapist offers him the chance to avail of an illegal medical practice that he has invented, it's a mask moulded from the face of another, that Okuyama can wear to live life a little more normally. The mask gives him a new lease of life, but his therapist warns him that the mask could take over and influence him to do evil things. As the mask takes control Okuyama can't resist but to give in to his baser instincts, his main plan being, to seduce own wife, that he believes may be cheating on him anyway. With thematic echoes of Franju's Les Yeux sans visage and even Delmer Daves Dark Passage, Teshigahara delivers his expressionistic adaptation of Kôbô Abe's novel with style, the results being a dark and epic tale that will haunt its viewers. Its full of inventive visuals and clever tricks with sound, which along with Tôru Takemitsu's superb score contribute wonderfully to the theme of how fragile identity really is and how the masks we all wear hide our true beings and souls. There's also a secondary story of an unnamed facially deformed girl, who is also struggling to cope with her disfigurements and her tragedy is equally moving.


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