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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  9 June 1967 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 4,029 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 36 critic

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.


(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Okuyama
Mikijirô Hira ...
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 ...
Yoshie Minami ...
Old Lady
Hisashi Igawa ...
Man with Mole
Kakuya Saeki ...
Elder Brother of Girl with Scar
Sen Yano ...
Mentally Ill Man A
Beverly Maeda ...
Singer in Bar (as Bibari Maeda)


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


Drama | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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?


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 »


References The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »


Music by Tôru Takemitsu
Lyrics by Tatsuji Iwabuchi
See more »

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User Reviews

Not science fiction
5 April 2005 | by (Tellus) – See all my reviews

Mr. Okuyama is involved in an accident at work which melts off his face and this understandably is constantly nagging him. This makes a mark on the relationship with his wife as he talks out at her about how miserable he is and what a monster he has become. He then talks his psychiatrist into making him a new face (which was quite easily done since the psychiatrist has had these kind of thoughts before) and he then goes on 'vacation'.

This is so excellent in every way. It is not a sci-fi movie, but in feel it sometimes comes close to. The images are quite surreal at times, the music is out of this world and some of the sets are not to be found in real life.

The editing is masterfully done, switching between main story and a parallel story about a girl with a similar problem, as well as switching between hand-held camera (not too shaky though), still pictures and still standing camera. The pictures of Segawa Hiroshi fits 35mm nicely, sometimes manipulating the background like I haven't seen before for example when the psychiatrist and Mr. Okayama is talking at the club and the crowd behind get 'invisible' by lighting.

Kyou Machiko did a terrific job in Ozu's 'Ukigusa' and likewise here. Too bad we don't see that much of her. Nakudai Tatsuya plays well as the mask. I don't know exactly what was special effects and not, but it was hard to tell.

Author and writer of screenplay Abe Koubou, director Teshigahara Hiroshi and Takemitsu Touru was behind another favourite of mine; 'Suna no Onna'. They also made 'Moetsukita Chizu' and I cant wait to get my hands on it!!

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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