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The Face of Another (1966)

Tanin no kao (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 9 June 1967 (USA)
A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.


(screenplay), (novel)
2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Okuyama
Mikijirô Hira ...
Miki Irie ...
Girl with Scar
The Boss
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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The source material for this film came from a Kôbô Abe novel of the same name. Abe also wrote the screenplay for this film. See more »


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 La Jetée (1962) See more »


Music by Tôru Takemitsu
Lyrics by Tatsuji Iwabuchi
See more »

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User Reviews

24 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A film as brilliant as it is unsettling, the story of Okuyama, a married man who gets disfigured in the face by an industrial accident and goes to a psychiatrist, who makes a mask for him to wear. Tatsuya Nakadai is not even recognized until 50 minutes into the film, otherwise his face is in bandages. Its amazing what happens from there, what Okuyama discovers about himself once he dons the mask (or, the mask dons him) and how it has changed him. If the film centered only on him it would be more than fine. However, there are two unusual female roles which deserve mention: One is a girl who is obsessed with yo-yo's and who knows that Okuyama is the person in the mask (you will see why). The other is the very pretty Miki Irie, whose story is similar to Okuyama in that she is horribly disfigured, but her hair hides it until it doesn't. Okuyama and this lady never meet, which I think is a great idea, since wearing the mask means Okuyama does not have to show his disfigurement in public. The acting is uniformly wonderful, with lesser but pivotal roles by Machiko Kyo as Okuyama's wife and Kyoko Kishida as the nurse. Just be warned that this film is in no way conventional. It is a psychological drama rather than science fiction. I thought it was excellent.

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