8.0/10
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Tanin no kao (1966)

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.

Writers:

Kôbô Abe (screenplay), Kôbô Abe (novel)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

9 June 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Have a Stranger's Face See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Missing (from being credited) is the song performed in the bar by the young Japanese singer in German. See more »

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

References Les yeux sans visage (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Ten Little Indians
(uncredited)
Traditional American melody
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not science fiction
5 April 2005 | by AtavistenSee 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!!


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