The Man without a Face (1993)

The Man without a Face (1993)
  • Time: 112 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Mel Gibson
  • Cast: Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl, Margaret Whitton


The story of a relationship between a teacher and his troubled pupil. Justin McLeod is a former teacher who lives as a recluse on the edge of town. His face is disfigured from an automobile accident and fire ten years before in which a boy was incinerated and for which he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He is also suspected of being a pedophile. He is befriended by Chuck, igniting the town’s suspicion and hostility. McLeod instills in his protégé a love of justice and freedom from prejudice which sustains Chuck beyond the end of the film.

One comment

  • The Man Without a Face is a very special film about the emotional bonds of friendships, the pains of prejudice, discrimination, and the beauty of discovering your inner self. It’s about learning who you are, what you could become, and that a person’s wrong perceptions about someone can shatter their dreams. But I think the moral of this landmark movie is how even though your dreams can be shattered, you learn and work as hard as you can to to archive your goals.

    Mel Gibson is brilliant as the teacher who instills confidence in a young teen from a broken home. Nick Stahl gives an awe-inspiring performance in looking for a father figure and friend that he never had. His overworked mother and uncaring sisters have no support for him, so Chuck must set out to not only receive help in passing a state military entrance exam, but also to bond with a very special caring person in his life, his tutor and best friend.

    The chemistry between the two actors is amazing! Nick Stahl, probably about 12 in this movie has the wit and compassion of 20 year old. Mel Gibson has a wonderful quality for starting out as a recluse to Nick and the community. He has a badly scarred face and body from an automobile accident in which a boy died. The authorities believe that his character, Justin Mcleod, molested the boy in the car and the jury convicted him. Now, after his release from prison, Mcleod is back in the neighborhood, choosing to live in seclusion but devoted to writing, poetry, creating impressionistic art statues, and paintings. The community gets word that Chuck is being tutored and now assumes the worst, that Mcleod is abusing the boy. We also learn that Chuck’s own father spent time drinking and was abusive to his own family, dying in a mental institution. The movie draws you in and you will have to decide who to believe and why? Can a man overcome his shattered past to build a positive relationship with his passion for teaching art, math, writing, and Shakespeare? How will the boy’s family and small town react to this? How much does Justin’s physical deformity factor into his acceptance by the community?

    The movie doesn’t provide any easy answers to these questions. In fact, many of these questions are open to interpretation. But the heartfelt intensity, and special bond of friendship, between the actors in this movie will make you feel many emotions. It’s a wonderful film!

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