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The Man Without a Face
The Man Without a Face
Actors: Jean De Baer, Jack De Mave, Michael DeLuise, Gaby Hoffmann, Justin Kanew
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts
PG-13     2004     1hr 55min

A boy, struggling to pass the entrance exam to his late father's alma mater and virtually ignored by his mother and two sisters, asks Justin Mcleod, a solitary ex-teacher with a tragic past, to tuter him. as thetwo apply t...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jean De Baer, Jack De Mave, Michael DeLuise, Gaby Hoffmann, Justin Kanew
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Drama, Music Artists, Classic Rock
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Original Release Date: 08/25/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 08/25/1993
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

Different from the novel but excellent in its own right
E. Marin | Palo Alto, CA United States | 01/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mel Gibson does justice to a wonderful story (based on the novel by Isabelle Holland) in "The Man Without a Face," his directorial debut. Commonly underrated as an actor because of his good looks and blockbuster action hits, Gibson is also terrific as the scarred recluse Justin McLeod, cantankerous and charismatic by turns. Like his student, Chuck (Nick Stahl), we notice the terrible burns less and less as the friendship between the boy and his tutor develops, as we penetrate the surface to the beauty beneath. (By the way, as one reviewer noted, only one half of McLeod's face has been disfigured - the title refers, not to McLeod, but to Chuck's absent father.)I do wonder why Gibson chose to eliminate the homoerotic overtones in their relationship - in the novel, Chuck's yearning for a genuine father figure is inextricably entangled with his confusion regarding his sexual identity and attraction to his tutor, and these twin needs force the dramatic climax that ends their time together. Perhaps Gibson preferred to keep the plot simpler, concentrating on the themes of prejudice, the joy of teaching, and the friendship and platonic love that his protagonists learn from each other. Or perhaps he feared that his viewing audience would not be as sympathetic towards a homosexual McLeod who killed a previous pupil in a drunk driving accident. Some reviewers appear to feel that the movie did not end as well as it began, and I think this could well be chalked up to the Hollywood sanitization of the last third of Holland's book.Still, this is a quietly splendid first film for director Gibson - a moving tribute to the transformative power of friendship and a funny, sometimes painful coming-of-age story expertly combined."
First time's a charm.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 05/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mel Gibson's first time directing is notably successful. The Man Without A Face is warm movie with themes touching prejudice, the relationship between teacher and student, and faces of deception. Chuck Norstadt is a young boy whose mother's capricious relationships have sent her skimming through multiple marriages and developing a considerable deal of tension at home. The dysfunctional family leaves Chuck desperately looking for companionship. He finds an unlikely friend, the town's "freak," Justin McLeod (Gibson), who had half his face horribly scarred in a car accident. McLeod lives in a big house on the coast as a lonely hermit whose past is shrouded in ugly rumors and fear.McLeod becomes Chuck's tutor and his friend, although Chuck will do some teaching of his own. They both realize they have a lot to learn about each other, and their friendship develops into something stirring and honest. Things get complicated when vile rumors and intolerance threaten to separate them, though.The script is smart, and Gibson's direction guides this film with a discerning knack for emotional lucidity and realism. Nick Stahl (as Chuck) is one of the few young actors who can do emotional expression that doesn't seem forced and stupid. This is critical, because bad casting for Chuck would seriously have ruined this movie. Gibson, of course, is great here, but what would you expect? He's a tremendously versatile actor. I do think the movie probably should have been about 10 minutes longer to flesh out the ending a bit. That's not a huge complaint...the last scene in the movie makes up for any disappointment because it is very moving and evocative in its simplicity. Ahh...truly an excellent movie."
A Powerhouse of a movie
Erik Pack | Winter Haven, FL USA | 08/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is an incredible moving expierience. Nick Stahl plays Chuck Nordstatt in this coming of age drama. The charming kid is beleved to be "too unstable and removed" to complete his dream: to be a pilot in the army. Once more, he doesn't have any recollection of his father, and his mother refuses to divulge such secrets. His older sister, and many of his friends think he is seriously disturbed. So he begins to question his self worth, and begins to think he is crazy. Then he meets with resident town freak,( Mel Gibson in his most powerful performance ever) an ex-teacher who decides to tutor him to help him acquire his dream. The movie teaches a valuable lesson, but doesn't come off as preachy(which is to it's benifit) Both charachters find what they are searching for in each other. The resoloution is visually stunning and touching. It proves that someone you've known for only a short time can impact you for the duration of your life."
Mel Gibson's most underrated movie
retrowens | Alabama, USA | 01/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Man Without a Face" is one of the very few Mel Gibson movies that you don't ever hear all that much about. That's a huge mystery to me because I thought it was one of his best movies by far, and that's saying a lot after he's made so many great movies such as the Lethal Weapon series, "Braveheart," and many other blockbusters. Mr. McLeod (Mel Gibson) used to be a teacher until he was involved in a car crash and one of his pupils died in the crash. McLeod was rumored to have abused the boy when he didn't do anything. Now McLeod has been living in a town as an outcast for 7 years. He has major scars on one side of his face and he doesn't interact with hardly anybody. However, one day, 12-year-old Charles (Nick Stahl) asks McLeod to help him study for a test that he wants to take to try to get into the military academy. What neither McLeod nor Charles knows at the time is that they're a lot alike. Charles is emotionally neglected and McLeod is an outcast who is all by himself with no friends."Man Without a Face" is a spectacular movie. In my opinion, I think it's one of the most underrated movies that has ever been made. I think it should be one of the best known and most popular movies ever because it really is a great movie. It's a movie about true friendship and loyalty when the going gets rough. I recommend "Man Without a Face" to anybody that likes watching great movies."