Mask (1985)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This is the true story of Rocky Dennis (Eric Stoltz), a personable young man suffering from "lionitis," a fatal disease which causes hideous facial disfigurement. The son of freewheeling biker Rusty Dennis (Cher), Rocky is accepted without question by his mom's boyfriends and cycle buddies, but treated with pity, condescension, and disgust by much of the outside world. The local high school principal tries to get Rocky classified as brain-damaged so he won't have to enroll the boy in his school, but Rusty fights for her son's rights with the ferocity of a mother lioness. Rocky makes friends easily both at school and at summer camp. He also falls in love with Diana (Laura Dern), a blind girl who cannot see his deformed countenance and is entranced by the boy's kindness and compassion. Now that he's got his own life in order, Rocky sets about to wean his chronically depressed mother from her drug habit. Mask is the sort of story that might have ending up wallowing in its own pathos had the acting, direction and scriptwriting (by Anna Hamilton Phelan) been anything less than very good. The film proved a much-needed financial success for director Peter Bogdanovich, though unfortunately it didn't come soon enough to stave off his declaring personal bankruptcy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
R (adult situations/language)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video


Eric Stoltz
as Rocky Dennis
as Rusty Dennis
Estelle Getty
as Evelyn
Laura Dern
as Diana
Ben Piazza
as Mr. Simms
Joe Unger
as Boy Friend
L. Charles Taylor
as Boy Friend
Todd Allen
as Canuck
Howard Hirdler
as Stickman
Jeannie Dimter Barton
as Junior High Secretary
Steve V. James
as Hospital Intern
Cathy Arden
as Hospital Doctor
Andrew Robinson
as Dr. Vinton
Ivan Jorge Rado
as Dr. Rudinsky
Wayne Grace
as Drug Dealer
Les Dudek
as Bone
Jo-El Sonnier
as Sunshine
Paige Matthews
as Stickman's Girl
Patricia Pelham
as Canuck's Girl
Gale Ricketts
as Sunshine's Girl
Stan Ross
as Drunken Biker
Scott Willardsen
as Junior High Teacher
Marsha Warfield
as Homeroom Teacher
Allison Roth
as Nancy Lawrence
David Scott Milton
as History Teacher
Creed Bratton
as Carnival Ticket Taker
Rummel Mor
as Track Runner
Barry Tubb
as Dewey
Marilyn Hamilton
as Mr. Kaplan's Aide
Anna Thea
as Woman Counselor
Louis Waldon
as Camp Cook
Toni Sawyer
as Mrs. Adams
Chris Rydell
as Senior High STudent
Lou Felder
as Mr. Adams
Christopher Rydell
as High School Student
Eddie Paul
as Biker
Beth McKinley
as High School Student
Jill Whitlow
as Annie Marie
Edward Paul
as Biker
Jeff Jenson
as Biker
Jack Wright
as Biker
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Critic Reviews for Mask

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4)

The film's undeniable impact comes from Bogdanovich's willingness to go too far with practically every emotional moment, while maintaining a distant, classical visual style that gives the film a surface dignity and reserve.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bogdanovich invests the story with warmth, generosity and considerable power.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A wonderful movie, a story of high spirits and hope and courage.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

One of those movies that try so hard to get their supposedly universal message across that they are likely to put your teeth on edge more often than they bring one little, lonely teardrop to the eye.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Exremely well acted family melodrama about a disfigured boy that in the hands of another director could have been a schmaltzy TV Movie of the Week

Full Review… | April 16, 2011

Complex, moving story most appropriate for teens.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Mask


A movie with a lot a heart. But sadly nobody wants to watch such a sad story ever again.

Jim Careter
Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

Unlike the tale of the handsome prince who exists inside a toad, ''Mask'' is a movie whose ugly exterior hides not a beautiful soul but a sentimental one...

 ♥Robyn  M♥
♥Robyn M♥

Super Reviewer


I remember watching this movie when I was younger wondering when the rig was going to drive out and turn into the command center like it does on the cartoon. When I finally figured out that this movie and the cartoon M.A.S.K. were not the same thing I found that it was a pretty good story with good acting.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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