The Man Without A Face
'The Man Without a Face' is a 1993 American drama film, starring and directed by Mel Gibson, in his first film as a director and actor. The film is based on Isabelle Holland's 1972 novel of the same name.
The film takes place in the late 1960s and explores the life of Justin McLeod (Gibson), a former teacher, who has lived an isolated existence ever since a car accident left him disfigured down the right side of his face and chest, by burns sustained in the post-crash fire.
A young boy, Chuck, sees McLeod on a ferry and is slightly scared and intrigued by him. Chuck needs a tutor to help him pass a military academy's entrance exam and McLeod seems to be the only one that truly believes he can and will succeed. Eventually, Chuck is able to persuade McLeod to become his teacher and the two develop a friendship.
Chuck keeps his daily meetings with McLeod a secret to avoid the scorn of being associated with the disfigured man with a past shrouded in mystery. When Chuck’s mother gets to know about his tutor, McLeod is subjected to unnecessary ridicule and is branded as a child molester.
Chuck confronts McLeod to learn the truth of his disfigurement in the car crash, and finds out that, because McLeod was in a car accident with a student of his, he was branded a pedophile and exiled from his hometown, convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Once his relationship with Chuck is openly known, McLeod is once again railed out of town and ordered by the authorities to have no contact with Chuck.
On his way out of town, McLeod leaves Chuck a note wishing him luck in his academic goals and reminds him to be tolerant with people who are different. In the film's finale, Chuck is shown graduating from the military academy and sees a familiar figure in the background, recognizing it as his tutor, the man without a face.
The movie received 3 nominations for the 1994 Young artist awards and Gibson's directorial debut received respectful reviews from most critics.