Mask is a sentimental favorite of mine. Being disabled, I can relate to the story of Rocky Dennis. The looks you get, the murmured comments that they think you can't hear, the rejection you face courtesy of the opposite sex...I understand it. Yes, I cried during this film. Most people will. It hits all of the same notes that The Elephant Man hits, only with a sharper edge because of its modern realism. Eric Stoltz's make-up is amazing. I've included a picture of the real Rocky below. It's uncanny.

Stoltz gives a human, multi-layered performance that brings the script home. The same could be said of every performance in the film. Cher, of all people, was the perfect choice to play Rusty, Rocky's mulish, case-hardened mother. She conveys so much through her eyes. You can see how much Rusty loves her son, how willing she is to fight for him and his rights. No matter how much bullshit is shoveled her way via doctors and principals, she remains undeterred, all the while giving Rocky the temerity to plow through Hell like a soldier at arms.

Sam Elliot plays Sam Elliot. I don't think he's ever played anyone but Sam Elliot. For what it's worth, he does his thing. That sumbitch defies all film critics to needle away at his acting skills. He's a rough-around-the-edges sweetheart, and by God, every woman within a 10-mile radius wants to bang the filament out of him. Take it or leave it! The rest of the cast is solid. Keep your eyes peeled for an old-young Estelle Getty (was she born at age 50?).

Since Mask is a biopic, the plot doesn't depend on a core storyline. There is still an interesting sequence of events, though. The music chosen for certain scenes is almost poetic. The soundtrack is slathered in Bob Seger songs, but originally, director Peter Bogdanavich wanted Bruce Springsteen songs to appear in the film. When you consider that the music heard in the initial cut of Mask was what they settled for, it's astonishing to see how well the soundtrack works with the character drama. The Springsteen material can now be found on the director's cut DVD.

Simply put, I love this film. I don't crack easily, so any film that makes me cry is worth watching. It's also a fun flick for those entertained by fistfights and motorcycles. Talk about a great date movie for dudes. Slip it in after Roadhouse, and you'll probably get laid. Hey, Sam Elliot starred in both Mask and Roadhouse. Coincidence? I think not.


  1. Can't believe I've never seen this. One more to add to the queue.

  2. I also cried during this film, and during The Elephant Man! I couldnt believe I had not watched that David Lynch before, it was so moving...and sad!

    I need to re-watch this one, it gets me nostalgic about the 80s, I used to watch it a lot with my mom!

  3. Mask is top flick. Seen it twice now. I wouldn't mind the director's cut. Laura Dern is hot!

  4. Sam Elliot just rocks. Love the man. AND love this movie. I haven't seen it for years. I cry everytime. Of course, I seem to cry with almost every remote sad scene of any movie out there. Hell, I've even gotten teary eyed at some of the sad commercials. I cry too easily with both books and movies.

    The movie is a good one though, I love Cher's character in it since she's not the typical mother figure and it's realistic.