The Man Without a Face (1993)
What Army Archerd said: GOOD MORNING: Mel Gibson admits WB wondered why he wanted to make “The Man Without a Face,” in which half of his face is disfigured from a fire. “And the disfigurement is pretty bad. I wanted to do something really different,” Gibson told me. However, WB was quick to call me yesterday to happily report that the San Diego sneak’s results topped those of “Lethal Weapon III”! Gibson’s “look” will be shown in trailers for the pic’s bow, Aug. 25. (Print ads will only show his face shaded.) “It (the face) didn’t put off the audience,” Gibson reports. “They were really into the performances.” He shares the successful reaction with 12-year-old co-star Nick Stahl, “the best kid actor I’ve ever seen.” Gibson also directed, you recall. And he is anxious to return to helming again soon.
What Variety said: Mel Gibson’s directing debut reinforces his status as a genuinely fine actor, a fact often lost amid the explosions and car crashes in the “Lethal Weapon” and “Mad Max” trilogies. This simple, sappy film lacks those flashy trappings but compensates with ample heart, promising a solid mid-range box office earner on the order of Gibson’s last foray into such sentimental territory, “Forever Young.”