THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE marks a solidly crafted directorial debut for actor Mel Gibson, who approaches his melodramatic story with commendable restraint. The heart-tugging script is overly sentimental, but Gibson is to be congratulated for taking a few uncompromising detours in his
handling of the material.
Alienated in a 1960s household dominated by women, teenager Chuck Norstadt (Nick Stahl) yearns to gain admittance to the military academy his father attended. Having failed the entrance exam once, he elects to try again. Chuck is belittled by his jealous older sister, Gloria (Fay Masterson), and
humored by his much-married mother, Catherine (Margaret Whitto...