“It’s Monk, all right — but he looks like a devil!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
It’s all the more tragic, then, when nearly everyone turns against him after he has heroically rescued the son (Miko Oscard) of a doctor (Cameron Mitchell) from a burning house. Unfortunately, this collective change of heart is much too drastic to seem authentic: while Peter Lorre’s disfigured watchmaker in The Face Behind the Mask (1941) somewhat realistically scares those he meets for the first time, it’s much more difficult to believe that an entire town would suddenly be frightened of — and disgusted by — someone they’ve known for years. Nonetheless, Face of Fire‘s uneven screenplay (perhaps a function of its source material, though I haven’t read the original story) is redeemed by Band’s creative direction, effective cinematography (shot in Sweden!), and a handful of excellent performances.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: