Mask (1985)

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Movie Overview | Mask

Tagline: They told 16 year old Rocky Dennis he could never be like everyone else. So he was determined to be better.

A boy with a massive facial skull deformity and his biker gang mother attempts to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances.

In 1978 Azusa, California, Rocky Dennis, a boy with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, is accepted without question by his freewheeling biker mother’s boyfriend, his “extended motorcycle family,” and his maternal grandparents who love baseball cards, but others misunderstand him and treat him with fear, pity, awkwardness, and teasing. Despite her wild habits as a Turks motorcycle gang member and her poor connection with her father, Rocky’s mother, Florence “Rusty” Dennis, wants to provide him a regular existence.

She battles a principal who wants to label Rocky intellectually impaired and send him to a special education school, even though his illness has not harmed his IQ. Rocky reports feeling well during his semi-annual checkup despite headaches his mother can relieve by singing. Rusty laughs when a young doctor informs him Rocky’s life expectancy is six months, saying many previous physicians have made baseless statements regarding Rocky’s health.

At the film’s conclusion, Rocky’s biker family—Rusty, Gar, and Dozer—leaves flowers and 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cards at his grave as Rocky recites his English class poetry.

Writer Anna Hamilton Phelan

Producer Martin Starger

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