Face of Fire (1959) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A local handyman saves a child in a fire, but the burns he receives disfigure his face so much that the townspeople avoid him.

  • In 1898, in a small American town, Dr. Ned Trescott and his family live a quiet life. The family employs Monk Johnson as a handyman who also spends time with Dr. Trescott's son, Jimmie and is considered part of the family. Monk and Jimmie enjoy going fishing. Monk's fiancée, Bella, plans to marry him.One day, Monk goes to Bella's house to propose and she accepts. On his way back home, Monk hears clanging fire bells shattering the calm evening and sees the townspeople gathering at the Trescott house which is ablaze. Dr. Trescott and his wife are safe but their son is trapped inside the burning house. Monk runs inside the burning house and fetches Jimmie. But the flames block their exits and Monk must find an alternative escape route through Dr. Trescott's homemade basement lab. In the lab, Monk stumbles and falls. Chemicals on a table explode burning Monk's face. Dr. Trescott rushes into the basement lab through the back door and grabs Jimmie. Firemen save Monk but his face is badly burned. Later, while the house is being rebuilt, surgeons work on Monk's face but it remains grotesquely disfigured. His brain also seems to be injured. Wearing a black veil over his hideous face, Monk is sent to live with a farmer who cares for him for a small fee. One day, Monk runs away and wanders trough the town, peering into windows, scaring the children. His grotesque face is terrifying the superstitious townsfolk who start considering him evil, a bad omen and a danger for the community. Townspeople chase Monk away who is frightened and confused by people's reaction toward him. He becomes a pariah in his community who decides that Monk must be caught and killed.Alarmed by this, Dr. Trescott finds the town sheriff and the judge in order to stop the mob from lynching Monk. This means Dr. Trescott has to find Monk before the mob does.



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