Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a bank clerk that is an incredibly nice man. Unfortunately, he is too nice for his own good and is a pushover when it comes to confrontations. After one of the worst days of his life, he finds a mask that depicts Loki, the Norse night god of mischief.
Now, when he puts it on, he becomes his inner, self: a cartoon romantic wild man. However, a small time crime boss, Dorian Tyrel (Peter Greene), comes across this character dubbed “The Mask” by the media. After Ipkiss’s alter ego indirectly kills his friend in crime, Tyrel now wants this green-faced goon destroyed.
The Mask is a 1994 American live-action/animated superhero fantasy comedy film directed by Charles Russell, produced by Bob Engelman, and written by Mike Werb, loosely based on the comic series of the same name distributed by Dark Horse Comics. The film stars Jim Carrey, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck, Peter Riegert, Richard Jeni, Ben Stein, Joely Fisher, and Cameron Diaz in her film debut. It revolves around an unlucky bank clerk finding the Mask of Loki that grants him extraordinary cartoon-like superpowers, and causing havoc around an industrial city.
The film was released on July 29, 1994 by New Line Cinema, becoming a critical and commercial blockbuster, grossing over $351.6 million over a $23 million budget and receiving positive reviews. It cemented Carrey’s reputation as a dominant actor of the 1990s, and established Diaz long-term as a leading lady. Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role, and the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects but lost to Forrest Gump.
The film was a box-office success, grossing $119 million domestically and over $350 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest grossing superhero movie at that time, behind Batman. The film also received positive reviews from critics, including Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, noting Jim Carrey for his “joyful performance.”
The Mask is one of three films featuring Carrey (the others being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber) released in 1994 that helped launch the actor to superstardom, though The Mask was the most successful of these three films both critically and commercially. The film is also notable for immediately establishing Diaz – previously a complete unknown – as a major star in Hollywood as well.
The Mask: Music From the Motion Picture was released on July 26, 1994 on Chaos Records through Sony Music Entertainment. It features music from Xscape, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Vanessa Williams, Harry Connick Jr., Carrey himself and more.
“Cuban Pete” (C & C Pop Radio Edit) – Jim Carrey
“Who’s That Man?” – Xscape
“This Business of Love” – Domino
“Bounce Around” – Tony! Toni! Toné!
“(I Could Only) Whisper Your Name” – Harry Connick Jr.
“You Would Be My Baby” – Vanessa Williams
“Hi De Ho” – K7
“Let the Good Times Roll” – Fishbone
“Straight Up” – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
“Hey! Pachuco!” – Royal Crown Revue
“Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You” – Susan Boyd
“Cuban Pete” (Arkin Movie Mix) – Jim Carrey
The record label Epic Soundtrax released an orchestral score soundtrack to The Mask shortly after the original soundtrack’s release. The score was composed and conducted by Randy Edelman and performed by the Irish Film Orchestra.
The Mask (1994)
Directed by: Charles Russell
Starring: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck, Richard Jeni, Orestes Matacena, Johnny Williams, Denis Forest, Reg E. Cathey
Screenplay by: Mike Werb
Production Design by: Craig Stearns
Cinematography by: John R. Leonetti
Film Editing by: Arthur Coburn
Costume Design by: Ha Nguyen
Set Decoration by: Ellen Totleben
Art Direction by: Randy Moore
Music by: Randy Edelman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some stylized violence.
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Release Date: July 29, 1994