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The Mask is a 1994 American superhero fantasy action comedy film based on a series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics. This film was directed by Chuck Russell, and produced by Dark Horse Entertainment and New Line Cinema, and originally released to movie theatres on July 29, 1994. The film stars Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss, a man who finds the Mask of Loki that turns him into The Mask, a grinning, magically-powered trickster uninhibited by anything, including physical reality. The film's supporting cast includes Peter Greene as mafia officer Dorian Tyrell, Amy Yasbeck as a newspaper reporter, Peter Riegert and Jim Doughan as two police detectives, Richard Jeni as Stanley's friend, Orestes Matacena as nightclub owner and mafia boss Niko, Ben Stein as a psychologist, and Cameron Diaz in her feature film debut as Stanley's love interest Tina Carlyle.
The movie was among the top ten moneymakers of its year, cemented Carrey's reputation as one of the dominant comedic actors of the era, and established Diaz as a major starlet immediately, who would go on to have a long career 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.
Shy and luckless clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) works at an Edge City bank. He is tormented by nearly everyone except for his Jack Russell Terrier Milo and his co-worker Charlie Schumaker (Richard Jeni). Meanwhile, gangster Dorian Tyrell (Peter Greene) operates a nightclub called the Coco Bongo while plotting to overthrow his boss Niko (Orestes Matacena). Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) into Stanley's bank to record its layout, in preparation to rob the bank. Stanley is attracted to Tina, and she seems to reciprocate. After being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, he finds a mysterious wooden mask near the city's harbor. Placing it on his face transforms him into a zoot-suited, green-faced, bizarre trickster known as The Mask, who is able to cartoonishly alter himself and his surroundings at will. The transformed Stanley exacts revenge on some of his tormentors, including the auto mechanics who had ripped him off the night before and his bullying landlord Mrs. Peenman (Nancy Fish). When a street gang attempts to rob him, he scares them by turning a balloon into a Tommy gun.
The next morning, Stanley encounters Lieutenant Kellaway (Peter Riegert), Detective Doyle (Jim Doughan), and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt (Amy Yasbeck) investigating The Mask's activity. Despite being sought by the police, he again becomes The Mask in order to steal money targeted by Tyrell and attend Tina's performance. At the Coco Bongo, The Mask dances exuberantly with Tina, whom he ends up kissing. Following a confrontation with Tyrell, The Mask flees, leaving behind a scrap of cloth belonging to himself. Kellaway suspects that Stanley is behind the bank robbery, but Stanley dissuades him. Stanley consults an expert on masks named Dr. Arthur Neuman (Ben Stein), who tells him that the object is a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Still later, Stanley transforms into The Mask again and meets Tina at the local Landfill Park. He is interrupted by Kellaway and Doyle, who attempt to arrest him. However The Mask distracts them by tricking a large group of Edge City police officers into joining him in a mass performance of the Desi Arnaz song "Cuban Pete". Stanley flees with Peggy, but he is betrayed to Tyrell for a $50,000 bounty.
Tyrell tries on the mask and becomes a malevolent green-faced being. Forced to reveal the location of the stolen money, Stanley is kept hostage in one of the mob's cars while Tyrell's henchmen reclaim the money. Stanley is later handed over to Kellaway and Doyle, along with a green rubber mask, to be detained. When Tina visits Stanley in his cell, he urges her to flee the city. Tina thanks Stanley for treating her with respect and tells him that she knew that he was The Mask all along. She tries to leave the city, but is captured by Orlando and Tyrell. They take her to a charity ball hosted by Niko and attended by the city's elite, including the city's mayor, Mitchell Tilton (Ivory Ocean). At the ball, the masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina. Milo helps Stanley escape from prison, and, bringing Kellaway as a cover and hostage, they go to the club to stop Tyrell. After briefly securing the assistance of Charlie, Stanley is spotted by Orlando and captured. Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which is recovered and donned by Milo, turning the dog into a cartoonish pitbull who defeats Tyrell's men while Stanley fights Tyrell.
After recovering the mask, Stanley uses its abilities to save Tina by swallowing Tyrell's bomb and flushing Tyrell down the drain of the club's ornamental fountain. The police arrive and arrest Tyrell's remaining henchmen while Kellaway and Doyle arrest Stanley again. In order to enable Kellaway and Doyle to release Stanley, Tilton announces to everyone that Tyrell was The Mask the whole time, tells Stanley that he is a hero, and thanks him for saving lives. He goes on to say that he will need to meet with Kellaway and Doyle in his office the next morning. All charges against Stanley are dropped. The next day, as the sun rise, Stanley, Tina, Milo, and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor. Tina throws the mask into the water, and she and Stanley celebrate their victory with a kiss. Charlie tries to retrieve the mask for himself, only to find Milo swimming away with it.
- Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss / The Mask. Jim Carrey, who portrays Stanley Ipkiss, commented that he characterized Stanley after his own father: "a nice guy, just trying to get by". When Ipkiss puts on the Mask, he becomes a suave cartoon figure having the ability to manipulate his own shape and the world around him to a superhuman extent.
- Cameron Diaz as Tina Carlyle, the girlfriend of mobster Dorian Tyrell who is largely dissatisfied with Dorian as a partner, but does not deny him until courted by his rival. This role marked the feature film debut for Cameron Diaz. Before Diaz was cast, the studio considered casting Anna Nicole Smith, Vanessa L. Williams and Kristy Swanson.
- Richard Jeni as Charlie Schumaker, Stanley's best friend and colleague. Charlie is amiable, but can be selfish or irrational at times.
- Peter Riegert as Lt. Mitch Kellaway, a slightly cynical police detective who pursues the Mask, Dorian, and Niko throughout the film.
- Jim Doughan as Detective Doyle, Lt. Kellaway's slightly-inept partner.
- Peter Greene as Dorian Tyrell, a mafia officer who desires to kill his superior. When Dorian wears the Mask, he becomes a troll-like figure representing his malice, and exhibits beastial behavior. He also views Stanley as a rival, but it is not Stanley himself that he wants, it's his alter-ego when wearing the Mask.
- Amy Yasbeck as Peggy Brandt, a reporter with a crush on Stanley. In an earlier draft, the character is killed by Dorian when first transformed by the Mask.
- Orestes Matacena as Niko, the mafia boss of Edge City and owner of the Coco Bongo Club.
- Nancy Fish as Mrs. Peenman, Stanley's cantankerous land-lady.
- Tim Bagley as Irv Ripley, Mechanic on Ipkiss's car and Burt's brother.
- Johnny Williams as Burt Ripley, Mechanic on Ipkiss's car and Irv's brother.
- Reginald E. Cathey as Freeze, Dorian Tyrell's bodyguard and best friend.
- Denis Forest as Sweet Eddy, one of Tyrell's thugs.
- Ivory Ocean as Mayor Mitchell Tilton
- Joely Fisher as Maggie, a female friend of Stanley's
- Ben Stein as Dr. Arthur Neuman, a psychologist who tells Ipkiss of the Mask being representative of Loki. He is the only character to appear in both The Mask and its sequel Son of the Mask.
- Jeremy Roberts as Bobby the Bouncer