Sarah’s Travels

Pilgrimage through the locations of the movie Mask and homage to Rusty Dennis
By:Sarah in Monrovia CA
Date: 26 April 2016

This page is for those of you who remember the 1985 movie "Mask" with Sam Elliott and Cher. Nobody else would be interested in this page. The movie is based on the life of young Rocky Dennis who was suffering from "disfiguring cranial enlargements" and his biker mother Rusty Dennis (played by Cher). Sam Elliot, who plays Gar, Rusty's boyfriend, decorates my world. On his Harley in this movie, he is for me the most handsome man on earth. But that's beside the point.

The point is that Rusty was a healer and a medium. The movie briefly shows her healing Rocky's headaches; that's the only allusion to her gifts, which unfolded when she met spiritualists after Rocky's death.

Spiritualists do what they do...Those of you who are spiritualist will know what I mean. And because I ride a bike and Rusty was riding a bike, there are strong affinities between us. This is what I want to celebrate through these photos that I took in Monrovia and in LA in March 2016. I went to the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights (east side of Los Angeles) and found the exact location of Red's tomb in Mask. Next time I will find the exact location Rocky's headstone in the movie (in real life, his body was not interred at the cemetery because his body was given to a research institute). Then I went to Gar's shop in the movie, corner of Eastern and Loveland; there is a real shop at that location.

And the most beautiful gift of all: When I arrived at the house where the movie was filmed in Monrovia (note: It's NOT the house where Rocky and Rusty were living), I met the truly wonderful family who live in that house and they kindly allowed me to visit the house and put some photos on this site. It was a very touching moment, this house is meaningful to me. It was my pilgrimage, like other people visit Jerusalem or Bethleem.

First, the cemetery. Here is the location of Red's funerals in the movie; we can see Sam's back, as he is standing in the middle of the picture.

And here is this location in the cemetery:

This is Gar's shop in the movie:

And the real-life shop, corner of Eastern and Loveland. The last parking space on the left would have been close to where Gar and Rocky were talking in the picture above:

On my way to the Mask house: This is the view that we see at the beginning of the movie:

Sam near the sink while Rusty talks with her mother:

The real sink - Although I belong to the top 0.1% of non-domestic women (for example, I make it a point never to eat at home), I was realy touched by this sink - it looks like the same one as in the movie:

Sam was standing right here when his character Gar waved goodbye to Rocky and his grand parents:

Same view from the house:

Cher arriving at the house:

The real house (picture cropped in order to preserve the privacy of the owners. Renewed thanks to them):

Below: The real Florence "Rusty Dennis" Steinberg Tullis (article in People)