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Face/Off (1997)

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In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.

Director:

John Woo
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Popularity
1,426 ( 237)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Sean Archer
Nicolas Cage ... Castor Troy
Joan Allen ... Eve Archer
Alessandro Nivola ... Pollux Troy
Gina Gershon ... Sasha Hassler
Dominique Swain ... Jamie Archer
Nick Cassavetes ... Dietrich Hassler
Harve Presnell ... Victor Lazarro
Colm Feore ... Dr. Malcolm Walsh
John Carroll Lynch ... Prison Guard Walton
CCH Pounder ... Hollis Miller
Robert Wisdom ... Tito Biondi
Margaret Cho ... Wanda
James Denton ... Buzz (as Jamie Denton)
Matt Ross ... Loomis
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Storyline

Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent, is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son's killer is his sworn enemy and a very powerful criminal, Castor Troy. One day, Archer has finally cornered Castor, however, their fight has knocked out Troy cold. As Archer finally breathes easy over the capture of his enemy, he finds out that Troy has planted a bomb that will destroy the entire city of Los Angeles and all of its inhabitants. Unfortunately the only other person who knows its location is Castor's brother Pollux, and he refuses to talk. The solution, a special operation doctor that can cut off people's faces, and can place a person's face onto another person. Archer undergoes one of those surgeries to talk to Pollux. However, Castor Troy somehow regains consciousness and now wants revenge on Archer for taking his face. Not only is Troy ruining Archer's mission, but his personal life as well. Archer must stop Troy again. This time, it's personal. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In order to trap him, he must become him. [DVD] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense sequences of strong violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face Off See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,387,530, 29 June 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$112,225,777, 2 November 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$128,000,000, 22 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-screenwriter Mike Werb got the idea for the face surgery from a friend who had a hang-gliding accident. They had to remove most of the skin from his face, reconstruct the bone matter, and put his face back on. See more »

Goofs

A major medical risk of any transplant is that the recipient's body may reject it. Dr. Walsh should have known that the face swap operation may result in severe adverse side effects if Archer and Troy's DNA were not compatible. See more »

Quotes

Castor Troy: [whispering into a choir's girl's ear] I never really enjoyed the Messiah, in fact, I think it's fucking boring. But your voice makes even hack like Handel seem like a genius.
[sings "Hallelujah" along with the choir, then grabs the girl's butt and orgasms]
See more »


Soundtracks

Miserere
By Gregorio Allegri
Performed by Westminster Abbey Choir (as Choir of Westminster Abbey) under the direction of Simon Preston
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH, Hamburg
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An Action Classic That Will Never Lose Its Appeal
23 July 2005 | by gatsby2244See all my reviews

I consider John Woo to be one of the greatest action movie directors in the world,and "Face/Off" proves just that.However,the element that makes this film one of the most intense and spectacular action movies to ever come from Hollywood is the presence of two tremendously talented actors,both of whom are my favorites.Yes,when you have John Travolta and Nicholas Cage together in a movie ,the results are bound to be over the top. John Travolta plays Sean Archer,a dedicated FBI agent who survived a murder attempt by notorious criminal Castor Troy six years ago. However,tragically his son died instead of him and since than Archer is relentlessly chasing Troy.Nicholas Cage plays Troy,and the film begins with a spectacular chase where we see the sheer intensity generated by both these great actors,and you realize that this is not going to be just another action flick. Troy escapes,but his younger brother Pollux Troy(played by Alessandro Nivola) falls into Archer's hands,along with a floppy that contains the blueprint for a bomb to be detonated in downtown L.A. Pollux refuses to reveal the location of the bomb and then a desperate Archer is given an option that is so spine-chilling that Archer refuses immediately.Realizing soon that he has no other choice,he decides to do what he is asked to-to exchange his face for Troy's, and what's more,to alter his entire physical attributes,so that he can go to the prison where his brother is being kept,and fool him into believing that he is Troy and get the location of the bomb from him.The plan seems to work until the moment Castor realizes what has happened,puts on Archer's face,and sets out for revenge.He fools the FBI,fools Archer's wife and sleeps with her and just when one thinks that this is too much,the real Archer escapes prison and it's payback time. Both Travolta and Cage play their roles perfectly,and they do a fantastic job playing each other too. The rest of the cast simply fades away in comparison,and who cares ? Dominique Swain as Archer's rebellious daughter looks good on screen-but that's about it.Joan Allen as his wife is not too impressive either.Gina Gershon as Troy's lover seems much more real in comparison.John Woo provides the film with a novel and flawless script,and some of the best action sequences ever filmed.This film is an absolute must for any action fan,and definitely the best Woo ever made.


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