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      Face/Off (1997)

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      ON DISC
      In order to foil a terrorist 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.


      John Woo
      1,449 ( 6)
      Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



      Learn more

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      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


      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


      Only one will survive 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 »





      English | Latin

      Release Date:

      27 June 1997 (USA) See more »

      Also Known As:

      Face Off See more »


      Box Office


      $80,000,000 (estimated)

      Opening Weekend USA:

      $23,387,530, 29 June 1997

      Gross USA:


      Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

      See more on IMDbPro »

      Company Credits

      Show more on IMDbPro »

      Technical Specs


      Sound Mix:

      DTS | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)



      Aspect Ratio:

      2.39 : 1
      See full technical specs »

      Did You Know?


      John Travolta based his "toast" on Vietnam vets toasting their fallen comrades on Veteran's Day. See more »


      In the scene where Cage and Travolta are fighting on the dock, Cage stabs Travolta with the speargun (before he fires it). If you look at the spear after Travolta is stabbed, there is blood on it. Then in the next shot, the spear is suddenly clean. See more »


      Castor Troy: [Jamie shot Archer in the shoulder, now Troy has the gun on her] Clod! No daughter of mine would shoot so wide.
      [to Archer]
      Castor Troy: DAD! *Put* the gun down! Put it down. Dad, put it down.
      [to Jamie]
      Castor Troy: Now we're going to find out what's in Papa's bag, Peaches!
      [licks Jamie's face]
      Castor Troy: Say good-bye to Papa.
      See more »

      Alternate Versions

      The German Video-Trailer shows a scene not included in the released versions. It shows another FBI-Agent shot-gunned during the shoot-out in Dietrich's Loft. See more »


      Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Little Monsters (2010) See more »


      The Hallelujah Chorus - Since By Man Came Death
      From oratorio "Messiah"
      By George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich H?ndel)
      Performed by Boston Baroque Orchestra & Chorus
      Conducted by Martin Pearlman (uncredited)
      Courtesy of Telarc International Corporation
      See more »

      Frequently Asked Questions

      See more »

      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.

      105 of 155 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
      Review this title | See all 582 user reviews »

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