Liv Ullmann is playing Dr. Jenny Isaksson whose psyche gradually collapses under the weight of the painful memories from the past.
Not to be confused with the Sergio Sollima film Faccia A Faccia, which means the same thing.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: Jenny keeps seeing an old woman with one completely black eye whenever her hold on reality wavers.
- Call-Back: To Through a Glass Darkly by the same creator with its biblical reference From Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face".
- Chewing the Scenery: Liv Ullmann, which may be a case of Tropes Are Not Bad. Bergman himself was later critical of it.Now when I watch Face to Face, I remember an old farce with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour. It's called Road to Morocco. They have been shipwrecked and come floating on a raft in front of a projected New York in the background. In the final scene, Bob Hope throws himself to the ground and begins to scream and foam at the mouth. The others stare at him in astonishment and ask what in the world he is doing. He immediately calms down and says, 'This is how you have to do it if you want to win an Oscar.' When I watch Face to Face and Liv Ullmann's incredibly loyal effort on my behalf, I still can't help thinking of The Road to Morocco.
- Complete-the-Quote Title: The title is taken from the I Corinthians quote that also gave Through a Glass Darkly its title."For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
- Dark and Troubled Past: For Dr. Jenny Isaksson
- Darker and Edgier: Previous films by Bergman were not exactly optimistic but this one takes the cake.
- Hidden Depths: Within the psyche of the main character. She travels into her soul and does not find anything but horror and dismay there.
- Interrupted Suicide: Jenny tries to kill herself with sleeping pills, but Tomas becomes concerned and breaks into her apartment to stop her.
- Near-Rape Experience: Jenny has it in once scene. Her assaulter does not proceed so it remains this trope.
- Nightmare Sequence: A good third of the film is this after Jenny attempts suicide and spends two days drifting in and out of consciousness.
- Sanity Slippage: For Dr. Jenny Isaksson
- Straight Gay: Tomas is revealed as one.