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Payback (1999)

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After a successful heist, Porter is shot by his wife and his best friend. They leave him there to die but when he recovers, he seeks revenge and wants his share of the money.



(novel) (as Richard Stark), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,145 ( 501)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Hicks
Pearl (as Lucy Alexis Liu)
Det. Leary
Mark Alfa ...
Johnny's Friend #2
Michael, Bartender #1
Len Bajenski ...
Fairfax Bodyguard #1


Porter is bad, but his neighbours are worse. Street-wise and tough, an ex-marine, he is betrayed by a one-time partner, and shot in the back by his junkie wife. He survives and returns, looking to recover his share from the robbery of an Asian crime gang. The money has passed into the hands of "the Outfit", a slick gangster organisation that runs the city. He has to make his way through a world populated by heroin dealers, prostitutes, sado-masochists, gunmen and crooked cops, a place where torture is a way of life. His only friend is a former employer, a prostitute, and her loyalty is in question, given she now works for the Outfit. He makes good early progress, but then falls into the hands of Fairfax, the crime boss. Written by Kwah-LeBaire

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No More Mr. Nice Guy See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, and drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porter  »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,221,526, 7 February 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mel Gibson and James Coburn appeared in Maverick (1994). See more »


When Porter is in the cab stand, the cop's badges are on their right side. When Porter and Stegman are talking outside you see the cop looking at them from the window, his badge moves to his left side. See more »


[first lines]
Porter: [voiceover] GSW: that's what the hospitals call it: gunshot wound. Doctor has to report it to the police. That makes it hard for guys in my line to get what I call, quality health care.
See more »


Remade as Kismat (2004) See more »


It's a Man's Man's Man's World
Written by James Brown and Betty Newsome
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records
by Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A very fun 100 minutes!
17 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Payback" is one of those highly entertaining movies that make you forget your sorrows for a moment and entertains you right till the end. Difference with most other entertaining movies is that this movie also has a great story!

The movie is completely driven by the main character played by Mel Gibson. He plays a great and fun criminal who is an anti-hero and a total bad guy but still someone for who you can feel and cheer about. The movie also features lot's of other great actors including James Coburn in a very fun role, Kris Kristofferson, Lucy Liu, Bill Duke and David Paymer. The movie is filled with great and entertaining characters.

The story is just great and has quite some nice twists and moments. The movie is comedy like but it also has a wonderful film-noir feeling with a typical atmosphere. There are also some nice action sequences in which Mel Gibson's character might be featured a bit too much as an hero.

Nothing about this movie indicates that there were troubles on the set during filming with the director Brian Helgeland, on the contrary! Everything about the movie feels very fun like.

Solid entertainment!



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