7.1/10
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398 user 147 critic

Payback (1999)

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.

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Get ready to root for the bad guy. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porter  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$81,526,121

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,626,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sally Kellerman is the original voice of Bronson in Brian Helgeland's Director's Cut of the movie, and is never seen. For the theatrical cut, Bronson is played by Kris Kristofferson for all of the re-shot scenes. See more »

Goofs

The position of the fold in the picture of Rosie and Porter changes during the movie. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Roeper & the Movies: Edge of Darkness (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sway
Written by Luis Demetrio and Pablo Beltrán Ruiz, English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
under License from EMI Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I'm in town,stay out of my way
22 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

Mel (as Parker aka Porter) is a bad guy who comes across as a good guy because everyone else in this flic is even more nasty than he is. It's a simple play on perspective not often utilized in the movies. Usually, the hero is A HERO, white hat and all, even with a few quirks or deficiencies to his character. Not so, here. And the key to the whole picture is buying into Mel as a bad man, all despite his many years in heroic roles beforehand. It works very well, especially in the beginning, where it really needed to. There's an early scene during the credits where Mel forces himself to smile in a mirror, as preparation for putting forth his 'best face' to a teller at a bank. One gets the impression this really is a man unaccustomed to smiling, a sour, angry man. The early scenes also recall the beginning of "Miami Blues," that being a criminal swooping into town and wasting no time in bringing a little terror & hardship on certain select bystanders. There's a danger, in a film sense, of satirizing such moments too much, to the point of slapstick comedy - rather than dark comedy, which it really is. But Mel doesn't mess around here: he means business, bashing scum left & right, and blowing 'em away as he moves up the ladder of an organized crime organization. The rest of the cast is top-notch, by the way. The casting directors must have had a field day on this one. Then Mel himself is beaten; the whole theme of the movie seems to be about pain: how much one can stand; how much one can dish out. It ends up being very cathartic. The cinematography also helps this picture: the photography is quite stark,ultra-crisp, adding to the 'punch' of the whole show. The lines on Mel's face are deeper than ever; he seems to carry years of pain there. And years of guilt, maybe.


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