IMDb > Pay It Forward (2000)
Pay It Forward
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Pay It Forward (2000) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 30 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Pay It Forward -- Social studies teacher Eugene Simonet gives his class an assignment: look at the world around you and fix what you don't like. One student comes up with an idea.
Pay It Forward -- hv post


User Rating:
7.1/10   89,696 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Catherine Ryan Hyde (book)
Leslie Dixon (screenplay)
View company contact information for Pay It Forward on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 October 2000 (USA) See more »
Three imperfect people. One perfect idea. See more »
A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Life is pain See more (655 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kevin Spacey ... Eugene Simonet

Helen Hunt ... Arlene McKinney

Haley Joel Osment ... Trevor McKinney

Jay Mohr ... Chris Chandler

Jim Caviezel ... Jerry

Jon Bon Jovi ... Ricky McKinney

Angie Dickinson ... Grace

David Ramsey ... Sidney Parker

Gary Werntz ... Mr. Thorsen

Colleen Flynn ... Woman on Bridge

Marc Donato ... Adam

Kathleen Wilhoite ... Bonnie

Liza Snyder ... Michelle

Jeannetta Arnette ... Nurse

Hannah Leder ... Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)

Tina Lifford ... Principal
Loren D. Baum ... Rough Kid #1
Nico Matinata ... Rough Kid #2

Zack Duhame ... Rough Kid #3

Shawn Pyfrom ... Shawn

Alexandra Kotcheff ... Alexandra

Bradley White ... Jordan
Christi Colombo ... Christi
Phillip D. Stewart ... Phillip (as Phillip Stewart)
Justin Parsons ... Justin
Myeshia Dejore Walker ... Myeshia
Brenae Suzanne Davey ... Brenae

Molly Bernard ... Molly (as Molly Kate Bernard)
Andrew Patrick Flood ... Andy
Tameila N. Turner ... Tameila
Julian Correa ... Julian

Carrie Ann Sullivan ... School Girl
Patricia Deanda ... Change Girl
Ryan Berti ... Hallway Kid #1
Gabriela Rivas ... Hallway Kid #2

Carrick O'Quinn ... Man in Window

Stephanie Feury ... Sandra

Bernard White ... Cop
Tom Bailey ... Liquid Man #1

Tim DeZam ... Liquid Man #2 (as Tim Dezarn)

Jonathan Nichols ... Liquid Man #3
Ron Keck ... Lowlife #1
John Powers ... Lowlife #2

Bob McCracken ... Creepy Middle-Aged Man
Frank Whiteman ... Doctor

Eugene Osment ... Cop Who Gives Directions
Kendall Tenney ... Male Newscaster
Sue Tripathy ... Female Newscaster

Rusty Meyers ... News Stand Guy
Leslie Dilley ... The Governor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Cynthia Ettinger ... (unconfirmed)
Joe Rampino ... Bar patron
Stacy Bellew ... School Girl (uncredited)
Johnny Drocco ... Stripper's Boyfriend (uncredited)

Jeremy Dunn ... Diner Patron (uncredited)

Sebastian Feldman ... Looky Lou (uncredited)
Ryan Keating ... Stranded Motorist (uncredited)

Lana Kinnear ... Dancer (uncredited)

Vampiro ... Vampiro (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Mimi Leder 
Writing credits
Catherine Ryan Hyde (book)

Leslie Dixon (screenplay)

Produced by
Peter Abrams .... producer
Paddy Carson .... associate producer (as Paddy Sam Carson)
Robert L. Levy .... producer
Mary McLaglen .... executive producer
Steven Reuther .... producer
Jonathan Treisman .... executive producer
Original Music by
Thomas Newman 
Cinematography by
Oliver Stapleton (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Rosenbloom 
Casting by
Geraldine Leder 
Production Design by
Leslie Dilley 
Art Direction by
Lawrence A. Hubbs  (as Larry Hubbs)
Set Decoration by
Peg Cummings 
Costume Design by
Renee Ehrlich Kalfus 
Makeup Department
Louis Lazzara .... makeup artist
Vivian McAteer .... makeup department head
Tania McComas .... key makeup artist
Matthew W. Mungle .... makeup prosthetics
Carol A. O'Connell .... hair stylist: Mr. Spacey (as Carol O'Connell)
Darrell Redleaf-Fielder .... hair stylist: Ms. Hunt (as Darrell Fielder)
Waldo Sanchez .... key hair stylist
Ronnie Specter .... makeup artist: Ms. Hunt (as Ronnie Spector)
Christine Steele .... assistant makeup artist
Ryan McDowell .... prosthetic technician (uncredited)
Production Management
Scott Elias .... production supervisor
Mary McLaglen .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Steve Danton .... first assistant director
Paul Byrne Prenderville .... second second assistant director (as Paul Prenderville)
Brian Relyea .... second second assistant director: Las Vegas
David H. Venghaus Jr. .... second assistant director
Art Department
Marcos Alvarez .... set designer
Carlo Basail .... greens
Mick Cukurs .... set designer
China Fox .... assistant property master (as China Iwata)
Douglas Fox .... property master (as Doug Fox)
David Gabrielli .... construction general foreman
Nicholas C. John .... stand-by painter (as Nic John)
Stuart John .... construction foreman
Philip Keller .... storyboard artist
Melissa M. Levander .... auxilliary set decorator (as Melissa Levander)
David L. McGuire .... set dresser
Larry McGuire .... lead man
Laura M. O'Brien .... art department coordinator (as Laura O'Brien)
Marvin Salsberg .... construction coordinator
Mike Schenk .... on-set dresser (as Michael Schenk)
Gary Speckman .... set designer
Michael P. Sweeney .... assistant property master (as Michael Sweeney)
Bill Kincaid .... set dresser (uncredited)
Bruce G. Smith .... paint supervisor (uncredited)
Sound Department
Christopher S. Aud .... supervising sound editor (as Christopher Aud)
Kevin Bartnof .... foley artist
John Voss Bonds Jr. .... sound effects editor (as John Bonds)
Raul A. Bruce .... boom operator (as Raul Bruce)
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as David Campbell)
Jeffrey Cranford .... assistant sound editor (as Jeff Cranford)
Thom 'Coach' Ehle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Patrick J. Foley .... dialogue editor
Terry Garcia .... assistant sound editor
Eric Gotthelf .... foley mixer
Catherine Harper .... foley artist
David L. Horton Jr. .... foley editor (as David H. Horton Jr.)
David M. Horton .... foley editor (as David M. Horton Sr.)
J. Paul Huntsman .... supervising sound editor
Lee Lemont .... adr editor
Mark Hopkins McNabb .... production sound mixer
Mark Morrell .... assistant sound editor
Thomas J. O'Connell .... adr mixer
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Rietz)
John F. Reynolds .... dialogue editor (as John Reynolds)
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
James Simcik .... supervising adr editor
David Werntz .... sound effects editor
Jack Wolpa .... cable operator
Cody Dorkin .... adr (uncredited)
Mark Johnston .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Donna G. Walker .... post sound operations (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Rodney M. Byrd .... special effects foreman (as Rod Byrd)
Burt Dalton .... special effects supervisor
Albert Delgado .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Lloyd Hess .... technical support (uncredited)
George Sakellariou .... production engineering: ILM (uncredited)
William H. Burton Jr. .... stunts (as William H. Burton)
Chad Dashnaw .... stunts
Jeffrey J. Dashnaw .... stunt coordinator (as Jeff Dashnaw)
Brennan Dyson .... stunts
Debbie Evans .... stunts
Greg Harris .... stunts
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunt coordinator (as Buddy Jo Hooker)
Norman Howell .... stunts
Johnny Martin .... stunt coordinator
Ralph W. Odum .... stunts (as Ralph Odum)
Kim Renee .... stunts (as Kim Reneé)
Debby Lynn Ross .... stunts (as Debby Ross Rondell)
Peter Weireter .... stunts (as Pete Weireter)
Dick Ziker .... stunts
Ryan Keating .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Stephen S. Campanelli .... Steadicam operator (as Stephen Campanelli)
Stephen S. Campanelli .... camera operator (as Stepehn Campanelli)
Bill Coe .... first assistant camera (as William Coe)
J. Patrick Daily .... key grip
Isaac Friedman .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Barry Idoine .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
David James .... still photographer
Dwight Joseph Lavers .... dolly grip
Chris Lombardi .... camera operator: "b" camera
Michael McGuire .... key rigging grip
Charlie McIntyre .... key rigging lighting technician
Bobby McMahan .... second assistant camera
Scott Andrew Ressler .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Scott Ressler)
John 'Fest' Sandau .... assistant chief lighting technician
James R. Tynes .... chief lighting technician
Tom West .... second grip
Ismael Araujo Jr. .... grip (uncredited)
Greg Argarin .... lighting technician (uncredited)
James F. Cornick .... rigging technician (uncredited)
Eric Vincent Cruse .... grip (uncredited)
Neal Eldridge .... electrician (uncredited)
Bruce 'Sarge' Fleskes .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Chris Funk .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Steve Galloway .... additional playback (uncredited)
Lamarr Gray .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
John Johnson .... additional still photographer (uncredited)
Jesse Mather .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Colin Mayo .... lighting programmer (uncredited)
Charles 'Chaz' Norcross .... grip (uncredited)
Shayna Ritenour .... camera loader (uncredited)
Brian Rosso .... grip (uncredited)
David Schmalz .... second video assist operator (uncredited)
Jeremy Settles .... electrician (uncredited)
Cricket Sloat .... rigging assistant chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Tony Varuola .... electrician (uncredited)
Steven J. Winslow .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Steven J. Winslow .... camera technician: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Stacey Bunch .... casting assistant
Jessie Disla .... casting assistant
Jimmy Jue .... extras casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Candice Canty .... costumer: Las Vegas crew
Tangi Crawford .... costumer
Lynda Foote .... costume supervisor
Kimmie Furlong .... costumer: Ms. Hunt (as Kim Furlong)
Nadine Haders .... costumer
Dennis McCarthy .... costumer
Elizabeth Shelton .... associate costume designer (uncredited)
Jack Taggart .... costume ager/dyer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
David Orr .... color timer
Gregory Plotkin .... first assistant editor
Siobhan Prior .... second assistant editor
Richmond Riedel .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Bill Bernstein .... music editor
Jordan Corngold .... assistant music editor
Joel Iwataki .... music scoring mixer
Norman Ludwin .... musician : uncredited
Thomas Pasatieri .... orchestrator
G. Marq Roswell .... music supervisor
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Jim Dunbar .... music consultant (uncredited)
k.d. lang .... musician (uncredited)
Yvonne McDonald .... music coordinator (uncredited)
Christopher S. Parker .... music clearances (uncredited)
Jane Siberry .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Lee Garibaldi .... transportation captain
Tommy Tancharoen .... transportation coordinator
Gil Amaral .... driver (uncredited)
Karen K. Chang .... transportation office coordinator (uncredited)
Everett Everett .... driver (uncredited)
Buddy Hunter .... driver (uncredited)
Thomas O'Donnell .... driver: production van (uncredited)
Jerry Sidwell .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Donna Armstrong .... first aid: Las Vegas
Herach Arzounian .... first aid: Las Vegas
Stacey Berns .... assistant: Ms. Hunt (as Stacy Berns)
Jenifer Bonisteel .... staff assistant
Judith M. Brown .... studio teacher (as Judith Brown)
Kayce Brown .... staff assistant
Dana Brunetti .... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Candice D. Campos .... assistant production coordinator
Lois Carl .... studio teacher
Amy Carrelli .... production secretary: Las Vegas crew (as Amy Carelli)
Richard Cody .... craft service (as Rich Cody)
Brett Doogan .... craft service: Las Vegas crew
Michelle Fitch .... staff assistant
Michael Garrity .... assistant: Ms. Leder
Nancy Haecker .... assistant location manager: Las Vegas crew
Denise Heinrich .... production coordinator
Dori Kancher .... assistant: Ms. McLaglen
Troy Kramer .... craft service: Las Vegas crew
Kevin LaRosa .... pilot
Adria Later .... studio teacher
David R. Lawson .... first aid
Stevie Lazo .... production accountant
Cary 'C.P.' Levine .... production secretary
Maggie Mancuso .... location manager: Las Vegas crew
Todd A. Marks .... display graphics supervisor
Shaun M. McGovern .... assistant accountant
Jeanmarie Murphy-Burke .... unit publicist
Elaine Patarini .... assistant location manager
Michelle Pinkney .... assistant: Mr. Abrams
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor
Angie Popko .... staff assistant
Ferguson Reid .... first aid
Brigette Roux-Lough .... assistant: Mr. Reuther
Nicholas Savalas .... location assistant: Las Vegas crew
Jeffrey Schwartz .... staff assistant
Hallie Sirota .... assistant: Mr. Levy
Sara Burton .... location scout (uncredited)
Wil E. Cano .... executive assistant (uncredited)
Sean Carville .... second assistant accountant (uncredited)
Ricky Cuevas .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Michael Fine .... set medic (uncredited)
Lisa Hatch .... production assistant (uncredited)
Joyce Heftel .... script supervisor: pre-timing (uncredited)
Cody Jarrett .... stand-in: Jon Bon Jovi (uncredited)
Ryan Keating .... photo double: Kevin Spacey (uncredited)
Ryan Keating .... stand-in: Kevin Spacey (uncredited)
John Kirby .... acting coach: Mr. Caviezel (uncredited)
Brie Larson .... adr loop group (uncredited)
Logan Newell .... stand-in (uncredited)
Ronald M. Ortiz .... production assistant (uncredited)
Liz Probst .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
Scott Rorie .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Dan Talbott .... production assistant: Portland second unit (uncredited)
Chris Winn .... craft service (uncredited)
J.P. Guerin .... special thanks
Roberta Holton .... special thanks (as Dr. Roberta Holton)
Kristi Kolunda .... special thanks
Carol Leavitt .... special thanks
Frank Lucero .... special thanks
Timothy A. Miller .... special thanks (as Dr. Timothy A. Miller)
Andrew Panay .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence
123 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:PG (Alberta/British Columbia/Ontario) | Canada:14A (Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Denmark:11 | Finland:K-11 | France:U | Germany:12 (w) | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:10 | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:M | Norway:11 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:PG13 (TV rating) | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

The bridge that the "jumper" is on, is the Saint Johns Bridge in Portland,Or.See more »
Factual errors: In the ending credits, special thanks are given to "O'Callaghas Middle School." This should actually refer to O'Callaghan Middle School, named after former governor Mike O'Callaghan.See more »
Jerry:[tearfully] Do me a favor... save my life.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features "WCW Monday Nitro" (1995)See more »
Behind Every Good WomanSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
55 out of 69 people found the following review useful.
Life is pain, 12 November 2000
Author: Dan Grant ( from Toronto, Ontario

Life is full of inconsistencies, and it is not without a sense of irony. There are people that have tried to make a difference in life and some of them have paid for it with their lives. Some that come to mind are Martin Luther King Jr, JFK, Gandhi and Terry Fox. It's not easy to change the world. It takes a lot of hard work and determination. And it doesn't happen overnight. But then you see a film like this and you begin to question that rationale. What if a concept like this really was implemented? What if every single person that had a favour bestowed upon them was asked to pay it forward? Is it possible that a Utopian world could be achieved? I doubt it, but it certainly would go a long way to making this condemned world a better place to live.

I don't think this is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. I don't think it is even the best film that I will see this year (although it will make my top ten ) but the idea behind it is what has me intrigued. Believe me when I tell you this. I don't think I have ever been as emotionally galvanized as I was in this film. There is a raw power, a truth that rings clear in Pay It Forward and if there was one film that I would want people to see this year, it would be this film. It is entertaining, it is superbly acted, and it the one true film, the one true idea that really could help make a positive and tangible difference in our society and our world.

In some circles this film has been criticized for laying on the fluff. It is too much like a soap opera. And that is so far from the truth. Let's recount the issues at hand and examine them. Kevin Spacey plays a burn victim because of child abuse. Helen Hunt plays a single mom that is having a hard time recovering from alcoholism and has a bad case of "can't get her ex-husband" out of her life and her bed. Haley Joel Osment plays a wise beyond his years son that had to grow up precociously because of his mother that suffers from the above. Every character in this film, including the bit players suffers from real problems. If people have a hard time understanding this then just go to an average suburban classroom in North America and arbitrarily pick out ten kids. Chances are you will find cases of alcoholism, child abuse, divorce and a plethora of issues that are not conducive to a healthy environment for a child. So this film is just mirroring life. That's all.

The performances by the three leads is nothing short of brilliant. Not as much can be said for the rest of the cast, but Spacey, Osment and Hunt all could be nominated this year when March comes. All three bring compassion and depth to the three scarred people that they portray. But especially intriguing is Osment. He doesn't need to say anything in order for you to understand him. It's a look, a twitch, a smile, a shiver. Anything he does helps us understand who he is and why he is that way. Osment is one true gifted actor and I really don't think he is going to fade away in the years to come like so many other child prodigies. This is the real deal. By following up Sixth Sense with a performance this real solidifies him as a true thespian.

If you have not seen this film for whatever reason, and its box office suggests most haven't, then do yourself a favour and take a chance on it. Not only will it do you good, it really might help change you in some ways. And as Osment says in the film, maybe we may all see in some way that, " the world isn't really s**t."

9 out of 10 ( and bring lots of tissues )

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from a mother who lost her son goldstalk
How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
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now if you got stabbed in the stomach Sensfan1915
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