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:
7.2/10   95,234 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 11% 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 »
1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Not for the stonehearted. See more (660 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 Sullivan ... School Girl (as Carrie Ann Sullivan)
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 DeZarn ... 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
Henry Stuart John .... construction foreman (as Stuart John)
Nicholas C. John .... stand-by painter (as Nic John)
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
Location Management
Nancy Haecker .... assistant location manager: Las Vegas crew
Maggie Mancuso .... location manager: Las Vegas crew
Elaine Patarini .... assistant location manager
Nicholas Savalas .... location assistant: Las Vegas crew
Sara Burton .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Bill Bernstein .... music editor
Jordan Corngold .... assistant music editor
Joel Iwataki .... music scoring mixer
Thomas Pasatieri .... orchestrator
G. Marq Roswell .... music supervisor
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Jim Dunbar .... music consultant (uncredited)
k.d. lang .... musician (uncredited)
Norman Ludwin .... 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
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
Todd A. Marks .... display graphics supervisor
Shaun M. McGovern .... assistant accountant
Jeanmarie Murphy-Burke .... unit publicist
Michelle Pinkney .... assistant: Mr. Abrams
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor
Angie Popko .... staff assistant
Ferguson Reid .... first aid
Brigette Roux-Lough .... assistant: Mr. Reuther
Jeffrey Schwartz .... staff assistant
Hallie Sirota .... assistant: Mr. Levy
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?

In the book, the teacher is a black man named Reuben St. Clair. The role of Reuben was originally offered to Denzel Washington but was turned down, due to other commitments. When Kevin Spacey agreed to the movie, the character was changed to a white man named Eugene Simonet.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Chandler is talking to his girlfriend before he leaves to go to Vegas, audio is heard but her mouth isn't moving.See more »
Arley:I can't reject you, you're too quick for me!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in After Tiller (2013)See more »
OohSee more »


Is this movie based on a true story?
See more »
81 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
Not for the stonehearted., 9 February 2002
Author: Al Rogerson ( from Manchester, England

Pay It Forward is a movie that is aimed at one particular audience. The kind of audience that expects to have their life changed as the minutes tick by.

And as a film that provides profound, poignant and tear-jerking moments, Pay It Forward will be perfect for this manner of audience. Unfortunately, harder, more expecting movie-goers will probably dismiss this movie as an oversentimental and perhaps unrealistic film.

The film is centred around Trevor (Hayley Joel-Osment). An 11 year old boy, living alone with his dysfunctional, on-off alcoholic mother Arlene (Helen Hunt). One day Trevor is set a homework assignment by his new Social Studies teacher, the mysterious, slightly disfigured Eugene (Kevin Spacey). Eugene sets the class a difficult task; to think of an idea that will change the world and put it into action. Et voila!! Pay It Forward is born.

Trevor is played with an endearing maturity and at times, unstable frustration by uber kid actor Osment. As an aspiring actor, I worry that an 11 year old boy can grab hold of such difficult roles and make them his, while I still strive to gain my Equity card!! What Osment promised in The Sixth Sense, he shows again here with a more difficult and emotionally charged role. Trevor is a boy not altogether happy with his life. He is lacking in a father figure, his Mother struggles to have any impact on him as she juggles two jobs to make ends meet, which leaves Trevor with nothing but his own intuition to drag him through life. For a child that can only be extatic and contented with HIS life, Osment does well to project such a fragile character on screen.

Eugene is a character made for Kevin Spacey (although all his roles seem perfect for him). Intelligent, compassionate, slightly bitter and at times unpredictable, Eugene is a man that we, as an audience cannot help but engage with. The dialogue written for Spacey is much better than other characters in the film, and he puts it to good use. Spacey is at his best when doing two things; calmly and charismatically attracting attention to himself (Ordinary Decent Criminal, Midnight In The Garden Of...), and when he bubbles just below the surface, inviting audiences in so that he can devastate you with a single revelation (Seven, Usual Suspects, Swimming With Sharks). And his revelation in this film (he relives how he came to get his horrific scars), is so vivid, so intricately and harrowingly retold that you cannot help but feel a tear well up in your eye.

Helen Hunt is fantastic as Arlene. Managing to achieve a look that bizarrely mixes trailer trash, run down alcoholic with vulnerable cuteness. She doesn't get the pick of the dialogue however, and the role aswell as the whole film would have been a whole lot worse off had Hunt not been on top form. You don't want her to be your Mother, but you really want to see her happy and for her to do a good job at being Trevors.

The film falls short in little details. Supporting characters do little to affect the story (Jay Mohr as an almost non-speaking narrator??) and the whole thing feels flat if Spacey is off screen too long. Good actors like Jim Caviezel go almost unnoticed and you can't help but feel that a few more juicy characters would help the story become a little more...cohesive.

The ending is a reinforcement of the atmosphere of the whole film. It is a sequence that heightens our emotion and should set the tears rolling.

In short, see this film for three things; Haley Joel-Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. All three are fantastic, and it's obvious to see why so much Oscar gossip was being spread.

If you like heart warming films with a little bit of edge, then watch on. If you're expecting an original, exciting, twisty or philosophical it anyway, at least the three leads are good.

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No burns on Spacey's face on the dvd cover thecheatsdeleted
How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
What do you think happened to the kid who... [Spoilers] leetheflea20
a better ending rutica
Salman Khan's Bollywood Movie 'Jai Ho' a copy..? gibinbharath
from a mother who lost her son goldstalk
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