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Payback (1999)

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0:42 | Clip
After a successful heist, Porter is left for dead. Once he recovers, he seeks vengeance and wants his share of the money.

Director:

Brian Helgeland

Writers:

Donald E. Westlake (novel) (as Richard Stark), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,031 ( 79)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Porter
Gregg Henry ... Val Resnick
Maria Bello ... Rosie
David Paymer ... Arthur Stegman
Bill Duke ... Det. Hicks
Deborah Kara Unger ... Mrs. Lynn Porter
John Glover ... Phil
William Devane ... Carter
Lucy Liu ... Pearl (as Lucy Alexis Liu)
Jack Conley ... Det. Leary
Kris Kristofferson ... Bronson
Mark Alfa Mark Alfa ... Johnny's Friend #2
Kwame Amoaku ... Radioman
Justin Ashforth ... Michael, Bartender #1
Len Bajenski 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 cheer 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Detective Leary's unmarked car is a late 1980's Chevrolet Caprice, likely a 1989 model year. See more »

Goofs

When Val is talking to Porter while he is in bed with Pearl, Pearl reaches over to Val and her hair is covering the left side of her front. The next shot hand is still on Val but her hair is behind her and not covering her body. 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.
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Alternate Versions

Director Brian Helgeland's cut was significantly changed by producer/star Mel Gibson before release and was 15 minutes shorter than the final version. Here are some of the differences to Gibson's highly publicized re-shoot version of the film that was released into the theaters.
  • No voiceover of Porter
  • The opening shot of Porter in the doctor's office is not in Helgeland's cut. The film begins with Porter on the bridge returning to the city. Brian's cut doesn't suggest the double-cross until we see the flashback.
  • A more harsh exchange when Porter visits Rosie (Maria Bello) for the first time.
  • Odds and ends with Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) throughout the film. Includes a curbside threat to the David Paymer character and a funny scene calling Pearl (Lucy Liu) on the phone.
  • A small exchange between Porter and the Asian gang.
  • When Val breaks in and beats up Rosie, Porter the dog gets shots in the head and remains dead. In Mel's cut, the dog lives.
  • The two versions of the film begin to change greatly when Porter confronts Fairfax (James Coburn). The dialog is different and the outcome of the scene is changed.
  • Bronson the Outfit boss is played by Sally Kellerman rather than Kris Kristoffersen. She's never seen in the film, instead interacting with Porter over speakerphones. When Porter begins to kill her associates, the boss almost immediately gives in to Porter's demands. In Mel's cut, the boss was a bigger character and provided a bigger climax. All the boss's son and torture scenes are not in Brian's cut of the movie.
  • The climax of the film takes place on a mass transit platform. Porter arranges to pick up his cut of the money, but the boss dispatches hit men to stop him. He gets the money, but is shot in the chest. Stumbling out of the station, he shoots a couple of men in a car. Porter begins to die. Rosie finds him and slaps him back to life. Porter suggests a doctor he knows can patch him up. The final shot is of the two driving out of town.
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Beyond Blunderdome (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Anniversary Song
Music by Iosif Ivanovici
Arranged by Saul Chaplin
Lyrics by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin
Performed by Chris Boardman
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User Reviews

 
Top-notch
6 May 2006 | by Cedric_CatsuitsSee all my reviews

Easily one of Gibson's best, and one of the best of it's kind you will ever see. Homage to film noir, combined with usual Gibson tongue-in-cheekness, and some fabulous supporting roles from the likes of Coburn, Kristofferson, Liu, and Devane. Henry does a stirling job here opposite Gibson. Liu is simply wonderful in a role that - worryingly perhaps - looks like it was made for her!

Porter's single-minded, no-nonsense determination to get what he sees as justice for himself strikes a chord, and has you rooting for him right to the end. This film rarely lets up on the intensity, and gets better as it goes along. It will make you laugh and cringe at the same time, but you won't want to take your eyes off the screen for a second. It looks good, feels good, and oozes class. Definitely a must-see.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Porter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,221,526, 7 February 1999

Gross USA:

$81,526,121

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,626,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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