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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.

Director:

Brian Helgeland

Writers:

Donald E. Westlake (novel) (as Richard Stark), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,595 ( 134)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Porter is shot by his wife and best friend and is left to die. When he survives he plots revenge.

Director: Brian Helgeland
Stars: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello
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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 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:

View content advisory »
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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, Wide Release

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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this film is broadcast on television, the scene when Porter (Mel Gibson) kneecaps Val Resnick (Gregg Henry) while he was bullying Rosie (Maria Bello), then talks to him and says, "Have you got a light, Val?" He replies, "No", after searching himself and Porter says, "Well, what good are you?" He then shoots Val through the cushion. When this film was released on VHS, Porter said, "Well, what fucking use are you?" See more »

Goofs

While entertaining, an internal affairs investigation would never be conducted in the field as shown. The procedure would involve calling the detectives to the station so the interview could be conducted in a controlled environment and they would have the opportunity for legal counsel. 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 »

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 reshoot 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 hitmen to stop him. He gets the money, but is shot in the chest. Stumbling out of the station, he drops the bag and a homeless man picks it up. Porter refuses to put up a fight and 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.
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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Superb thriller.
26 March 2000 | by CharltonBoySee all my reviews

I'ts not often a film comes along that has a great script , great acting and good soundtrack but Payback has all these.Mel Gibson plays a guy who has been ripped of by the tune of $70,000 and this is the violent story of how he get round to getting it back.The film takes you on a journey where you ride many twists and turns and you meet lots of great personalities on the way , most of which end up dead. Mel Gibson try's his best to be nasty but you cant help but like him. He could play Jack the ripper and you would still end up liking him! Anyway catch this movie asap. 9 out of 10


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