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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
4,173 ( 640)
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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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:

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

Trivia

There was originally a scene where Porter rips out the eye of one of the guards in the Outfit's building where his ex partner Val is. For some reason, this scene was not included in either the theatrical or Director's Cut of the movie, and is only available in a very rare, bad quality, workprint. See more »

Goofs

The prostitute's hair changes style during the scene in the cafe with Porter. 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

The UK cinema version and all subsequent video and DVD releases were cut by 5 seconds to remove the use of a butterfly knife. The Blu-ray reinstates the previously cut footage. See more »

Connections

References The Twilight Zone: The Jeopardy Room (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't That a Kick in the Head
Written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
under License from EMI Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Payback - Great movie in the "film noir" genre
18 June 2005 | by toan-5See all my reviews

Payback directed by Brian Helgeland is a classic "film noir" following the tradition of urban "gangster movies" and Mel Gibson is giving an outstanding performance as Porter - the bad guy who is only slightly better than the rest of the gangsters, hoodlums, crooks and scoundrels to be met in the film.

"Payback" is a great movie in this genre. Donald E. Westlake, who has written the novel on which the film is based, has picked up the thread of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett to create an authentic universe with "real" characters, and Brian Helgeland has succeeded to bring this universe to the screen.

Everything about this movie is great - the storyboard, the cast, the direction and the soundtrack. This film bears resemblance to Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" and if you have seen "the Maltese Falcon" starring Bogart, you should definitely see "Payback".


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