7.2/10
106,608
663 user 160 critic

Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
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0:33 | Trailer

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A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director:

Mimi Leder

Writers:

Catherine Ryan Hyde (book), Leslie Dixon (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,763 ( 102)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Eugene Simonet
Helen Hunt ... Arlene McKinney
Haley Joel Osment ... Trevor McKinney
Jay Mohr ... Chris Chandler
Jim Caviezel ... Jerry (as James Caviezel)
Jon Bon Jovi ... Ricky McKinney
Angie Dickinson ... Grace
David Ramsey ... Sidney Parker
Gary Werntz 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)
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Storyline

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back... Pay It Forward See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros. (US)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,631,359, 22 October 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,519,628

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,707,411
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Arlene is spitting out the vodka in the sink, it's daylight outside, even though it's supposed to be nighttime. See more »

Quotes

[Arlene, and then Eugene, feeling very emotional, have left the room in which Trevor was being interviewed by Chris for television. Trevor admits that he thinks "pay it forward" will not work, because people are too afraid]
Eugene: Arlene, I don't want to be one of those people he's talking about. And I've become one. I don't want to spend another second of wasted air. Please, don't make me stay trapped in here forever.
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Connections

Referenced in Lights, Camera, Creeper: Making 'Jeepers Creepers 2' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Last Resort
By Tobin Esperance, Jerry Horton, Jacoby Shaddix and Dave Buckner
Performed by Papa Roach
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A touching film in these uncertain times
14 May 2008 | by b4peace-1See all my reviews

A film of surprising majesty mainly because of its sincerity to convey the tale of a young (American) high school student, touchingly and masterfully played by the then 12-year-old Haley Joel Osment, who, at the instigation of his new teacher's challenge to the class, comes up with a beautiful and simple plan to make a difference in the world, involving doing a good turn to not just one person but three, who then, in turn, return the gift themselves to three more people, thereby very quickly spreading goodness in both directions, in the giving and receiving, in the most unlikely places and ways. Warning: a tear-jerker!


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