7.2/10
104,129
664 user 159 critic

Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
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A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,716 ( 46)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Eugene Simonet
... Arlene McKinney
... Trevor McKinney
... Chris Chandler
... Jerry (as James Caviezel)
... Ricky McKinney
... Grace
... Sidney Parker
Gary Werntz ... Mr. Thorsen
... Woman on Bridge
... Adam
... Bonnie
... Michelle
... Nurse
... 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:

Three imperfect people. One perfect idea. 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros. (US)

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

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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:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Jaguar owner is played by director Mimi Leder's husband, Gary Werntz. His character's asthmatic daughter is their real-life daughter, Hannah Leder. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning Eugene writes the task on the blackboard, and later in the movie he is cleaning it from other notes and clearly the task given is not on the blackboard. Near the end when doing the interview you can see the task once again written on the blackboard, as if it had never been removed. 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 Die Familienanwältin: Hunger (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Mar y cielo
By Julio R. Reyes
Performed by Los Hermanos Martinez Gil
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
16 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

In our world helping other people is perhaps the most important we can do. Children are the ones who often teach us how to behave in certain unpleasant circumstances. It is not only a moving story but everybody who sees this film stops for a moment or more and think over the meaning of life. One of the best American films I have ever seen with lots of good actors. Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt are wonderful. In secondary schools it should be a compulsory part of education. I am a teacher and when I want to talk about this topic I always choose this film and students find it a very good example, too. It has not got a happy ending like it often happens in life. It is not a stupid story, it gives us lots of extras. When I first watched it, at the end of the film I was full of emotions and just could not sleep for a while. To put it into a nutshell: Try it and pay attention to Pay it forward.


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