Payback (I) (1999)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama

Payback (1999) Poster

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.

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  • Payback (1999)
  • James Coburn at an event for Payback (1999)
  • Mel Gibson in Payback (1999)
  • Mel Gibson and Maria Bello in Payback (1999)
  • William Devane at an event for Payback (1999)
  • Mel Gibson at an event for Payback (1999)

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Did You Know?


Deborah Kara Unger broke two ribs in the scene where Mel Gibson beats the hell out of her, which is now restored in the Director's Cut. She stated that she was having fun flying around and getting slammed into things, and did one too many.


Porter: 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.


When Porter is hit by Pearl and her group of thugs' car, he shatters the windshield upon impact. Several frames later the windshield is completely intact.

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.


It's a Man's Man's Man's World
Written by
James Brown and Betty Newsome
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records
by Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Music


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller

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