Major Payne

March 24th, 1995


Major Payne

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Still of Damon Wayans in Major PayneStill of Damon Wayans in Major PayneStill of Damon Wayans in Major PayneStill of Damon Wayans in Major PayneStill of Damon Wayans in Major PayneStill of Damon Wayans in Major Payne

Major Benson Winifred Payne is being discharged from the Marines. Payne is a killin' machine, but the wars of the world are no longer fought on the battlefield...

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 5.6/10 (10,952 voted)

Director: Nick Castle

Stars: Damon Wayans, Michael Ironside, Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow

Major Benson Winifred Payne is being discharged from the Marines. Payne is a killin' machine, but the wars of the world are no longer fought on the battlefield. A career Marine, he has no idea what to do as a civilian, so his commander finds him a job - commanding officer of a local school's JROTC program, a bunch or ragtag losers with no hope. Using such teaching tools as live grenades and real bullets, Payne starts to instill the corp with some hope. But when Payne is recalled to fight in Bosnia, will he leave the corp who has just started the believe in him, or will he find out that killin' ain't much of a livin'?

Writers: Joe Connelly, Bob Mosher

Damon Wayans - Maj. Benson Payne
Michael Ironside - Lt. Col. Stone
Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow - Huge Biker
Joseph Blaire - Cadet Bryan (as Joda Blare-Hershman)
Orlando Brown - Cadet Kevin 'Tiger' Dunne
Peyton Chesson-Fohl - Cadet Sgt. Johnson
Stephen Coleman - Cadet Leland
Mark Conway - Police Sergeant
David DeHart - Wellington Cadet Captain
Joshua Todd Diveley - New Cadet
Robert Faraoni Jr. - Smart Ass Soldier
Michael Gabel - Lt. Wiseman
Albert Hall - Gen. Decker
William Hickey - Dr. Phillips
Ross Bickell - Col. Braggart

Taglines: He's looking for a few good men... or a few guys old enough to shave.

Release Date: 24 March 1995

Filming Locations: Ashland, Virginia, USA

Gross: $29,412,050 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Argentina:  | USA:

Did You Know?

In one scene, Major Payne tells the children, "Now apparently, what we have here, is a failure to communicate!" This is a famous quote taken from the movie Cool Hand Luke

Factual errors: They should have been in their PT outfit when doing PT.

Major Benson Winifred Payne: Be advised, ladies, we are going to WIN the Virginia Military Games this year! You will note my emphasis on the word WIN: Whisky! India! November! GET USED TO THE SOUND OF THAT WORD!
[and later, as he's introducing the cadets to their new, off-campus quarters]
Major Benson Winifred Payne: A squad that lives together, wins together! UNITY, turds: that is the key word in UNIT, without the "Y!"

User Review

Unbeatable comedy for the right person in the right frame of mind.

Rating: 10/10

You can pick up two things from reading other IMDb users' comments about this movie: 1) It's not for everyone so chances are you'll either love it or hate it, and 2) The frequency with which someone adds a comment is slowly increasing over time. Both these things lead me to imagine that Major Payne has all the makings of a great cult comedy in the truest meaning of that term.

If I were to offer anyone advice it would be to watch the first ten minutes of the film next time it's on TV. If the style of humour seems amusing to you, settle in for the ride and you'll probably be laughing out loud a LOT. If it seems dumb and you don't get it, cut your losses, switch right off and do something more productive with your time, that way you'll be spared an experience you won't enjoy. It's really that simple in this case.

Me? I had thought from the trailers it was going to be dumb but it came on TV and I started watching. Straightaway I was laughing at the narration, Payne's excessively 'war-ey' attitude ("The sweet smell of mustard gas" !!) and his voice, which you will also either love or hate. The Apocalypse Now spoof had me hooked... I suspected it was going to be another one of those parody flicks like Scary Movie or Hot Shots, but was pleasantly surprised at the way it panned out. The story is by-the-numbers cliched stuff, but it is essentially played with a straight face - there are no winks to the camera. Yet it still works, because even though they don't let on that they know, you still know that the film-makers are aware how cheesy it all is, and in fact I think they are gently sending up all those "inspirational" feelgood movies, without being offensive towards them. This is achieved in part through Wayans' stand out performance, and the blend of realistic (Payne's behaviour towards his charges is apparently mirrored in some real drill instructors) with ridiculous (a 6 year old military cadet??!!) Also, the director's use of music is inspired - consistently over the top at the right moment (eg "Respect") to heighten the humour.

Standout moments for me were the 'Little Engine Who Could' scene and Payne's "vision" whilst waiting at the station. Already I would like to get a copy of this movie as there were many many quotable one liners I would like to see again - as I said, it has the makings of a cult classic. I would recommend it unreservedly to someone if I knew they liked this kind of humour; to everyone else... 10 minutes is the cut off point!

I should just add that although I was in the R.A.F cadets at school, and have a brother in the British army (a Major, no less!!!) I have not been through the 'boot camp experience', yet still found the movie to be very funny. Bottom line though, I can see it's not for everyone, so use your discretion.

8/10 for me ? /10 for you


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