Pay It Forward

October 20th, 2000


Pay It Forward

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Helen Hunt stars as Arlene McKinneyReuben & TrevorHelen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment and Kevin Spacey starHaley Joel Osment stars as Trevor McKinneyHaley Joel Osment stars as Trevor McKinneyArlene & Reuben

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

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6.9/10 (50,229 voted)

Critic's Score: 40/100

Director: Mimi Leder

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt

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.

Writers: Catherine Ryan Hyde, Leslie Dixon

Kevin Spacey - Eugene Simonet
Helen Hunt - Arlene McKinney
Haley Joel Osment - Trevor McKinney
Jay Mohr - Chris Chandler
Jim Caviezel - Jerry
Jon Bon Jovi - Ricky McKinney
Angie Dickinson - Grace
David Ramsey - Sidney Parker
Gary Werntz - Mr. Thorsen
Colleen Flynn - Woman on Bridge
Marc Donato - Adam
Kathleen Wilhoite - Bonnie
Liza Snyder - Michelle
Jeannetta Arnette - Nurse
Hannah Werntz - Thorsen's Daughter

Taglines: Sometimes The Simplest Idea Can Make The Biggest Difference.


Official Website: Warner Bros. (US) |

Release Date: 20 October 2000

Filming Locations: Bradbury Building - 304 S. Broadway, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,631,359 (USA) (22 October 2000) (2130 Screens)

Gross: $33,508,922 (USA) (4 February 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Haley Joel Osment celebrated his 12th birthday on the set during the last day of shooting. Although Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt had completed their own filming, they turned up on the set just to celebrate his birthday. Coincidentally, Trevor McKinney, the character played by Haley, celebrated his 12th birthday in the movie.

Revealing mistakes: When Chris Chandler is interviewing Trevor, the DVC Pro video camera his girlfriend is using, shown clearly from behind, obviously has neither a battery nor a AC power converter.

Woman on Bridge: [sobbing] Oh, God. For God's sake...
Jerry: Come on, tell me! Why are you not worth it?
Woman on Bridge: [sobbing] Trust me, you wouldn't understand.
Jerry: Are you kidding me? You think I live at the Ritz?

User Review

What movies are supposed to be


Pay It Forward is a prime example of what films are supposed to do: make you laugh a little, cry a lot, and profoundly affect you in a way that keeps you thinking about the movie for weeks afterwards. I saw it at a special preview screening and was blown away. My friends and I sat through the entire credits because we were so taken by what we had seen. Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and the phenomonal Haley Joel Osment once again give performances worthy of Oscars. I only hope there isn't some "retaliation" of sorts because of their previous wins and nominations because they deserve it again this year. But the big winner here is director Mimi Leder who has moved from action films into great cinema. She demonstrates the fine tuned skills she showed while directing ER. As I sat there, one eye kept a close watch of the story while the other marveled at the beautiful direction of every scene. They have my vote for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, and Screenplay. Awe-inspiring!!!!


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