Synopsis: Porter is bad, but his neighbours are worse. Street-wise and tough, an ex-marine, he is betrayed by a one-time partner, and shot in the back by his junkie wife. He survives and returns, looking to recover his share from the robbery of an Asian crime gang. The money has passed into the hands of "the Outfit", a slick gangster organisation that runs the city. He has to make his way through a world populated by heroin dealers, prostitutes, sado-masochists, gunmen and crooked cops, a place where torture is a way of life. His only friend is a former employer, a prostitute, and her loyalty is in question, given she now works for the Outfit. He makes good early progress, but then falls into the hands of Fairfax, the crime boss.
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Brian Helgeland
Production: Paramount Pictures
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

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...

..."quality health care."

Not many men know

what their life's worth.

I do.

Seventy grand.

That's what they took from me.

And that's what

I was going to get back.

They say, "Time heals all wounds."

You'd think, after five months

of lying on my back...

...l'd give up

any idea of getting even.

Just be a nice guy, call it a day.

Nice guys are fine. You got to have

someone to take advantage of.

But they always finish last.

Help a cripple.

Thank you, sir.

Help a Vietnam vet walk again.

Help a cripple.

Thank you, sir.

What the f*** you doing?

Get the f*** out!

Shut up. I cured you.


- What do I owe you?

- Two ninety-eight.

Son of a...

Hey, my cigarettes!

Sorry, sorry. Pardon me.

Thank you.

One hundred...

...two hundred...

...three hundred.

Have a nice day, Mr. Johnson.

Excellent fit, sir.

And how will you be paying?

I'll give you $900.

Let me see that Magnum.

That's it.

$400 and the gun.

I'll need to see I.D.

Of course.

I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson,

this card's been canceled.


Do you have another form

of payment?

Try it again.

Old habits die hard, I guess.

If you don 't kick them,

they kick you.

Ain 't marriage grand?


You're not dead.

What are you going to do?

Kill me?

Not now.

You're cleaning up.

Val still wants to talk to you.

Sorry, babe.

Shall I tell him

to call back again?

No, I'll talk to him.

Shut him up anyway.

Yep, same as always. You?

Yeah, good, good.

Why? Are you there now?

Don't sweat it, Val.

We all look alike to them.

Same crew. The Chows.

Twice a week.

Tuesday and Friday, between 11 and 12.

Always the same route.

Chinese money laundry.

How much in the case?

Anywhere between 340 and half a mill.

How much do you need?

We split it 40-40.

I mean, how much do you need

to buy your way back?

Into the syndicate.

How much?

- The Outfit?

- Whatever.

Jesus. You know everything.

Hi, sweetie.

The Chows won't go to the cops.

They keep everything in-house.

They don't feel pain.

You notice anything about those guys?

They look nasty.

Probably kung fu motherfuckers.

- Did I miss something?

- They weren't wearing seat belts.

We'll hit them on Friday.

Hubba, hubba, hubba!

Lookie here.

How's that pileup taste?

Daddy brought home the bacon, baby.



After kicking a Chow's ass,

you want to do it again.



That's 70 grand?

That's not enough.

Is for me.

I'm taking a few months off.

I'm up short. Sixty short.

F***ing slants!

Should have hit them Tuesday.


We got away clean.

And got something to show for it.

Be grateful for what you get,

rule number one.

Yeah, rule number one.


Everything's cool.

Just not enough! All right?

Never is, Val.

Baby, just put the money

in the car, will you?

I can't f***ing believe it.

You know what, Porter?

This is funny.

This will kill you.

It's always 140.

Someone ought to give me a Ph.D.

Jesus! Wait till I'm out

of the f***ing way!

Everything's cool, baby.

You were great.

Everything's cool. Give me...

Okay, keep the gun.

That's it. Everything's cool.

It's just like we planned.

Come on.

Don't fall apart on me now.

There we go.

I bet you got a lot of questions

rattling in your head.

Lynn did not understand.

I don't know.

Wives get funny

when it comes to girlfriends.


I didn't get that.

You got it.

Come on, Miss Porter.

I don't have all day.

Is Miss Porter here?

Mrs. Porter.

Yeah, whatever.


Get up. Turn around.

Come on.

What have we got here?

How much in here?

Two grand.

- What's in here?

- Helium.

What do you think it is?

It's heroin.

Sh*t. Oh, sh*t.

Val Resnick.

Where is he?

You want to know where he is?

He's right here.

Look. F*** you.

Wrong answer.

God! You motherf***er!

- F***!

- Val Resnick.

I never heard of him, man.

Where'd you get the sh*t?

Come on.

They'll f***ing kill me.

What do you think I'll do?

Worry about me.

Oh, come on. Okay, okay.

Stegman, man.

Arthur Stegman.

Where is he?

South End Taxi.

Farragut Road, man.


You're welcome.

I'm looking for Arthur Stegman.

He ain't here.

Something I can help you with?

No, you can't. Where is he?

I don't know.

Take a guess.


Take a guess about where he is.

Is he at home?

Go f*** yourself.

Here we go.

- This one's mine.

- Roll it.

Wait, that was mine.

There's somebody here to see you.

I'm looking for Stegman.

Who are you?

I'm Porter.

Porter, that looks like assault to me.

He looks like he likes

to resist arrest.

F***! Not in here.

Jesus! He wants to talk.

Am I right? Did I call it?

Are you Stegman?

Maybe. What do you want?

Your boy didn't make his delivery.

Why don't we talk outside?

You're a dealer?

Just forget about it, all right?

Don't touch my money either.

Come on...

This is heroin?

This is heroin.

Don't worry about it.

Take it easy.

Let's talk.

What are you looking at?

Play your game.

And you're bleeding

all over my couch!

Come on!

Steggie's been holding out on us.

I'll check it out.

Val Resnick.

- What about him?

- Where is he?

Even if I knew,

the answer would still be no.

- Where'd you meet up with my boy?

- At his drop.

Is he dead?

No, but she is.

O.D.'d on that crap you sent her.

So? What do you care?

I'm her husband.

You won't f***ing kill me?

Not in front of these kids.

Where is he?

I don't know!

That's the truth.

It got delivered to me last night.

I won't see anyone till next month.

Why all the trouble?

He's afraid of the girl.

I mean...

...of Mrs. Porter.

I mean, that's how it looks to me.

I don't know nothing.

I know Val from the old days.

Three months ago he asks me

to do him a favor.

I make an extra grand a month.

I figure, what the hell?

Now you threaten to kill me?

That much a buddy of Val's I am not.

He's in the city.

That's all I know.

How do you know that?

- He said so.

- When?

When he came. Said he squared

himself with the syndicate.

Said he was back

in the big time for good.

He was very excited.

You tell him that Porter is back too.

And he wants his money.

I'll come back for you

when these kids are not around.

When would I tell him this?

Talk to me.

There's a young lady to see you.

Her name is Pearl.

She's got two very bad habits.

Right now I'm only interested

in one of them.

Send her up.

Apartment 718, ma'am.

Go right on up.

Send her up.

It's Haskell.

Sorry to call you at home...

Don't be sorry.

Just don't call.

I got a call from a cab guy

on the south end.

- What is it?

- It's this guy, Stegman.

Sh*t. Hold on a second.

On your knees, b*tch.

I want satisfaction.

I'm on the phone, Pearl.

It's "Mistress Pearl."

I'm on the f***ing phone!

Make it quick.

This guy Stegman calls.

He sounded all nervous,

like something scared him.

He had to talk to you.

I said I'd see what I could do.

Rate this script:4.0 / 4 votes

Brian Helgeland

Brian Thomas Helgeland (born January 17, 1961) is an American screenwriter, film producer and director. He is most known for writing the screenplays for L.A. Confidential (for which he received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Mystic River, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Helgeland also wrote and directed 42 (2013), a biopic of Jackie Robinson, and Legend (2015), about the rise and fall of the Kray twins. more…

All Brian Helgeland scripts | Brian Helgeland Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Payback" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    What is the purpose of "scene headings" in a screenplay?
    A To indicate the location and time of a scene
    B To provide dialogue for characters
    C To describe the character's actions
    D To outline the plot