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The Hunter

The book The Hunter was made into the movie Payback.

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Book details for The Hunter

The Hunter was written by Donald E. Westlake. The book was published in 1962 by Permabook. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Donald E. Westlake also wrote Slayground (1971), Jimmy the Kid (1974), Two Much (1975), Why Me? (1983) and What's the Worst that Could Happen? (1997).

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First in the Parker series. A paperback original, it was published under the pseudonym Richard Stark.
First in the Parker series. A paperback original, it was published under the pseudonym Richard Stark.

Movie details for Payback

The movie was released in 1999 and directed by Brian Helgeland. Payback was produced by Paramount. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, David Paymer, Bill Duke, Deborah Kara Unger, John Glover, William Devane, Lucy Liu, Jack Conley, Kris Kristofferson, Mark Alfa, Kwame Amoaku, Justin Ashforth, Len Bajenski, Kate Buddeke, Price Carson, Roddy Chiong, Art Cohan and Andrew Cooper (II).

 

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They stole his money, turned his woman against him, and left him for dead. Now tough-guy poster child Porter (the appropriately world-weary Mel Gibson) is back, bad to the bone, and a mite ticked off at the Organization that done him wrong. Mucho macho ca... Read More
They stole his money, turned his woman against him, and left him for dead. Now tough-guy poster child Porter (the appropriately world-weary Mel Gibson) is back, bad to the bone, and a mite ticked off at the Organization that done him wrong. Mucho macho carnage ensues.

It took some major guts for first-time director (and Oscar winner for the script of L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland to take a shot at adapting Donald Westlake's pseudonymous, legendarily gritty novel The Hunter for the screen (especially considering that director John Boorman and irresistible force Lee Marvin had already produced a fairly definitive rendering of the source material with their enigmatic 1967 masterpiece Point Blank). Nonetheless this novice auteur managed to pull out a winner. Put simply, this compulsively watchable piece of scuzz-art hits like a well-placed Magnum round, with a wonderful '70s vibe and an awesome rogues' gallery of baddies (including James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, William Devane, and the riotously sadistic Lucy Liu) for the charmingly battered star to play off of--and ultimately wade through.

Although this enjoyably seedy roll through the gutter of Crime Alley does occasionally threaten to wander off its downturned track (hands-on producer Gibson reportedly stepped in at the last moment to make his antihero a little more heroic), the final result is an admirably pulpy, distinctly dirty slice of neo-noir liberally marinated in blood, blue smoke, and bourbon. This particular payback's one tough little SOB, indeed. --Andrew Wright