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Payday (Zaentz)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Rip Torn, Anha Capri, Michael C. Gwynne
  • Directors: Daryl Duke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WBZ5X4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,321 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Payday (Zaentz)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Payday (DVD)

Amazon.com

He'll be nigh on unrecognizable to fans of The Larry Sanders Show and Men in Black (not to mention his dozens of other roles), but the actor who gives a, well, rip-roaring performance in Payday is the very same Rip Torn. Directed by Daryl Duke, this 1973 film was one of Torn's few outings as a leading man, and he has a field day as Maury Dann, a mid-level country singer traveling the Deep South honky tonk circuit. We only spend about a day and a half in this unsavory character's company, but that's plenty. Indeed, in those 36 action-packed hours, Dann plays a gig (Torn does his own singing--he's no George Jones, but that's entirely appropriate for the part), goes quail-hunting, drops in to a radio station for an interview, visits his estranged wife and drug-addled mother, pops handfuls of pills and smokes plenty of reefer, and beds no less than three women, one of them in the backseat of his Cadillac while another sleeps right beside them. He is basically a hard living lout, a guy whose sense of entitlement far exceeds his actual stature, and it comes as little surprise when his lies, cynicism, and general abuse of everyone in his orbit catch up to him in the end. Payday effectively immerses the viewer in a world of card-playing good ol' boys, easy women, and cheap motel rooms with cheesy wood paneling. But it's more a series of vignettes than a real story, and while there are some amusing characterizations by the other actors (Cliff Emmich shines as Maury's faithful driver, while Elayne Heilveil is effective as a clueless female conquest), this is Torn's show from beginning to end. For many, that will be enough. The principal bonus feature is a commentary track with director Duke and Saul Zaentz, whose company produced the film. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Good movie very bitter sweet.
LURKER666
In the Seventies, the studios tackled interesting stories and character pieces and "Payday" is no exception.
David Baldwin
The ending was almost certainly predictable but comes unexpectedly and makes for a great close.
Tommy R

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "skipmccoy" on September 3, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is so great, but it's certainly not for all tastes. I saw it for the first time a few months ago(in a rare screening) and have recently acquired the video and watched it again. Rip Torn is so good as country-western singer Maury Dann. This character is just evil, but evil in the kind of way that one can be fascinated by him. It's a great story in which you spend about a day and half with Maury, his band and his manager. There's lots of enjoyable behind-the-scenes type stuff(some of it is quite disturbing). If your a fan of films that might offend your sensibilities a little and you don't mind characters that aren't necessarily folks you'd want to join up with, you will enjoy this film. I sincerely hope it finds lots of new fans on video-it has all the makings of a cult classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Comte de St. Germaine on April 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Incredibly good portrait of a mid-level country music star on a tour of the south. I mean if you're a musician and you've ever been on tour buy this. If nothing else the movie will crack you up. Maury Dann as played by Rip Torn is an irascible, dirty ... The beginning scene with the old time musicians (violinists, banjo players, guitars, etc.) in the hotel room is great in and of itself -- what follows only confirms this great scene. If you're a musician, if you like music, if you like movies, or you're a sociologist fascinated by the country music scene, you should check this movie out.
It's strange because i'm not a expert or nothing but, i think, in 100 years this movie will still be around. It is an expert, unflinching gaze at the degrading aspects of "celebrity."
Regarding the other reviewer's comment, I don't feel that Dann is evil -- the movie is much too realistic to fall into an easy moralistic framework. It almost runs like a documentary. You're here: buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on April 13, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This movie never received the praise it merited. Rip Torn is fantastic as a sleezy second-rate C&W singer scrambling toward Nashville and not caring who he uses -- the scene in the car, you'll have to trust me, is exemplary of such lowlife individuals.
And what ever happened to Elayne Heilveil? She was as superlative in this flick as character Maury Dann was despicable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2007
Format: DVD
Payday (1972) is one of five films being released as part of Warner Home Video's "Directors' Showcase: Take Three" collection. However, these films are being sold individually, not as part of some boxed set. For those of you who are familiar with Rip Torn as irrascible and authoritarian yet lovable characters such as Artie in "The Larry Sanders Show" and Zed in "Men in Black" be prepared for a shock. In this film there is nothing likeable about Torn's character Maury Dann, a country singer currently on tour through the south. There is no wisdom behind his cynicism - he is all about using people. Specifically he is all about indulging in all the sex and substance abuse he can without regard to what it does to others. His life takes a turn to an even darker place when the boyfriend of one of his one-night stands catches up with him in a restaurant one day. This is one of those character study films that were very popular in the 1970's, and Torn does a great job playing a totally ruthless individual who has a totally different on-stage persona from his actual personality. He even does a fine job singing the country and western songs. Payday was directed by 1974 National Society of Film Critics Award winner Daryl Duke.

DVD Special Features:
Commentary by Director Daryl Duke & Producer Saul Zaentz
Widescreen "Matted" format
Subtitles: English and French
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By a movie fan on October 22, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had given up on ever seeing this on disc. It is one of the all-time great cult films - a nearly perfect depiction of a true psychopath. Torn pretty well conveys the psychopathic worldview in one line, "we only pass this way once, darlin', might as well pass in a Cadillac". It is a marvelous portrayal of a chronic, debauched user on the way downhill. Rip Torn is a great actor, and I think this is his masterpiece.
Widescreen films, BTW, don't need to be "matted" because they are already widescreen, so I would guess that this is another blind application of a matte to a FS film to pass it off as widescreen. I hope they don't do as bad a job as they did with Cable Hogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Baldwin on January 22, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The obvious comparison to "Payday" would be Robert Altman's "Nashville" but I think director Daryl Duke outdoes Altman here. The setting of the film is the periphery of the Country-Western scene where the gate is measured in the hundreds and the film's anti-hero, Maury Dann(Rip Torn), gets paid in cash. Dann plies his trade warbling cynical ditties to the cowboy hats and beehives hoping for that opening at the Opry or some misfortune to occur for a slot on "The Johnny Cash Show". Nothing is beneath this rascal. Squiring young girls in the back of his Caddie while nondiscretely tossing to the side of the road old groupies. Payola. Mistreatment of his sidemen. Probably the lowest he can go is killing a man in cold blood and tossing it off on one of his flunkies because "the show must go on". What makes Dann palatable is his devil-may-care attitude and his irresistible grin that is the most enticing this side of Jack. Ironically, Torn was originally cast in the Jack Nicholson role in "Easy Rider" but had to pull out. In the Seventies, the studios tackled interesting stories and character pieces and "Payday" is no exception. Duke later made another underappreciated classic in 1979, "The Silent Partner" with Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer. It would behoove true cineastes to check both of these films out.
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