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Both the 1967 Lee Marvin flick, Point Blank, and Mel Gibson's Payback (1999) are based on the novel, The Hunter, by Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake). Although the underlying premise is similar, the two movie adaptations are significantly dissimilar to each other.

I'd like to know which of the two scripts is, if at all, more faithful to the novel. Please also consider Helgeland's 2006 director's cut of Payback (titled Payback: Straight Up) which is quite different from the original.

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Never seen (or heard of) a director's cut for Payback. Interesting to know since I always enjoyed this movie. Is it really that different from the original cut? –  Sonny Burnett Aug 26 '13 at 7:50
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@ChristianRau Yep. In many ways, it's a different movie altogether. –  coleopterist Aug 26 '13 at 8:27

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Having seen both films and read the Westlake novel (actually four of them) the statement can be made that the films only peripherally resemble the character of Parker. The 1967 Boorman film gets most of the story elements correct and the 1999 film is somewhat faithful to Parker's level of obsession.

However, Parker as written by Westlake was a taciturn and difficult to like character who wouldn't have even made a decent anti-hero protagonist much less a "good guy." Neither film captures this, although Lee Marvin seems closer to Westlake's imagining of the character than Mel Gibson.

Of the two films, Point Blank (1967) is closer to the novel although it does contain "supernatural elements" that aren't there in the original text. Payback (1999) is actually less faithful to the novel, but more true to the viciousness of the criminals who Parker faces during his quest.

(Reference: newimprovedgorman)

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