Roll, Camera, Major Payne!?

Roll, Camera, Major Payne!?

The year 1995 marked the debut of Major Payne- an American Comedy movie that made a worldwide gross of 30.1 million and about 7 million on the day of its debut making it climb to the second-ranking movie in the US Box Office. The story surrounds a ruthless military officer who is employed among a bunch of mischievous scouts to train them for the upcoming games.

The movie runs for about 1hr 35min, that is 95 minutes, and it is the right choice for spending quality family time together while watching it. The mischief of the children at the same time their determination to achieve the trophy is a perfect combination of comedy as well as motivation. The bubbly entertainment which the movie highlights is an obvious attraction for the younger generation while the story might seem very predictable for adults. Though the movie derives similarity with the ‘The Private War of Major Benson’, of 1955 it highlights the uniqueness through the excellent screenplay of its co-stars Karyn Parsons, Damon Wayans, Michael Ironside, Steven Martini, etc.

  • Major Payne’s director Nick Castle, who is best known as Michael Myers (his fictional movie character) is famous for his contribution as an actor in Halloween 1978 – horror movie. His presence in that movie left an unerasable mark over the audience for years. As a director he is best known for Escape from New York (1981), The Last Starfighter (1984), The Boy who could Fly (1986), and Major Payne (1995). His movie, The Last Starfighter (1984) is known to be one of the earliest movies to use CGI extensively. The director is well-versed in all genres, his innovative touch in comedy is best portrayed in Major Payne, another reason to be on your watchlist.
  • The role of Major Payne is being played by Damon Wayans, a well-known stand-up comedian, producer, writer, and actor. He is best known for writing and producing ‘In Living Colour’ a comedy show, also his roles in Beverly Hills Cop, The Last Boy Scout, My Wife, and Kids, Lethal Weapon are renowned. 
  • Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Karyn Parsons played the role of Emily Walburn who is the academic counselor of the scout boys in the film.

Overall, the film packs a rainbow of comedy as put forth by its story writers Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly. 

The film scores a 6.3 IMDb rating while a 4.7/5 according to the audience. The audience has mixed reviews, some say that it is a classic comedy movie which is a full pack entertainment to watch along with family while some say that it is quite predictable. 91% of Google users liked the movie. It scores a 7.1/10 by Metacritic.

One of the famous film critics, Roger Ebert who won the Pulitzer Prize for his distinguished criticism praises the dialogues of Payne in Chicago Sun-Times and says that Wayans is talented enough to do justice to his role in delivering them sarcastically and making the viewers paint horrifying pictures out of them. Despite his role of disciplining kids, Wayans was successful in drawing comedy through narrowness and blind commitment to training the misfit cadets to win the trophy in games. The movie receives a PG-13 for schoolyard violence and profanity. 

Some of the jokes cracked in the movie might seem dumb to the audience, sometimes it looks like some comedies are purposely made to fit for the scene but through the flow of the movie, it doesn’t seem so – writes Rita Kempley on The Washington Post.

The Film doesn’t highlight the reasons for the cadets to be misfits but just portrays them as pawns to Payne’s performance. Wayans is entertaining, but that doesn’t take the film on a long track. With 1.5/5 stars, Louis Black concludes these terms in the Austin Chronicle.


  • Is Major Payne based on a true story?

No, it is not. Although it is related to Charlton Heston’s ‘The Private War of Major Benson (1955)’, it is based on a disciplinarian’s point of view. 

  • Why is Major Payne, PG-13?

The movie has used dialogues that contain profanity. Schoolyard violence is also seen.

  • Will there be Major Payne-2?

Orlando Brown who played the role of the cadet ‘Tiger’ in the film has dropped hints along with Damon Wayans about its happening, but nothing is confirmed yet.

  • Does Major Payne have bad words?

To be specific, words like, ‘turd’, ‘scrotum sac’, ‘worm’, ‘maggot’ are used for humor.

  • Who are the producers of Major Payne?

Eric L. Gold, Michael Rachmil

  • How many cuss words are there in Major Payne?

There are about seven filthy words.

  • Is Major Payne available on Netflix?

Sadly, Major Payne is not available on American Netflix, but one can easily change the Netflix region other than America, for instance, they can choose New Zealand to watch it on New Zealand Netflix. 

  • What School was used for filming Major Payne?

Major Payne was filmed at Miller School in Charlottesville. This same location was used to film, ‘Toy Soldiers (1991)’.

  • How did Damon Wayans prepare for Major Payne?

The hardworking actor underwent several weeks of training for the role. He learned the requirements to become a Marine Corps Drill Instructor by undergoing Marine Corps Training. The style of his walk, his posture, talking on to the face of each cadet, speech, and voice modulation, etc can clearly state the level of training to have him subconsciously doing it, without much-acting efforts. Wayans, who is a stand-up comedian if had not undergone training, had to improvise constantly, but the training showed up in giving the role worth the raise.

Speaking of some additional facts- Chris Owen who played the role of a deaf kid – Cadet Willinger did 57 push-ups on set! 25 for sneezing on Payne, 25 for speaking out of line, and 7 for games. He was 15 years old at the time of filming Major Payne.

Where to watch- 

You can watch the trailer here

Watch the movie for free with ads or purchase it on-

Amazon Prime

Watch the movie without ads on a rental basis or buy it on-

iTunes Preview

Google Play

Vudu Fandango


Damon Wayans. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Ferrari, A. (2021, July 13). IFH 485: Directing Last Starfighter & Writing Escape from New York with Nick Castle. Retrieved from Indie Film Hustle:,Directing%20Last%20Starfighter%20%26%20Writing%20Escape%20from%20New%20York%20with%20Nick,York%20(1981)%20among%20others.

Karyn Parsons. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Kempley, R. (n.d.). Major Payne (PG-13). Retrieved from The Washington Post:

Major Payne. (n.d.). Retrieved from Metacritic:

Major Payne. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Major Payne. (n.d.). Retrieved from Chronevents:

Major Payne. (n.d.). Retrieved from Robert

Major Payne. (n.d.). Retrieved from the TV guide:

Major Payne Trivia. (n.d.). Retrieved from IMDb:

Roll, Camera, Major Payne!?

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