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Clockwatchers (1997)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  15 May 1998 (USA)
6.4
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Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her... See full summary »

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Title: Clockwatchers (1997)

Clockwatchers (1997) on IMDb 6.4/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jane
Helen FitzGerald ...
Cleo
...
Art
...
Eddie
...
Mr. MacNamee
...
Barbara
...
Mr. Kilmer
...
Milton Lasky
...
Bud Chapman
...
Jack Shoberg
Irene Olga López ...
Coffee Lady (as Irene Olga Lopez)
...
Global Credit Receptionist
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Storyline

Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture. Written by Vanessa Exum <vexum@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FOUR GIRLS. FOUR DREAMS. ONE OFFICE. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avokonttorin prinsessat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,838 (USA) (15 May 1998)

Gross:

$444,354 (USA) (21 August 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Iris and Margaret are at Margaret's apartment, Iris is holding a small ashtray and Margaret says she got it from a hotel. In the next shot Iris holding what appears to be a small dish of food, or even a microwave dinner platter. See more »

Quotes

Margaret: The only real challenge with this job, is trying to look busy when there's nothing to do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 October 1998 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Where is Your Heart
Written by Georges Auric and William Engvick
Performed by Musette of Paris
Used by permission of Gems-EMI Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Laserlight Digital
By arrangement of Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

Existential angst in a service based world
6 January 2003 | by (Morris Twp, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a really provocative movie that is artfully filmed.

Good art often offers commentary on the times. When you're in the midst of an era, it's hard to see what characterizes it. I think Clockwatchers does a terrific job of capturing a facet of the temp world of the 80's/90's. I was a temp for a year in 1988. It's quite accurate.

But you don't have to be a temp to recognize these characters. Yes Dilbert, yes Office Space, and especially the beginning of Joe vs the Volcano have these same foils. But I think Clockwatchers' take was unique. The characters were well developed while still being archetypes. There was a subtlety and style that all the others listed chose against.

The direction and cinematography of this film is terrific. It takes guts to burn film doing a close-up of someone's glasses for 10 seconds. There is real art to this film. The writing, the directing, the pacing, editing, all right up at the top of the scale. The acting was fine, but I don't think it's the strong suit of this movie. Toni Collette is a standout. While I love Parker Posey, I think she was probably a bit over the top here. The Muzak, while as mood-setting as the buzz of florescent lighting, can grate at a viewer.

This film touched on too may things to list them all. Here's a sample... What are you doing with your life if you're waiting for it to burn off? Isn't it exhausting and poisoning to pretend to look busy all day? If you are a cog in a machine, and accomplishing nothing at that too, did you really even exist? Are the "troublemakers" in life getting us in trouble, or offering us freedom (note there are two people here stirring up the pot)? What is theft (and theft of services)? Where is the dividing line between unethical play and immorality? At what point do you give up on the dream of personal growth? Are some people "better" than others? What does beauty (and grooming) have to do with it? Does the corporate hierarchy define our worth to others or our self-worth? What is loyalty and betrayal, to whom do you owe how much, and how do you give consent to those obligations/ownership? Work/friends/family are all portrayed as villains and allies wielding this loyalty Sword of Damocles.

One IMDB reviewer said this film was a good way to kill time after work. That's terrific irony. :)


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any temp 'horror' stories you'd like to share? jumpingjoe821
The Ending was very sad..... wakkadakka
Can't stop watching it? Green-Winger
Complaints and Questions kayeanna77
What happens to characters at end of movie? ronaldsnelgrove
Rising cult hit? ombudsgirl
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