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One Hour Photo (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  13 September 2002 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 92,168 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 600 user | 204 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Maya Burson
...
Yoshi Araki
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Waitress
...
Marion Calvert ...
Mrs. Von Unwerth
David Moreland ...
Mr. Siskind
Shaun P. O'Hagan ...
Young Father
...
Amateur Porn Guy
...
Repairman
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Sav-Mart Clerk
...
Soccer Coach
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Storyline

Middle aged Sy Parrish works as a technician at a one hour photo lab located in a SavMart store in a suburban mall. Sy is a lonely man, never having had any friends. He knows much about his customers through the photographs they have developed. But he knows more about the Yorkin family - specifically Nina Yorkin and her adolescent son Jake Yorkin, the two in the family who drop off and pick up the family's photofinishing - the family about whom he is obsessed, than anyone else. Nina's husband, Will Yorkin, is incidental to his obsession since Sy has only seen him in photographs. Sy's obsession includes fantasizing about being their favorite "Uncle Sy". He has even been making an extra set of prints for himself of all of their photographs since Jake was a newborn. After an incident at work and after Sy finds out more about the family through a set of photographs, he decides to right the injustices he sees in the only way he knows how. His actions demonstrate his true mental state. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's nothing more dangerous than a familiar face. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retratos de una obsesión  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,037,361 (Spain) (23 August 2002)

Gross:

$1,557,340 (Australia) (7 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Van DerZee was the name of an innovative photographer from New York. See more »

Goofs

The steering wheel in Sy's Toyota is in different positions during two immediately adjoining shots while he is following Nina's Mercedes. See more »

Quotes

Larry - Repairman: [angry about Sy's banal reason for a service call] Sy, are you kiddin' me?
[slams door shut on mini-lab machine]
Sy Parrish: What?
Larry - Repairman: I got three of these fuckin' machines down today. I've got to be in Heber Springs by 3:00.
[prepares to leave]
Sy Parrish: Larry, all I'm asking you to do is look at these prints!
[shows photos]
Larry - Repairman: Plus point three? Sy, are you fuckin' kiddin' me? Point three? Nobody gives a shit until those shifts are in the double digits.
Sy Parrish: It's blue, Larry!
[Larry heads for the door]
[...]
See more »

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
Written by Franz Gruber
Produced and Performed by Tim Heintz
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Williams Steals The Show In This Clever Little Chiller
8 March 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

On face value, 'One Hour Photo' may seem like an average thriller but you'll be in for a surprise if you think so. It is a clever little movie that works both as a psychological thriller and an intriguing character study. Thankfully it does not have the absurd twists one has witnessed in the overrated 'Fatal Attraction' or nonsensical ones like in 'Single White Female' or 'The Hand That Rocks the Cable'. The storytelling is very coherent and the portrayal of the characters is very subtle.

This isn't a fast-paced thriller. Writer and director Romanek takes his time to tell the story but that does not make 'One Hour Photo' boring. On the contrary, it allows us to discover the shades of Seymour and allows the viewer to feel sympathy for but also be fear of him. Likewise, we also discover the family Seymour/Sy stalks. At first they appear to be like a happy American family but soon we see, through Seymour's point of view, that reality is something else. Romanek creates a very gloomy cold atmosphere. The viewer does feel Seymour's loneliness from the busy supermarket to his claustrophobic apartment. The film is very well shot as it highlights the gloominess, indifference and closed atmosphere. Romanek also approaches interesting themes about what photographs mean i.e. proof of ones existence (beautifully explained in the film). While people take pictures of happy moments, their reality is something else.

Coming to the performances, what would 'One Hour Photo' be without Robin Williams? The actor is in a completely different form and he does an excellently downplays Sy. Sy is gentle, polite, pathetic and creepy. Williams really brings a humane quality to the character rather than portray him as the clichéd stalker. Nielsen and Vartan are good too. La Salle and Cole give sufficient support. But, in the end, it's a one man show that belongs to Mr. Williams.

There are a few very minor flaws such as a few scenes where reality is suspended but overall this is a cleverly chilling film that deserves to be watched but do not expect lots of murder, bloodshed, or silly twists like boiling a live rabbit.


33 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was Sy an abused child??? toddjacobucci2002
This was actually my favorite of the all roles Robin Williams played MissGoldHeart
Family Picture at the end wdemon85
Sy a Victim of Sexual Abuse? monica9965
THINGS WE LEARNED FROM WATCHING ONE HOUR PHOTO ianradeke
Hotel room scene just another fantasy? stuckinazoo
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