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One Hour Photo (2002)

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A mentally unstable photo developer targets a middle-class family after his obsession with them becomes more sick and disturbing than any of them could imagine.

Director:

Mark Romanek

Writer:

Mark Romanek
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3,852 ( 182)
6 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Seymour Parrish
Connie Nielsen ... Nina Yorkin
Michael Vartan ... Will Yorkin
Dylan Smith ... Jakob Yorkin
Erin Daniels ... Maya Burson
Paul Hansen Kim ... Yoshi Araki
Lee Garlington ... Waitress
Gary Cole ... Bill Owens
Marion Calvert Marion Calvert ... Mrs. Von Unwerth
David Moreland David Moreland ... Mr. Siskind
Shaun P. O'Hagan Shaun P. O'Hagan ... Young Father
Jim Rash ... Amateur Porn Guy
Nick Searcy ... Repairman
Dave Engfer Dave Engfer ... Sav-Mart Clerk
Jimmy Shubert ... 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:

Er weiß, wo du wohnst! (He knows where you live!) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Retratos de una obsesión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$321,515, 25 August 2002

Gross USA:

$31,597,131

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,223,306
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'One Hour Photo' has been praised for its unique visual style and futuristic vision of american consumerist materialism. See more »

Goofs

After Sy finishes drinking a glass of water and leaves the kitchen during the "good thoughts", his tie clip goes from straight to slanted between shots. See more »

Quotes

Bill Owens: [finishes flicking through candid pictures of his daughter] Motherfucker!
See more »

Alternate Versions

An early cut of the film had several differences than the theatrical version.
  • The opening Fox Searchlight logo briefly becomes a negative image as it fades out. This is obviously a reference to picture negatives.
  • An alternate prologue before the main titles featured a narration by Williams on the red eye effect in human's and animals, while a photo of a family with red eyes, footage of animals with this effect and video of what's happening in the eye when this happens.
  • There was also a scene near the end where a police detective reviews the pictures Sy took of Will & Maya at the hotel. In the theatrical version these photos were never shown and it was left in question whether they were actually taken.
  • The argument between Sy and the photo machine repair guy was extended.
See more »

Connections

References Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Groovin' With You
Written and Performed by Tim Heintz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Mr. Williams Steals The Show In This Clever Little Chiller
8 March 2008 | by ChrysanthepopSee 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.


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