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O'Horten (2009)

Baard Owe , Espen Skjønberg , Bent Hamer  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Baard Owe, Espen Skjønberg, Ghita Nørby, Henny Moan, Bjørn Floberg
  • Directors: Bent Hamer
  • Writers: Bent Hamer, Harold Manning, Tom Gulbrandsen
  • Producers: Bent Hamer, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Catho Bach Christensen, Christoph Friedel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002H6NVPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "O'Horten" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Odd Horten is a neat, meticulous, pipe-smoking train conductor, winding up 40 years of service for the Norwegian railways. O'Horten poses the following question: When a man's life has been determined by timetables and clearly-defined journeys along narrow tracks, how does he spend his free hours? Director Bent Hamer provides the answer in this droll comedy, which follows Odd Horten about his final work shifts and then into the uncertain world of retirement. Scandinavian comedies tend toward the deadpan and the melancholic, and Hamer (whose Kitchen Stories was a similarly wonderful exercise) clearly likes working in that vein. It helps that lead actor Baard Owe perfectly fits this style: if Odd Horten is ever troubled or excited by much, it rarely registers across Owe's leathery, imperturbable face. Horten meets the dilemma of buying a new pipe with the same placid curiosity he brings to meeting a stranger who invites him to his home and proposes they test the stranger's theory that he can drive a car with his eyes closed. Why not? Hamer's poker-faced approach is especially useful because it disguises an old-fashioned story of a regimented man waking up to flexibility in the winter of his life, a possibly sentimental theme given a brisk treatment. Odd Horten wouldn't have it any other way. --Robert Horton

Stills from O’Horten (Click for larger image)

Product Description

The moment the train leaves the station without engineer Odd Horten (Bard Owe) aboard, he realizes the path ahead is a journey without printed timetables and well-known stations. Horten has been forced to retire after 40 years of traveling a very stable rail, and the platform does not feel like a safe place anymore. His orderly, solitary existence is about to give way to a future of unlikely adventures and puzzling dilemmas: will Horten ever travel by plane? Will he finally sell his prized boat? How does Horten end up in a pair of women's red high-heeled shoes? Will he survive a nighttime drive with a blindfolded man at the wheel? O'HORTEN is Bent Hamer's wonderfully skewed view of the human condition, and gives us that somewhat absurdist vision with great warmth, a little melancholy and universal appeal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who didn't find "The Odd Couple" odd enough September 26, 2009
This gorgeously filmed and exceedingly odd tale about a man named "Odd" is very slow moving and probably not a good choice for viewers operating in type A mode. It took me a good while to acclimate to its glacial pace, but I'm glad I finally did.

The movie is set in snow-covered Norway where Odd Horten, a train engineer and man of few words...very, very few about to make his last run on the rails before retirement. Until now, Odd's life has been one of steady-as-he-goes routine, puffing on his pipe, tending to his parakeet, driving his train and visiting his unresponsive mother, the onetime ski jumper, at her nursing home. But now, suddenly, Odd's life is about to become very odd indeed: When he bypasses a locked door to gain access to his own retirement party, he somehow winds up in a strange apartment spending the night in a little kid's bedroom. When he tries to meet with the man who wants to buy his boat, he somehow winds up lost in the middle of an airport runway, with security on his tail. When he goes to get dressed after a swim and sauna, he finds that someone's made off with his boots, leaving him only a pair of bright red high heels to walk home in and, amazingly, they fit.

But it's only after Odd offers to hail a cab for a man lying prone on the sidewalk that things begin to get really really odd and...eventually and, of course, slowly....lead to a most satisfying ending. A great choice for something to watch while snowbound...or wishing you were.

(P.S. Anyone know why a story about someone named Odd Horten would be titled "O'Horten" and not "O. Horten"?)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliberate Norwegian Film October 21, 2009
If you loved Kitchen Stories, (Kitchen Stories (Original Swedish/ Norwegian Version with English Subtitles) Salmer fra kjøkkenet), you will love this film. I really loved O'Horten.

Oh this movie moves very slowly. Yes it most certainly plods along at it's own special pace. It is Norwegian, I don't think things move very quickly in Norway in the winter. The story is about Odd Horten (yes his name is Odd - I presume a perfectly normal name in Norwegian) a train engineer that is about to retire after decades of perfect service. He is a boring man, does things exactly the same all the time, full of routine. He is also a very quiet humble person. The director places Odd in strange situations that make him leave his routine.

The cinematography is remarkable. In an early scene, Odd is sitting in the engineer's seat of the train, he's framed by an unusual diamond shape. Later when he is talking with the hotel owner, somebody we sense has more than just a hotel / client relationship with Odd, she is very carefully framed in a cabinet that resembles the train. Subtle moments like this happen throughout the film. It's a small technique that adds so much power to the film. The pacing is just so perfect, slow and methodical. The director never presses forward too quickly; he also never repeats the punch line or key moment or speaks past that moment. I loved the timing. The sets were spartan, reflecting the simple routine life of Odd. Things get much more complicated near the end of the film when he meets a friend; his house is full of clutter.

The director Bent Hamer is simply wonderful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"O' Horten" (2007), Norway's official submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, follows a 67-year-old quiet train driver Odd Horten (Baard Owe) and the people (some of them very strange) he encounters before and after his retirement. The slow and leisurely pace of the film won't be to everyone's taste, but the quirky tone, off-center humor and life-affirming attitudes of the film will appeal to some of the film fans. Perhaps you never saw this bizarre scene of people literally sliding down the street in the cold night of Oslo.

Meet Odd Horten, a pipe-smoking train driver of Norway's Bergen Express. He has been working for the railroad company more than 40 years and he is going to retire this week. On the last day of his job, however, he makes a terrible mistake. He is late for the train. Running impulsively away from the platform (on which he watches his train leaving), Mr. Horten meets people he would not have expected to meet before.

The film is directed by Bent Hamer, whose previous works include "Kitchen Stories and "Factotum," the latter starring Matt Dillon. In his newest film "O' Horten" the Norwegian director has put together a string of apparently unrelated events to suggest our laconic protagonist's past and future. Who is the old landlady at the inn where Horten stays? What happened between him and her? Or what will happen? Everything is open to our imagination.

The film is episodic, and like any episodic films, its pace occasionally lags, but be patient as some episodes (the widow at the tobacco shop, for instance) are really touching. The photography is beautiful, but I am afraid the night shots are sometimes too dark. Again I say this is not a film for everyone, but is recommended for anyone interested in more subdued approach to humor, as well as life, past and future.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars my opinion : a film worth having in your collection.
i loved it ! unique story and characters.i liked the music as well.
Published 6 days ago by mr john e.
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very slow moving movie but that's part of the story.
Some reviewers complained how slow the movie moved but that was part of conveying this man's life. I am still not sure if he went down the ski jump or if he just imagined he was... Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Norwegian movies rock
The Norwegian director, Bent Hamer has made a contribution to the movie going (and dvd buying) public. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Rottyboyy
5.0 out of 5 stars O Horten
What a fabulous slice of life. The reality that so many of us are inhibited (sometimes our whole life) by parents or family edicts, is the truth that slowly unfolds in this... Read more
Published 20 months ago by ChancesR
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie! but give it time to grow on you!
At first, I did not like the film as much. It was not what I expected!

But eventually, it grew on me. Only because I gave it a chance. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Pera Kivi
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite odd enough, but effective nonetheless...
Forced into retirement, Odd Horten is suddenly left bewildered at just what it in store for him. Led by a life of routine, Horten finds himself without a set path and boundless... Read more
Published on August 7, 2012 by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Superb
O'HORTEN is so un-American...and so real I can taste it. It makes me want to watch "I Remember Mama" all over again. Remember Dagmar? Read more
Published on December 22, 2011 by Samuel Augustus Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE.
This is a beautiful gemstone, yet again done by the wonderful Norwegians. The cinematography is amazing. The music by Kado is amazing. The acting is simple and amazing. Read more
Published on July 28, 2011 by ELISE
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Funny ....
.... unless you're Scandinavian. No, limit that to Norwegian or Swedish, or Minnesotan. Even a Dane wouldn't crack a smile at most of the quirky humor of "O'Horten". Read more
Published on July 31, 2010 by Giordano Bruno
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow and boring
O Horten depicts a persons attempt to cope with retirement. Odd Horten is a train engineer and has been driving for many years, always punctual and bound by routine fails to arrive... Read more
Published on February 27, 2010 by Amit Talpade
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