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King of the Hill (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 20 August 1993 (USA)
A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

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(memoir), (screenplay)
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mr. Kurlander
...
Mrs. Kurlander
...
Miss Mathey
...
Mr. Mungo
...
Lydia
Cameron Boyd ...
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Lester
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Ben (as Joseph Chrest)
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Patrolman Burns
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Ella McShane
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Mrs. McShane
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Billy Thompson
Peggy Freisen ...
Mrs. Thompson
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Christina Sebastian

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Storyline

A boy whose mother is forced into a sanitarium and father gets a job as a traveling salesman. The boy fends for himself in a seedy SRO hotel. Written by Mark Allyn <allyn@netcom.com>

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Taglines:

When the world turns upside down, the trick is coming out on top.

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Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hegyek ura  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,299,318 (USA)
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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Aaron and Lester break into the hotel room to find a dress for Aaron to wear in graduation, Lester picks the door lock with a single pocket knife. However no locks can be opened with a single instrument, he should have had at least a wrench too. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Kurlander: Must you wear that filthy thing on your head?
Aaron: Ma, it's a hat. You wear it on your head.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film was re-recorded in a Swelltone theater See more »


Soundtracks

You'll Do It Someday
(1929)
Written by Bob Storm and Ken Mitchell
Performed by Rudy Vallee
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
The best American film of the nineties
16 February 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt, I would argue King of the Hill to be the best American film of the 1990's above any other American film you can think of. The subtlety of the performances and the evocative production design pull you into the carefully constructed world of Aaron Kurlander, building the right level oh humour and drama, and never allowing it's self to become bogged down with tacky sentimentality. Steven Soderbergh really out-did himself with this one, and it's by far the best thing he's done, you can forget the overrated, over-hyped Oscar nabbing rubbish of Traffic, this showed a young director willing to experiment with tried and tested film-making techniques and find the right visual language for the film. King of the Hill is a film that is so deliberately paced, and so elegantly put together, that at times it's as though your not watching an American film at all, there is such a European atmosphere that it seems out of place with some of the other U.S. film released in the same year (Jurassic Park, Mrs Doubtfire and Cliffhanger being just three of the top grossing movies of ‘93).

So is it any wonder that King of the Hill failed to set the box office alight with popcorn based seat fillers like that, I mean, who wants to see the story of a young boy coming of age under the harshest conditions when you can see Robin Williams vacuuming in drag to the sounds of Aerosmith. Yeah, sounds like a safe bet for all the family. But King of the Hill is such a good movie, that the hard-to-describe plot should be overlooked, and people should just give it a chance, they will be so moved by Aaron's plight, and so drawn in by Soderbergh's direction (coupled with Elliot Davis' composition heavy cinematography) and detailed production design that they will not be able to pull themselves away. Added to that the great acting from the entirety of the eclectic cast, that includes Jeroen Krabbe, Spalding Grey, Elizabeth McGovern, Karen Allen, new comers Jesse Bradford and Cameron Boyd, and (then) unknowns Adrien Brody (who was great as Ritchie in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam) and Roswell star Katherine Heigl. Soderbergh's handling of his young actors is nothing short of genius, their characters and characterization is multi-layered to the extent that we never doubt that their characters are real.

King of the Hill is an unbelievable film that, as I have already said, is (in my opinion) the greatest American film of the nineties and should be seen by everyone who is a fan of not just intelligent cinema, but film lover's in general. And it's about time the film got some kind of proper video and/or DVD release, as it's unavailability is scandalous. 10/10


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