Joe the King (1999)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  22 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,304 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 53 user | 31 critic | 23 from

A disadvantaged, abused, neglected, exploited but basically decent kid slips into criminality while trying to cope with his harsh, inescapable reality.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Theresa Henry
Bob Henry
Max Ligosh ...
Mike Henry
James Costa ...
Richard Bright ...
Mr. Brazer
Robert Whaley ...
Little Joe (as Peter Tambakis)
Harlee Ott ...


A destitute 14-year-old struggles to keep his life together despite harsh abuse at his mother's hands, harsher abuse at his father's, and a growing separation from his slightly older brother. Petty thefts for food grow into more major takes until he steals a cash box from the diner where he works. Although Joe uses the money to pay off some of his father's debts and to replace his mother's records that his father smashed in a fit of temper, Joe gets no thanks. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and abusive situations concerning a child | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pleasant View Avenue  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,793 (USA) (15 October 1999)


$59,014 (USA) (5 November 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The working title of the film was "Pleasant View" during pre-production. See more »


Although the film is supposed to take place during the 1970s, Joe is seen wearing a name brand underwear with the company logo on the waistband. This particular brand didn't produce that style until the late 1990s. See more »


Mike Henry: The old man went nuts.
Joe Henry: What?
Mike Henry: He broke all her records.
See more »


References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »


Around The Town
Written by Ray Davies
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User Reviews

A breakdown of family
30 July 2003 | by (The Greater Southwest) – See all my reviews

As I watched this brilliant film by Frank Whaley, I found myself more and more, examining crime in general. Certainly there are more than a few people that think convicts are born bad and should do the max. However, this film shows under what conditions criminals are made and you know what, it is not always their fault. I know this sounds like liberal claptrap, but I believe it true. In this movie, we see a young man that literally has nothing. An abusive, alcoholic father that is rarely around, unless he is there to smack him around. A mother that can't manage her own affairs, much less anybody elses'. An odd brother that generally only thinks of himself. Then we have our main character who strives to make a go of it and bring them together. He is good and caring, but he is too young to provide for everybody. The family is destitute and will never be the uniting force it needs to be for the betterment of our main character's life. . Our character is uneducated and left to fend on his own, inevitably he turns to crime. Gripping movie that I could not break away from. Highly recommended.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great movie, with real situations of life joadelav
Last shot on Val jazzgrass
aka 'The 400 Blows' shephrd
Mike Henry pete2141
What year was this suppose to be set in? konflikt_causer
okay i need a little help the_office_addict
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