6.8/10
2,422
53 user 31 critic

Joe the King (1999)

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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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Winston
...
Max Ligosh ...
James Costa ...
Ray
...
Waitress
...
Mary
...
Roy
...
Mr. Brazer
...
Robert Whaley ...
Jerry
...
Little Joe (as Peter Tambakis)
Harlee Ott ...
Dawn
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Storyline

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 <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pleasant View Avenue  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,793, 17 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,279, 31 December 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the end of the movie where Henry is making an attempt to tell Joe how much he really cares, the lullaby music coming form the ice cream truck was unintentional. But Whaley liked the way it felt, so he left it in. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Bob Henry: What do you need the money for? Christ, I coulda got you the money. What the fuck d'you need money for? You're thirteen fucking years old.
Joe: Fourteen
Bob Henry: Well, you're not gonna see fifteen at this rate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Return to Innocence (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Super Sweet
Performed by Wardell Piper
Written by John Fitch (as John H. Fitch Jr.), Reuben Cross, Michael Brown
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User Reviews

 
Fly on Wall Award
1 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

First I have to tell you that I am a big SciFi/Action film fan. This movie is so good it transcends your own personal tastes and glues you to your seat - you remain mesmerized until the end.

The only weak link in this movie is the choice of Val Kilmer as Joe's father. His performance is good, but it is weak compared to the incredible depth the other actors give their characters. Why? Val has to outperform his "baggage" which he almost does (in my opinion) but not effectively enough to make this movie a 10. (I voted 9)

"Joe the King" is a great movie. Perceptive accurate directing *and* writing by Mr. Frank Whaley. There is no screen. There is no you, only the characters you are watching - their lives flow past you like a melancholy melody leaving you alone as a spectator like the proverbial "fly on the wall." You disappear into the film - there is no higher praise.

Young Mr. Peter Tambakis does a stellar performance who is incredibly adept at acting beyond his age. He is the central character who must be good to pull off the whole movie. He does it so easily that you are amazed that he is only 14 and not an achieved experienced actor of 65.

Another amazing thing about this movie is that the bit players, e.g. the police, are utterly relaxed (not stiff) and perform as if this is just another day in their job. They leave you feeling that you are watching a documentary and not a fiction. This is a direct indication of the great directing.

Incredible movie, no - incredible film. It will leave you introspective about your own life. What a blessing. What a film.


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