Blu-ray Disc Features:
- Number of Discs: 3
- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 25, 2014
- Originally Released: 1993
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region [unknown]
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 08/20/1993
"...Warmth, wit and none of the usual overlay of nostalgia..."
Premiere - 04/01/1994
"...[Soderbergh] back on track..." - Recommended
Sight and Sound - 01/01/1994
"...Loving use of period charm..."
Variety - 05/24/1993
"...KING OF THE HILL has all the rich satisfactions of a fine novel....[A] densely detailed, superbly acted evocation of a resourceful boy's life..."
Film Comment - 07/01/1993
"...There are real feelings here, and decent performances..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/10/1993
"...[Soderbergh] has made his best film..."
Wall Street Journal - 02/08/2013
"An almost perfect coming-of-age film, it's based on A.E. Hotchner's memoir of his life as a child during the Depression."
For Steven Soderbergh's third feature film, the acclaimed director adapts A.E. Hotchner's 1972 memoir. Set in 1933 St. Louis, KING OF THE HILL follows 12-year-old Aaron Kurlander (a magnetic Jesse Bradford), a bright, affable boy coming of age during the heart of the American depression. His financially troubled family consists of a salesman father (Jeroen Krabbe) who must leave home to search for employment, a chronically ill mother (Lisa Eichhorn), and a younger brother (Cameron Boyd) who has been sent away to live with relatives. Their home in a poverty-stricken neighborhood is the dank Empire Hotel, where Aaron befriends hotel guests and management, including Lester (Adrien Brody) and Mr. Munco (Spalding Gray). When Aaron's not at school--where he's an honor student and master marble player--he's at the hotel trying to cope with the familial and economic adversities that consume his world and keep his stomach growling. Eventually, the broken family is reunited when Mr. Kurlander secures a job as a clerk, but it is up to Aaron to forgive his father for abandonment if they're to become a family again. Soderbergh films KING OF THE HILL with colorful photography, adding optimism even when things are at their most hopeless.
In this optimistic tale, a young boy faces abject poverty and deals with a bleak and disintegrated family life during the depression. Along the way he sees the small heroes and petty villains of humanity and never loses his own sense of hope and pride. Steven Soderbergh's picture is a heartfelt adaptation of A.E. Hotchner's memoir, featuring a star-making turn by Jesse Bradford as the young hero. KING OF THE HILL is an inspiring story that the whole family can enjoy.
Coming Of Age |
Family Interaction |
- Theatrical release: September 1993.
- Shot on location in St. Louis, Missouri.
- KING OF THE HILL was considered by many to be Steven Soderbergh's comeback film after the critical and financial failure of 1992's KAFKA, a vastly underrated film.
- About KING OF THE HILL, Soderbergh said, "In terms of classical narrative storytelling, that's about as good as I can do."