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King of the Hill

Overview

Steven Soderbergh, after the success of sex, lies, and videotape and the commercial failure of Kafka, pulls a rabbit out of his hat with this quiet and evocative recollection of a childhood lived in the Depression, based on A. E. Hotchner's memoir. Twelve-year-old Aaron Kurlander Jesse Bradford is coming of age in a rotting working class section of St. Louis in 1933. As the film begins, Aaron's family is coming apart at the seams due to the increasingly bleak economy. His father Jeroen Krabbe ekes out a living ...
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Overview

Steven Soderbergh, after the success of sex, lies, and videotape and the commercial failure of Kafka, pulls a rabbit out of his hat with this quiet and evocative recollection of a childhood lived in the Depression, based on A. E. Hotchner's memoir. Twelve-year-old Aaron Kurlander Jesse Bradford is coming of age in a rotting working class section of St. Louis in 1933. As the film begins, Aaron's family is coming apart at the seams due to the increasingly bleak economy. His father Jeroen Krabbe ekes out a living with a series of failed sales jobs as the family lives in the dilapidated Empire Hotel in a seamy section of town. When his younger brother Cameron Boyd is sent to live with relatives to save expenses, his consumptive mother Lisa Eichhorn goes away to a sanitarium and his father abandons him to sell watches in Iowa. At first Aaron retreats into a concocted fantasy world but he gradually becomes drawn into the shattered lives of the tenants of the hotel. Aaron sees the rotting social fabric laid bare and discovers he must temper his childhood dreams with the hard-hitting realities of adult existence.
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Special Features

New interviews with Soderbergh and source memoir author A. E. Hotchner Against Tyranny, an new visual essay by filmmker :: kogonada exploring Soderbergh's unique approach to narrative The Underneath (1995), Soderbergh's follow-up feature to King of the Hill, with a new interview with the director Trailers
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Director Steven Soderbergh made an austere about-face from the vilified Kafka with this lyrical adaptation of A.E. Hotchner's 1973 memoir, recapturing his (previous) high standing with critics and reinforcing his status as a Hollywood outsider. Those who feared after Kafka that Soderbergh was in danger of becoming a mere stylist will find reason to rejoice here: adroitly juggling seasoned professionals with neophyte youngsters, he fully emerges as an actor's director, never sacrificing character detail for visual pyrotechnics. Though the autobiographical hero, Aaron, could have come off as either depression-era martyr or lovable imp, the young Jesse Bradford imbues him with something more elusive: the genuine curiosity of a young boy. Through it all, Soderbergh never errs in his determination to present events from the boy's point of view, and the audience is rewarded with a host of evocative supporting performances, including Spalding Grey's erudite alcoholic Mr. Mungo, a cast-against-type Elizabeth McGovern, and Karen Allen as Aaron's concerned schoolteacher. For their part, Bradford and two of his young co-stars -- Adrien Brody and Lauryn Hill -- would go on to even greater success in Hollywood into the 21st century.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/25/2014
  • UPC: 715515114110
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1A
  • Presentation: Bonus DVD
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 17,120

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jesse Bradford Aaron Kurlander
Jeroen Krabbé Mr. Kurlander
Lisa Eichhorn Mrs. Kurlander
Karen Allen Miss Mathey
Spalding Gray Mr. Mungo
Elizabeth McGovern Lydia
Joseph Chrest Ben
Adrien Brody Lester
Cameron Boyd Sullivan
Chris Samples Billy Thompson
Katherine Heigl Christina Sebastian
Amber Benson Ella McShane
John "Spud" McConnell Patrolman Burns
Ron Vawter Mr. Desot
John Durbin Mr. Sandoz
Lauryn Hill Arletta
David Jensen Front Desk Clerk
Deborah Aquila
Timothy Bottoms
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Kristin Griffith Mrs. McShane
Remak Ramsay Principal Stellwater
Don Richard Mr. Farley
Mak Takano Mr. Yano
Jesse Zeigler Jealous Kid
Technical Credits
Steven Soderbergh Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Albert Berger Producer
Lynn D'Angona Asst. Director
Elliot Davis Cinematographer
Gary Frutkoff Production Designer
John Hardy Executive Producer
Greg Jacobs Asst. Director
Allen Kupetsky Asst. Director
Susan Lyall Costumes/Costume Designer
Barbara Maltby Producer
Cliff Martinez Score Composer
Elaine Offers Makeup
Bill Rea Art Director
J.D. Street IV Special Effects
Ron Yerxa Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King of the Hill
1. Charles Lindbergh: American Hero [4:40]
2. Lessons For Sullivan [4:22]
3. Sacrifices [5:53]
4. "True Or False?" [1:27]
5. Marbles And Canaries [5:48]
6. Opportunities [4:19]
7. A Concerned Teacher [3:16]
8. Mom's Illness [3:49]
9. A Bad Day Of Caddying [2:08]
10. Ella [4:02]
11. Dinner With Dad [2:44]
12. First-Time Driver [4:17]
13. Dad's New Job [4:18]
14. Necessary Resourcefulness [4:53]
15. Graduation [8:43]
16. Billy's Party [3:20]
17. Eviction Notice [1:17]
18. Mr. Mungo [7:25]
19. Darkest Days [6:42]
20. Reunited [5:14]
21. Family [5:48]
22. Chapter 22 [8:40]
1. Color Bars
1. Chapter 1 [18:56]
2. Chapter 2 [:26]
1. Chapter 1 [20:41]
2. Chapter 2 [:27]
Disc #2 -- The Underneath
1. Chapter 1 [22:04]
2. Chapter 2 [:26]
1. Returning Home [4:48]
2. Family Reunion [4:00]
3. Rachel [3:32]
4. Catching Up [5:52]
5. Perennial Armored Car [3:32]
6. Money Problems [1:19]
7. New Job [1:07]
8. Tough Times At Home [1:36]
9. Mom's Wedding [2:00]
10. Impulse Purchases [3:57]
11. Second Chance? [4:09]
12. The Girl From The Bus [4:34]
13. Office Intrigue [2:06]
14. A Message For Rachel [3:30]
15. A Plan To Meet [2:04]
16. Bad Bet [3:06]
17. Unlikely Partnership [8:22]
18. Heist Details [4:22]
19. The Plan Proceeds [4:51]
20. Questions Emerge [7:26]
21. Mr. Rodman [8:53]
22. Double Cross [7:52]
23. Out Of Luck [5:54]
1. Color Bars [:20]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- King of the Hill
   Play The Movie
   Chapters
   Steven Soderbergh
      Chapters
         Play
   A. E. Hotchner
      Chapters
         Play
   Against Tyranny
   Deleted Scenes
      Play All
      Index
         Petit Bouquet Cigars
         Homeward-Bound
         Billy
         First Save/Dentist
         Looking For Lester
         No Place For Kids
   Trailer
Disc #2 -- The Underneath
   Steven Soderbergh
      Chapters
         Play
   Play The Movie
   Chapters
   Trailer
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