King of the Hill (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the 2007 film, see The King of the Mountain (film).
King of the Hill
King of the Hill 1993 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Produced by Albert Berger
John Hardy
Barbara Maltby
Ron Yerxa
Written by A. E. Hotchner
Steven Soderbergh
Starring Jesse Bradford
Jeroen Krabbé
Lisa Eichhorn
Karen Allen
Spalding Gray
Elizabeth McGovern
Music by Cliff Martinez
Cinematography Elliot Davis
Edited by Steven Soderbergh
Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Release dates
  • August 20, 1993 (1993-08-20)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,214,231[citation needed]

King of the Hill is Steven Soderbergh's third feature film, released in 1993, and the second he directed from his own screenplay following his 1989 Palme d'Or-winning film sex, lies, and videotape. It too was nominated for the Palme d'Or, at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


Based on the Depression-era bildungsroman memoir of writer A. E. Hotchner, the film follows the story of a boy struggling to survive on his own in a hotel in St. Louis after his mother is committed to a sanatorium with tuberculosis. His father, a German immigrant and traveling salesman working for the Hamilton Watch Company, is off on long trips from which the boy cannot be certain he will return.



Jesse Bradford, who was 14 at the film's release, plays the protagonist. The supporting cast includes Jeroen Krabbé, Karen Allen, Spalding Gray, Elizabeth McGovern, Katherine Heigl, and Adrien Brody. Lauryn Hill also appears in a small part as an elevator operator, her first screen role.

The music was composed by Cliff Martinez, and includes piano work and cues from classical composer Michael Glenn Williams. Martinez's score is restrained and understated, well suited to the nature of the film. Williams' cue for the graduation scene for solo piano, was notable in that it was the basis for his tone poem for Henry Cowell.


In her review in The New York Times, Janet Maslin says, "The film does a lovely job of juxtaposing the sharp contrasts in Aaron's life, and in marveling at the fact that he survives as buoyantly as he does."[2] In its summary of Soderbergh's films, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "This subtle, affecting, character-driven, coming-of-age story is one of Soderbergh's best and most criminally overlooked films."[3]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 97% rating, based on reviews from 31 critics with an average score of 7.9/10.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: King of the Hill". Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  2. ^ Janet Maslin (August 20, 1993), King of the Hill; A Boy of the 30's With Grit and Wit, The New York Times 
  3. ^ Steven Soderbergh's best-rated films, The San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2012 

External links[edit]