Steven Soderbergh

King of the Hill

King of the Hill

For his first Hollywood studio production, Steven Soderbergh (whose independent debut, sex, lies, and videotape, had won the Palme d’Or at Cannes a few years earlier) crafted this small jewel of a growing-up story. Set in St. Louis during the Great Depression, King of the Hill follows the daily struggles of a resourceful and imaginative adolescent who, after his younger brother is sent to live with a relative and his tubercular mother to a sanitarium, must survive on his own in a run-down hotel during his salesman father’s long business trips. This evocative period piece, faithfully adapted from the A. E. Hotchner memoir, is among the versatile Soderbergh’s most touching and surprising films.

Film Info

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • New restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh and supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Larry Blake, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Soderbergh and source memoir author A. E. Hotchner
  • Against Tyranny, a new video essay by :: kogonada exploring Soderbergh’s unique approach to narrative
  • The Underneath (1995), Soderbergh’s follow-up feature to King of the Hill, with an interview with the director
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Peter Tonguette, a 1993 interview with Soderbergh, and an excerpt from Hotchner’s 1972 memoir

New cover by Gregory Manchess

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • New restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh and supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Larry Blake, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Soderbergh and source memoir author A. E. Hotchner
  • Against Tyranny, a new video essay by :: kogonada exploring Soderbergh’s unique approach to narrative
  • The Underneath (1995), Soderbergh’s follow-up feature to King of the Hill, with an interview with the director
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Peter Tonguette, a 1993 interview with Soderbergh, and an excerpt from Hotchner’s 1972 memoir

New cover by Gregory Manchess

King of the Hill
Cast
Jesse Bradford
Aaron
Jeroen Krabbé
Mr. Kurlander
Lisa Eichhorn
Mrs. Kurlander
Karen Allen
Miss Mathey
Spalding Gray
Mr. Mungo
Elizabeth McGovern
Lydia
Cameron Boyd
Sullivan
Adrien Brody
Lester
Joseph Chrest
Ben
John McConnell
Patrolman Burns
Amber Benson
Ella McShane
Kristin Griffith
Mrs. McShane
Chris Samples
Billy Thompson
Peggy Freisen
Mrs. Thompson
Katherine Heigl
Christina
John Durbin
Mr. Sandoz
Lauryn Hill
Elevator operator
Credits
Director
Steven Soderbergh
Executive producer
John Hardy
Producers
Barbara Maltby
Producers
Albert Berger
Producers
Ron Yerxa
Writer
Steven Soderbergh
based on the memoir King of the Hill by
A. E. Hotchner
Director of photography
Elliot Davis
Picture editor
Steven Soderbergh
Costume design
Susan Lyall
Production designer
Gary Frutkoff
Music
Cliff Martinez
Supervising sound editor/Rerecording mixer
Larry Blake

From The Current

Steven Soderbergh on The Underneath
Steven Soderbergh on The Underneath

Rarely does a director go into much detail about what he thinks doesn’t work about one of his own films, but Steven Soderbergh got candid with us in an interview about his disappointment with his 1995 film The Underneath—which he calls “dead on…

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Steven Soderbergh on King of the Hill
Steven Soderbergh on King of the Hill

King of the Hill, about a struggling but resourceful preteen (Jesse Bradford) growing up amid the fear and poverty of the Great Depression, is director Steven Soderbergh’s only film to focus on the life of a child. In this clip from a new interview…

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King of the Hill: Alone Again
King of the Hill: Alone Again

A testament to Steven Soderbergh’s versatility, this story of a boy growing up during the Great Depression is a tender but tough-minded look at a child’s inner world.

By Peter Tonguette

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Explore

Steven Soderbergh

Writer, Director

In 1989, when he was twenty-six, Steven Soderbergh became the youngest director ever to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. What’s more, he received the honor for his debut, the intense character study sex, lies, and videotape. Soderbergh spent the decade after this auspicious arrival trying out many different kinds of films, from intriguingly off-kilter studio projects like King of the Hill (1993) and Out of Sight (1998) to independent experiments like Schizopolis (1996) and Gray’s Anatomy (1996). Even after winning an Academy Award for the epic Traffic (2000) and continuing to work on bigger-budget Hollywood films like Ocean’s Eleven (2001), this high-profile filmmaker has never lost his drive to make compelling independent cinema, whether large-scale (2008’s Che) or small (2010’s And Everything Is Going Fine).