King of the Hill (1993)

PG-13 | 104 mins | Drama | 20 August 1993

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HISTORY

End credits state: “Filmed on location in St. Louis, Missouri” and “This film was re-recorded in a Swelltone Theater.” “Special thanks” are given to: “Lisa Drew; City of St. Louis; Neil J. Svetanics, Fire Chief; St. Louis Fire Dept.; Helen Uffner/Vintage Clothing, New York; Early Halloween, New York; De Voto Antique Toys; The Book House; Bluff City Tours, Godfrey, Illinois; Continental Baking Company; Eveready Battery Company; Major League Baseball; Missouri Historical Society; Museum of Transportation, St. Louis; Missouri Valley Region Model A Restorers Club; Spirit of St. Louis Region Classic Car Club of America; The Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri; Model T Ford Club of St. Louis; Alton Antique Auto Association; Don O’Neill; Janis Rockwell Strong; St. Louis Film Partnership; Kate Arnold-Schuck; Missouri Film Office; Micky Trost; Tim Dwyer/The Apartment Exchange; St. Louis Development Corporation; Howard Behar; Colette Sartor; Apogee Electronics Corp.”
       On 22 Oct 1975, HR announced that Joanne Woodward’s company, CLN Corporation, had acquired the rights to A. E. Hotchner’s 1972 memoir, King of the Hill. Woodward planned to star in the production, which would be adapted by Hotchner as a dramatic television special to air on the CBS Television Network in Feb 1976. Five years later, however, the 9 Jan 1980 DV reported that Woodward was developing King of the Hill as a feature film to be directed by her husband, Paul Newman. Neither she nor Newman intended to appear onscreen, but expected to independently produce the project under their joint company, Clea Productions.
       The 31 May 1989 Var reported that Robert Redford’s Wildwood Productions was in negotiations to purchase the property, with plans to hire ... More Less

End credits state: “Filmed on location in St. Louis, Missouri” and “This film was re-recorded in a Swelltone Theater.” “Special thanks” are given to: “Lisa Drew; City of St. Louis; Neil J. Svetanics, Fire Chief; St. Louis Fire Dept.; Helen Uffner/Vintage Clothing, New York; Early Halloween, New York; De Voto Antique Toys; The Book House; Bluff City Tours, Godfrey, Illinois; Continental Baking Company; Eveready Battery Company; Major League Baseball; Missouri Historical Society; Museum of Transportation, St. Louis; Missouri Valley Region Model A Restorers Club; Spirit of St. Louis Region Classic Car Club of America; The Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri; Model T Ford Club of St. Louis; Alton Antique Auto Association; Don O’Neill; Janis Rockwell Strong; St. Louis Film Partnership; Kate Arnold-Schuck; Missouri Film Office; Micky Trost; Tim Dwyer/The Apartment Exchange; St. Louis Development Corporation; Howard Behar; Colette Sartor; Apogee Electronics Corp.”
       On 22 Oct 1975, HR announced that Joanne Woodward’s company, CLN Corporation, had acquired the rights to A. E. Hotchner’s 1972 memoir, King of the Hill. Woodward planned to star in the production, which would be adapted by Hotchner as a dramatic television special to air on the CBS Television Network in Feb 1976. Five years later, however, the 9 Jan 1980 DV reported that Woodward was developing King of the Hill as a feature film to be directed by her husband, Paul Newman. Neither she nor Newman intended to appear onscreen, but expected to independently produce the project under their joint company, Clea Productions.
       The 31 May 1989 Var reported that Robert Redford’s Wildwood Productions was in negotiations to purchase the property, with plans to hire director Steven Soderbergh. A 31 Aug 1992 HR article named Redford as the film’s executive producer, but he is not credited onscreen. A 3 Jul 1992 Screen International brief also listed David Strathairn and Geraldine Fitzgerald among the cast, but neither appear in the final film.
       Although various contemporary sources suggested filming was originally scheduled for Aug 1992, an 8 Sep 1992 HR production chart confirmed principal photography began 27 Jul 1992. In addition to Wildwood Productions, the item also credited Populist Pictures as a production company. The 31 Aug 1992 HR stated that locations for the $8 million picture were chosen in and around St. Louis, MO.
       According to the 20 May 1993 HR, King of the Hill received a “lukewarm” reception when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where Soderbergh’s debut feature, sex, lies, and videotape (1989, see entry), received the Palme D’Or.
       A 3 Aug 1993 Gramercy Pictures press release announced that Toys International planned to help promote the film by sponsoring a marble-shooting contest at Los Angeles, CA’s Century City Shopping Center on 14 Aug 1993. Following the 20 Aug 1993 nationwide release, the 6 Dec 1993 HR also stated that Soderbergh and Hotchner would join film critic Sheila Benson as judges in the Hamilton Watches “American Dream” essay contest, inspired by the motion picture. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1980
p. 1, 35.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 1992
p. 4, 38.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1993
p. 8, 40.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1993
p. 6, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1993
Section F, p. 4.
New York Times
20 Aug 1993
Section C, p. 1.
Screen International
3 Jul 1992.
---
Variety
31 May 1989.
---
Variety
1 Jun 1992.
---
Variety
24 May 1993
p. 45.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Gramercy Pictures Presents
A Wildwood/Bona Fide Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by, Wrt for the scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Addl photog
Steadicam & B cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d 2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Stills photog
Cam intern
Stills intern
Stills intern
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Picture ed
Asst ed, Picture & sd
Addl asst ed
Addl asst ed
Negative cutting
Picture ed performed on the
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Leadman
On-set dresser
Dresser
Dresser
Dresser
Dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Gen foreman
Metal foreman
Const supv
Const supv
Const supv
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Key scenic artist
Lead scenic artist
Lead scenic artist
Billboards
Stage miniature
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Const PA
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Set costumer
Addl on-set ward
Addl on-set ward
Addl on-set ward
Addl on-set ward
Ward intern
Ward intern
Ward intern
MUSIC
Mus supv
Piano mus rec eng
Mus coord
Period piano songs arr and performed by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Sd asst
Supv sd ed/Re-rec mixer
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Weddington rec
Weddington rec
Weddington rec
Weddington eng
Dolby Stereo consultant
Post-prod asst
Foley mixer
Foley rec
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Foley and ADR rec at
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
ADR group
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Title graphic
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Asst makeup
Hair des
Key hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
Addl makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod auditor
Prod coord
Loc supv
Loc/Extras casting
Asst prod coord
Asst to the prods
Office prod asst
Travel coord
Dailies coord
Asst auditor
Accounting asst
Post-prod accounting
Post-prod accounting
Unit PA
Loc asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Picture car coord
Asst picture car coord
Picture car wrangler
Prod van driver
Key set PA
Key set PA
Set PA
Set PA
Set PA
Set PA
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Local extras casting asst
Addl casting--Chicago
Unit pub
Unit pub
Craft service
Craft service asst
Parking PA
Parking PA
Promotions intern
Office intern
Set intern
Set intern
Set intern
Set intern
Set intern
Security
Security
Animals supplied by
Animals supplied by
Bird handlers
Bird handler
ADR voice casting
Period radio recordings
Period radio recordings
Dailies telecine
Dailies projection
Cutting continuity
Payroll services
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Jesse Bradford's stand-in
Jesse Bradford's stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the memoir King of the Hill by A. E. Hotchner (New York, 1972).
SONGS
Period music recordings: "Tiger Rag," written by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, performed by The Mills Brothers, courtesy of MCA Records
"Kitty From Kansas City," written by Jesse Greer, Harry Rose, Rudy Vallee, and George Bronson, performed by Rudy Vallee, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Can't We Talk It Over," written by Ned Washington and Victor Young, performed by Eddie Duchin, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
+
SONGS
Period music recordings: "Tiger Rag," written by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, performed by The Mills Brothers, courtesy of MCA Records
"Kitty From Kansas City," written by Jesse Greer, Harry Rose, Rudy Vallee, and George Bronson, performed by Rudy Vallee, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Can't We Talk It Over," written by Ned Washington and Victor Young, performed by Eddie Duchin, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)," written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, performed by Ruth Etting, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," written by Ned Washington and George Bassman, performed by The Dorsey Brothers, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Maybe Who Knows," written by Ruth Etting, Joe Schuster, and John A. Tucker, performed by Kate Smith, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"A Hundred Years From Today," written by Ned Washington, Victor Young, and Joseph Young, performed by Jack Teagarden, courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"If I Had A Girl Like You," written by Billy Rose, Mort Dixon, and Ray Henderson, performed by Rudy Vallee, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"You'll Do It Someday," written by Bob Storm and Ken Mitchell, performed by Rudy Vallee, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Blue Again," written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh
"Cuban Love Song," written by Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, and Herbert Stothart
"Rain," written by Eugene Ford
graduation music written by Cliff Martinez and Michael Williams, arranged and performed by Michael Williams.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 August 1993
Premiere Information:
Cannes screening: May 1993
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 August 1993
Production Date:
began 27 July 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 July 1994
Copyright Number:
PA712064
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras & Lenses
Prints
Prints by Film House
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32348
SYNOPSIS

In 1933 St. Louis, Missouri, eighth grader Aaron Kurlander presents a writing assignment about his hero, pilot Charles Lindbergh. After school, Aaron chastises his younger brother, Sullivan, for attempting to steal another child’s dessert. At the Empire Hotel where they live, Sullivan begs Aaron to teach him how to play marbles, and the older boy reluctantly gives him a few to practice with. Upstairs, the boys return to their room to learn that Sullivan will be sent to stay with their uncle until their father, Eric, can get a job selling watches and save enough money to move into an apartment. Back at school, Aaron saves wealthy student Billy Thompson from being bullied by challenging the tormenters to a game of marbles. He easily defeats them, and Billy invites Aaron to his house in a gesture of gratitude. There, Billy shows Aaron his collection of canaries and offers him a female to mate with his own bird, Skippy. Reluctant to admit his father’s lowly profession, Aaron tells Billy and Mrs. Thompson that he flies airplanes for the government. At school, Aaron’s teacher, Miss Mathey, notices that the Kurlander’s address is no longer current and asks the boy for his new residence. Aaron provides a false location and name, claiming that his father works for the government, but Miss Mahey learns the truth when she follows him home. Later, Mrs. Kurlander reveals that she must return to a sanitarium for treatment of her worsening tuberculosis. Over the weekend, Aaron joins his older friend, Lester Silverstone, working as a golf caddy, but the job does not go well and Lester tells him to return home. At the hotel, a shy neighbor ... +


In 1933 St. Louis, Missouri, eighth grader Aaron Kurlander presents a writing assignment about his hero, pilot Charles Lindbergh. After school, Aaron chastises his younger brother, Sullivan, for attempting to steal another child’s dessert. At the Empire Hotel where they live, Sullivan begs Aaron to teach him how to play marbles, and the older boy reluctantly gives him a few to practice with. Upstairs, the boys return to their room to learn that Sullivan will be sent to stay with their uncle until their father, Eric, can get a job selling watches and save enough money to move into an apartment. Back at school, Aaron saves wealthy student Billy Thompson from being bullied by challenging the tormenters to a game of marbles. He easily defeats them, and Billy invites Aaron to his house in a gesture of gratitude. There, Billy shows Aaron his collection of canaries and offers him a female to mate with his own bird, Skippy. Reluctant to admit his father’s lowly profession, Aaron tells Billy and Mrs. Thompson that he flies airplanes for the government. At school, Aaron’s teacher, Miss Mathey, notices that the Kurlander’s address is no longer current and asks the boy for his new residence. Aaron provides a false location and name, claiming that his father works for the government, but Miss Mahey learns the truth when she follows him home. Later, Mrs. Kurlander reveals that she must return to a sanitarium for treatment of her worsening tuberculosis. Over the weekend, Aaron joins his older friend, Lester Silverstone, working as a golf caddy, but the job does not go well and Lester tells him to return home. At the hotel, a shy neighbor girl named Ella McShane invites Aaron over for food and asks him to dance, but she suddenly collapses in an epileptic fit. With his mother away, Aaron prepares tomato soup for himself and his father using ketchup and hot water. One afternoon, the boy recruits Lester to help him move his father’s illegally parked car before the inquisitive Patrolman Burns has it ticketed. Once Lester pushes the vehicle, Aaron fails to pump the brakes and rolls down a steep street, narrowly avoiding a boys’ stickball game and oncoming traffic. Lester catches up with him when the car finally stops, and the boys return to the hotel. Mr. Kurlander announces he has taken a job as a traveling watch salesman, forcing him to miss Aaron’s graduation the upcoming week. Completely alone, Aaron is without food and decides to sell his newly-hatched canaries to a pet store. Although he expects to earn $3 per bird, the pet shop owner claims the brood consists of only females, which are deemed worthless because they cannot sing. Using his last fifty cents, Aaron buys a kitten for Ella, who is recovering from another seizure. At school, he steals a sandwich from a gluttonous boy, prompting the wealthy Christina Sebastian to invite him to her graduation dinner after Billy Thompson’s party. Upon realizing that his only suit jacket is too small, Lester takes Aaron to the storage room, where they steal items that have been repossessed from former tenants. The day of graduation, Aaron dresses in his new suit and Ella kisses him goodbye before her family moves to Illinois. During the ceremony, he is shocked to be the recipient of an award for demonstrating good character. Afterward, at Billy’s party, Aaron invents an elaborate excuse for why his parents did not attend graduation, and gossip quickly spreads. Aaron overhears a peer calling him a “charity case” who receives special treatment from the teachers. When Billy confronts him about his lies, Aaron flees the party and returns home. There, he discovers an eviction notice under the door because his father has failed to pay the rent. Although sympathetic, the hotel owner insists the bank will throw the Kurlanders out within three days. Aaron visits the sanitarium and yells up to his mother in her cell, but is unable to tell her the bad news. On his way home, he spots a former Empire Hotel resident now living in a shanty town. Desperate, he visits his neighbor, Mr. Mungo, offering to sell his cigar band collection. Mr. Mungo understands Aaron’s predicament and offers to speak to the hotel owner on his behalf. Later, Aaron forges a letter to his uncle requesting that Sullivan be sent home. The next morning, he awakens to the sounds of a riot as police raid the impoverished camps set up outside. Lester is arrested, but gives Aaron a prized pocketknife. Aaron rushes back inside before the hotel’s malicious bellhop prematurely locks him out of his room. When Mr. Mungo leaves Aaron a note containing a new cigar band for his collection, Aaron attempts to thank him, but notices water and blood oozing from under his neighbor’s door. He walks into the apartment and discovers that Mr. Mungo has slit his wrists. After finishing the last of his stale dinner rolls, Aaron arranges magazine images of food on a plate and eats them. Later, he becomes ill and hallucinates the traumatizing events of the past few weeks. When he recovers, he curses his father and falls asleep again, only to be awakened by Sullivan knocking at the door. The boys tearfully hug and gorge on Sullivan’s food until their father unexpectedly arrives. Overjoyed to see them, he announces that he got a new job as a clerk for the Works Progress Administration, which pays a $65 monthly salary. Mr. Kurlander suggests he avoid paying the outstanding bill by leaving their belongings behind when they move to their new apartment, but Aaron refuses. He and Sullivan lower their suitcases out the window with a rope, packing everything but the suit Aaron and Lester stole. Sneaking into the storage room, he retrieves a box of watercolor paints to return to the evicted tenant now living in the shanty down. After Mr. Kurlander picks up his recovering wife from the sanitarium, the family moves into their spacious new apartment at the Carleton Court. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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