King of the Hill

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1/2

The Kurlander family is only first generation old in Missouri when the Great Depression hits in the 1930's. Eric (Jeroen Krabbe), the father, cannot find a job. Ella (Lisa Eichhorn), the mother, tries to keep the family together but her consumption forces her into a sanatorium. So when Eric gets a job selling watches, 18 year-old Aaron Kurlander (Jesse Bradford) is left to fend for himself during his senior year of high school. He lives in an apartment from which he is about to be evicted. This family's troubles give us a good sense of what it must have been like during the Depression. Some families crushed by poverty live next door to once wealthy tycoons like Mr. Mungo (Spalding Gray) who lost everything in the stock market crash. THE KING OF THE HILL explores the extreme inequality between the rich and poor during this period of American history. This family's story is told in a way that actually lifts the spirit as they overcome these obstacles. Though not a light-hearted film, it does look at an era of American life seldom referred to, and for this reason alone is worthwhile.

In keeping with 1930's morals, THE KING OF THE HILL contains very little objectionable material. Aaron discovers one of the tenants covered with blood who has committed suicide by cutting his wrists . One man is physically assaulted as he is evicted from his apartment and hit in the stomach and head. Other people are violently thrown out of a local tent city by the police, although no one seems seriously hurt. Also, some of Aaron's less reputable friends use a few obscenities and some crudities. It becomes acceptable for Aaron and others to steal if they need food. When all other attempts at keeping the family together fails, the only thing that saves them is a job from the PWA. Though this may have been the situation for many people during the Depression, is it more than coincidence that this big government theme emerges during the term of the first Democratic President in 12 years? Because of the adult situation, KING OF THE HILL is not appropriate for children, and its gratuitous offensive language places it on the edge of unacceptability.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Gramercy Pictures, 9247 Alden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 3, Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (s-word)

Profanity: Few (2) times - Regular

Violence: Few times - Moderate (man shown with cut wrists; man hit in head and stomach)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - references to intercourse with a prostitute

Drugs: Drinking several times

Other: Condoning of stealing if 'necessary'

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