Ashlee Copper

Written by Ashlee Copper

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


If you’re a fan of classic movies, then you’ve probably come across the iconic film, “King of the Hill.” Directed by prolific filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, this critically acclaimed drama brings to life the gripping story of a young boy’s struggle to survive in Depression-era America. Filled with compelling performances, rich storytelling, and masterful cinematography, “King of the Hill” has left a lasting impact on audiences since its release in 1993.

In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world behind the making of “King of the Hill” and uncover 32 intriguing facts about this cinematic masterpiece. From behind-the-scenes anecdotes to the film’s historical context, we’ll explore the secrets and hidden gems that make “King of the Hill” a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and let’s dive into the enchanting world of “King of the Hill!”

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the Great Depression through the eyes of a resilient young boy in the movie King of the Hill, filled with emotional depth, stellar performances, and timeless storytelling.
  • King of the Hill captures the essence of the 1930s with its authentic portrayal of hardship, impactful themes, and enduring legacy in the world of filmmaking.
Table of Contents

Release Date

The movie King of the Hill was released in 1993.


Steven Soderbergh directed King of the Hill, showcasing his talent in capturing the essence of the story.

Plot Summary

Set during the Great Depression, the film follows the life of Aaron, a young boy who struggles to survive and navigate the challenges of poverty while living in a run-down hotel.

Based on a Memoir

King of the Hill is based on the memoir of the same name written by A.E. Hotchner, which recounts his own experiences growing up during the same time period.

Stellar Cast

The film boasts an impressive cast, including Jesse Bradford, Adrien Brody, Karen Allen, and Spalding Gray, who deliver memorable performances.

Critical Acclaim

King of the Hill received critical acclaim for its poignant storytelling and exceptional performances, earning rave reviews from both audiences and critics.

Festival Success

The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it garnered much praise and recognition for its exceptional filmmaking.

Unique Setting

The film takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, highlighting the vibrant city during the challenging times of the Great Depression.

Historical Significance

King of the Hill serves as a significant portrayal of the hardships faced by families during the Great Depression, offering a unique perspective on that era.

Emotional Depth

The movie delves into the emotional journey of a young boy, exploring themes of resilience, hope, and the power of the human spirit.


The film features a captivating soundtrack that enhances the overall viewing experience, immersing the audience in the atmosphere of the time.


The cinematography in King of the Hill is visually stunning, capturing the essence of the era and showcasing the grittiness of the characters’ lives.

Accurate Period Detail

The movie meticulously recreates the 1930s setting, paying attention to every detail to capture the authenticity of the time period.

Exploration of Childhood Innocence

King of the Hill explores the loss of childhood innocence as Aaron faces the challenges of his circumstances, highlighting the resilience of youth.

Nominated for Awards

The film received several award nominations, recognizing its outstanding qualities and contributions to storytelling and filmmaking.

Impactful Themes

King of the Hill addresses important themes such as poverty, family, and self-discovery, resonating with audiences on a profound level.

Authentic Performances

The cast delivers authentic and nuanced performances, bringing depth and realism to their respective characters.

Cinematic Excellence

The movie showcases the brilliance of Steven Soderbergh’s direction, solidifying his reputation as a master storyteller.

Strong Emotional Journey

King of the Hill takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, invoking empathy, sadness, and joy throughout the captivating narrative.

Accessible Storytelling

The film’s universal themes and relatable characters make it accessible to a wide audience, allowing viewers to connect with the story on a personal level.

Recognition at Independent Spirit Awards

King of the Hill received multiple nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards, celebrating its independent spirit and artistic achievements.

Timeless Appeal

Despite being set in the past, King of the Hill resonates with contemporary audiences, showcasing the timeless nature of its themes and storytelling.

Thought-Provoking Exploration

The film prompts viewers to reflect on their own lives, societal issues, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Poetic and Engaging Script

The screenplay of King of the Hill is beautifully written, capturing the essence of the characters and their struggles in a poetic and engaging manner.

Well-Developed Characters

The characters in the movie are richly developed, allowing the audience to form deep connections with them and become invested in their journeys.

Impact on Filmmaking

King of the Hill had a lasting impact on the world of filmmaking, inspiring future directors to tell compelling and emotionally driven stories.

Exploration of Socioeconomic Divide

The film sheds light on the socioeconomic divide during the Great Depression, showcasing the vast disparities in wealth and opportunity.

Memorable Moments

King of the Hill is filled with memorable and powerful moments that stay with the audience long after the credits roll.

Stellar Ensemble Cast

In addition to the main cast, the film features exceptional performances from supporting actors, contributing to the overall depth of the storytelling.

Artistic Visuals

The movie’s visually striking cinematography and imaginative visuals add an artistic flair to the storytelling process.

Cultural Significance

King of the Hill holds cultural significance as a portrayal of a defining era in American history, offering insights into the realities faced by many during the Great Depression.

Enduring Legacy

Even years after its release, King of the Hill continues to be appreciated and remembered for its powerful storytelling and emotional impact.


King of the Hill is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its compelling storylines and relatable characters. With its roots in reality and its sharp wit, this animated show has left an indelible mark on the world of television. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the world of King of the Hill, there’s no denying its enduring appeal.


Q: When was King of the Hill first aired?

A: King of the Hill premiered on January 12, 1997, and ran for 13 seasons until its final episode on September 13, 2009.

Q: Who created King of the Hill?

A: The show was created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, who also worked together on another popular animated series, Beavis and Butt-Head.

Q: Where is Arlen, Texas, located?

A: Arlen, Texas, the fictional setting of King of the Hill, is based on the real city of Richardson, a suburb of Dallas, Texas.

Q: Who voices the main character Hank Hill?

A: The talented actor Mike Judge provides the voice for Hank Hill, bringing the character’s distinct Texan accent and conservative values to life.

Q: Is King of the Hill still being syndicated?

A: Yes, although the show ended in 2009, reruns of King of the Hill are still being syndicated and can be found on various networks and streaming platforms.

Q: Are there any plans for a King of the Hill movie or revival?

A: As of now, there are no official plans for a King of the Hill movie or revival. However, fans continue to hope for the return of their beloved characters.

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