The King of Kong

Release Date: August 17, 2007
Limited release

Movie of the Day for Sunday, July 22, 2007
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I like world records so much I will drink this hot sauce!

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
36/94 Shane Jenkins "How high can you get?" If you think of Donkey Kong when you read that, and not, like, Willie Nelson, than this doc is for you. Totally funny and a little sweet.
37/214 Max Braden The rivalry here is an interesting one. Viewers should also check out League of Ordinary Gentlemen and Wordplay. Too bad the Kong designers weren't interviewed.

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In 1982, LIFE Magazine gathered the world's finest gamers for a photo opportunity that became the highlight of their Year-In-Photos edition for that year. Billy Mitchell, a guy who would later be named the Gamer of the Century, was one of the people invited. Mitchell held the World Record high score on Centipede, and after tracking the score on Donkey Kong, decided he'd attempt that title as well. With an audience of 20 of the best video gamers in the world watching, Mitchell scored 874,300 points. Most people thought this record would hold forever.

That all changed in 2003, when Steve Wiebe lost his job at Boeing and found some comfort in playing Donkey Kong. When he discovered Mitchell's record, Wiebe decided that he would break it. Every night after his wife and children went to bed, he practiced and honed his skills at the game. When he went for the record, he not only beat it, but he whomped it with 1,000,000 points, a number previously believed to be an impossible accomplishment.

The media jumped all over the story, making Wiebe a celebrity in his hometown of Seattle, WA. With the Donkey Kong record in hand, his self-esteem rose and he rediscovered his love for teaching. As Wiebe's happiness was soaring, Mitchell was planning to reclaim his lost Donkey Kong record. The result was a cross-country battle that pitted the two men against each other to see which one would set the high score that would be featured in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Their story was documented on film, and is receiving rave reviews. For those of us who love video games and grew up understanding the excitement of the high score, it's a film that should be a lot of fun and offer an opportunity to reminisce. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The King of Kong
Director Seth Gordon
Distributor Picturehouse
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 5
Awards Awards page for The King of Kong
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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