The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

New Line Cinema Released 2007


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Movie Summary

Seth Gordon
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary released in 2007 that follows two men on their quest to be the world record holder in the arcade classic Donkey Kong. Billy Mitchell has been a video game world record holder since the 1980s and is still a prominent figure in the arcade scene. He is an extremely arrogant man and a self-proclaimed "sauce king". In contrast, the documentary also follows Steve Weibe, a teacher from Washington. He is described by his friends and family as always getting the short end of the stick. He eventually realizes he has mastered the game of Donkey Kong, claiming the world record in his garage. After turning his tape over to Twin Galaxies (the worldwide record keeper for video game scores), Wiebe has the record and finally a victory in life. Billy Mitchell, however, will not let this stand. After sending one of his minions to investigate Wiebe's homemade machine, he discovers a circuit board was sold to Wiebe by one of Mitchell's rivals, Roy Shildt. Mitchell thus claims Wiebe's record is invalid due to the circuit board and the video taped performance instead of a live one. Wiebe accepts this and breaks Mitchell's record in a live setting, only to have Mitchell once again claim the record (albeit on video tape). Wiebe constantly tries to get Mitchell to face him one-on-one, but Mitchell dodges every time. This documentary is a story about a regular guy trying to be recognized for his accomplishments only to be thwarted by an evil egomaniac.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times

    The movie's "Rocky" formula proves irresistible anyway; unsurprisingly, New Line has commissioned Mr. Gordon to remake this story with actors.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Obsession creates its own fascination, and never more so than in King of Kong, a sprightly new documentary that's as compulsively watchable as the vintage video game it focuses on ...

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A documentary that is beyond strange, follows two arch-enemies in their grim, long-term rivalry, which involves way more time than any human lifetime should devote to Donkey Kong.

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