King of California

King of California Information

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King of California is a 2007 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Cahill. It is his debut as a screenwriter and director. The film premiered on January 24, 2007 at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and opened in limited release in North America on September 14, 2007. The film stars Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood.


16-year-old Miranda has been abandoned by her mother, and has dropped out of school. She is supporting herself as an employee at McDonalds while her father, Charlie, resides in a mental institution.

When Charlie is released and sent back to their home, Miranda finds the relatively peaceful existence she's built for herself completely disrupted. Charlie has become obsessed with the notion that the long-lost treasure of Spanish explorer Father Juan Florismarte Torres is buried somewhere near their suburban California house in the Santa Clarita Valley. Armed with a metal detector and a stack of treasure-hunting books, Charlie soon finds reason to believe that the gold resides underneath the local Costco, and encourages Miranda to get a job there so that they can plan a way to excavate after hours.

Initially skeptical, Miranda soon finds herself joining in Charlie's questionable antics in an effort to give him one last shot at accomplishing his dreams.

After becoming involved with some swingers, Miranda then helps Charlie break into the Costco. Once inside the Costco they drill through the floor and then into an underground river. Charlie steals some scuba diving equipment, dives into the river, and then finds the gold. He retrieves much of it but tragically does not return from his last dive, where he pursues further and finds the missing explorer. Charlie left Miranda a tag and told her not to lose it. The next day, she visits Costco and finds the product the tag belongs to, a dishwasher. Miranda buys the dishwasher, takes it to the beach, and opens it. When Miranda opens the dishwasher she is seen bathed in a golden glow and a slow smile spreads across her face, a strong indication that Charlie has cached the gold inside the dishwasher, although the gold is never actually shown to the viewer.


  • Michael Douglas as Charlie
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Miranda
    • Allisyn Ashley Arm as young Miranda
  • Willis Burks II as Pepper
  • Laura Kachergus as Rita
  • Paul Lieber as Doug
  • Kathleen Wilhoite as Kelly
  • Greg Davis Jr. as Chuchu
  • Angel Oquendo as Younger cop
  • Ashley Greene as McDonald's customer
  • Will Rothhaar as Security guard
  • Jason Auer as Costco Employee


Director-screenwriter Mike Cahill had written a draft of the script in the mid-1980s but was not pleased with it and put it away, focusing instead on writing novels. He turned down one offer to finance the film's production because he refused to shoot it in Albuquerque.

According to Michael Douglas, King of California was filmed in only 31 days. Mike Cahill said Douglas became interested in the project simply by virtue of having been sent the script. Co-star Evan Rachel Wood remarked that Douglas frequently made the cast and crew roll over laughing at film sessions " so much so that entire scenes had to be reshot.

Charlie uses a Discwasher to clean his vinyl jazz LP.

Critical reception

As of January 6, 2008 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 64% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 58 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 63 out of 100, based on 22 reviews.

New York Times film critic Stephen Holden described King of California as "a sequel of sorts" to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), noting the similarity between the characters of Charlie and Randle McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) in the two films. Praising Michael Douglas' acting as "his strongest screen performance since Wonder Boys," Holden concludes that King of California "is really a Don Quixote-like fable about nonconformity and pursuing your impossible dream to the very end."

Ted Fry of The Seattle Times also extolled Michael Douglas' acting as "one of his stronger performances." Fry summed up his review calling King of California "a strong effort by first time writer/director Mike Cahill that will keep you bemused for its idiosyncratic voice."

Home media

King of California was released on DVD in the U.K. in early June 2008.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "King_of_California" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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