Search - The Kingdom - Series One (Riget) on DVD

The Kingdom - Series One (Riget)
The Kingdom - Series One
Actors: Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita Nørby, Holger Juul Hansen, Jens Okking
Directors: Lars von Trier, Morten Arnfred
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     4hr 32min

Acclaimed director Lars von Trier (Dogville, Dancer in the Dark) delves into the world of the supernatural with the acclaimed series that inspired Stephen King?s Kingdom Hospital. At The Kingdom, Denmark?s most technologic...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita Nørby, Holger Juul Hansen, Jens Okking
Directors: Lars von Trier, Morten Arnfred
Creators: Lars von Trier, Ib Tardini, Ole Reim, Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Niels Vørsel, Tómas Gislason
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/08/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1994
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 4hr 32min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Danish, Swedish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Wonderful series marred by production defect on Koch/Lorber
dooby | 11/28/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I agree that this is a brilliant series filled with black humor, pathos, social satire and horror. Set in and actually filmed at Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet, it is essentially a ghost story, a haunting, but told in a quirky, refreshing way. One can see why it attracted Stephen King and inspired him to write his subsequent novel "Kingdom Hospital." It certainly deserves all the 5 stars it gets at this site.

However there is a problem with the DVD edition issued by Koch/Lorber. On Disc Two, Episode 3, during the scene where Helmer enters the Central Archive after Mogge, the picture suddenly skips (at just after 39mins) to a part of the movie that is actually from Episode 1 on Disc One (the scene where Helmer's nose is being patched up). This sequence from the previous Disc then goes on for about 2 minutes before you suddenly switch back to the current episode but several minutes later with Dr Mogge already out of the Central Archive and running for his life. You are left wondering what happened in between.

This is not a problem with an individual disc. Replacing the disc makes no difference because they all have the same flaw. It is a production issue. It probably occured during the video-editing or mastering process. How this could have been passed for release is beyond me. I know Fox Lorber's previous reputation for producing shoddy DVDs but after the name change and several fairly good early releases under the Koch/Lorber label, I actually believed they had reformed. Alas not. This kind of sloppiness is wholly unacceptable. Koch/Lorber goes into the same black book as its disgraceful predecessor. If it had any conscience, Koch/Lorber would order a recall and replacement. But with this company's reputation, it's hardly likely. Hopefully the rumors are right and Criterion will pick this up for release in the future as part of a Lars von Trier retrospective."
A masterpiece encompassing many kingdoms
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 01/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Kingdom is the name of a gargantuan decaying hosital in Copenhagen where this amazing Lars von Trier Gothic television miniseries is set. of course, the title also refers to the kingdom of Denmark (in the staff meeting room where many scenes take place, the portraits of Queen Margrethe and her consort are prominently displayed), for which the hospital is a metaphor, and for the kingdom of society in general. And, as von Trier explains in his charming afterwords to the episodes, it also refers to the kingdom of the imagination itself. The miniseries works on all these levels. It's a quirky, incredibly atmospheric study of the hospital centering upon the discovery of the ghost of a girl murdered 75 years previously on the same site haunting the hospital, and it revolves around a giant cast of dozens of memorable characters, all of whom are intensely sympathetic even though they're pretty miserable human beings. The three at the core of the story are a malingerer, the septuagenarian medium Mrs. Drusse, obsessed with discovering the story behind a ghost; a blackmailer, the young and sexy Dr. Hook; and his nemesis in the neurology department, the jaw-droppingly arrogant brain surgeon Dr. Helmer, who had to take this job in Denmark (which he loathes) after being cast out of a job in his native Sweden under suspicion of plagiarism. Although the Gothic aspects to the story are beautifully brought out by the labyrinthine deserted basement hallways of the hospital and Von Trier's gorgeous sepia-tinted cinemtography, like all the best ghost stories the ghosts here serve as metaphors for what's wrong with the state of society in general. The miniseries is an amazingly funny satire on the dilapidated Danish health care system, and the film's funniest moments involve the attempts of the neurology department's manager, the marvelously manipulative and passive-aggressive Professor Moesgaard, to implement a hilariously inane PR campaign called "Operation Morning Air" that involves (among other things) having the neurosurgeons cheerfully sing introductions to one another at staff meetings.The series has often been compared to "Twin Peaks," but it's probably even better. Like the Lynch series it does a marvelous job of conveying atmosphere, but it is deeper and more carefully engineered and imagined. Though there are moments that sag (including the disastrous idea of having Dr. Helmer visit Haiti near the end, which jarringly breaks the miniseries' adherence otherwise to the Aristotelean unities by and large), as a whole it is a genuine masterpiece. It is one of the richest works for television ever made."
Fix For Disc Two Error
Dennis West | Portland, OR United States | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like other reviewers I found an error 39:11 into Disc Two. If you have purchased this movie and have such a problem Koch Lorber is aware of the error. You can get in touch with them through their web site
I sent them a brief message explaining the problem on a Sunday afternoon at 4:42 and by 6:18 Monday morning had received a very polite response from Jason Vitteritti ( - That's not a typo, the address on the email read "kochent", not kochnet like you might expect.
Anyway, the long and the short of it was by Wednesday I had a new disc two with no errors so as far as I'm concerned Koch Lorber rules!
Oh, and Riget is awesome too."
"E.R." Meets "Twin Peaks"
Mark Shanks | Portland, OR | 12/21/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 5-hour marathon was originally a mini-series on Danish television, which partly explains the length. It won't take you long to get completely involved in the weird goings-on at the massive Copenhagen hospital complex named "The Kingdom", though, and once you're hooked, you'll want to savor every minute. The primary plot concerns a malingering woman's search within the hospital for the spirit of a young girl, but there's also a phantom ambulance, a secret society (complete with some really bizarre initiation rites!), a Greek Chorus doing the dishes, and at least a half-dozen sub-plots. Although there are some visually disturbing scenes, plus a few steamy ones, the overall tone is best summed up as "quirky humor". The vast impersonality of the hospital is conveyed through washed-out sepia-tinted shots of endless corridors and fly-over shots of the huge complex, but the halls are chock-full of nuts. The Swedish chief neurosurgeon, on the lam from Stockholm thanks to assorted misdeeds there, shouts his frustrations at the "Danish scum" from the rooftops. A resident takes *his* title quite literally, setting up living quarters in the basement, where he recycles pharmaceuticals and keeps tabs on who's up to what. A portly orderly, cowed into submission by his psychosomatic mother, wheels her throughout the building while she searches for the spirit of a young girl she believes was murdered. The loopy head of staff seeks to inspire the workers with a typically management-brain-dead scheme he proudly calls "Operation Morning Wind". If you like the movies of the Coen brothers ("Fargo", or "The Hudsucker Proxy") or if you enjoyed "Twin Peaks", this is *definitely* one to check out. And since this isn't enough in itself, yup, there's a five-hour *sequel*!"