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The Kingdom - Series One (Riget) (1994)

Ernst-Hugo JšregŚrd , Kirsten Rolffes , Lars von Trier , Morten Arnfred  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Price: $29.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Kingdom - Series One (Riget) + The Kingdom - Series Two + Manderlay
Price for all three: $81.23

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ernst-Hugo JšregŚrd, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita NÝrby, Holger Juul Hansen, SÝren Pilmark
  • Directors: Lars von Trier, Morten Arnfred
  • Writers: Lars von Trier, Niels VÝrsel, Tůmas Gislason
  • Producers: Ib Tardini, Marianne Slot, Ole Reim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Danish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 272 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AYYV74
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,830 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Kingdom - Series One (Riget)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes Footage
  • Commentary by Lars Von Trier
  • Misc TV spots directed by Lars Von Trier
  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

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 technologically advanced hospital, a number of strange and otherworldly events begin to occur, much to the dismay of its doctors and patients. A ghostly ambulance appears and disappears, the voice of a little girl calls to a patient in an elevator shaft and a doctor’s fetus begins growing at an alarming rate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 84 people found the following review helpful
By dooby
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.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fix For Disc Two Error February 3, 2006
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.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece encompassing many kingdoms January 17, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "E.R." Meets "Twin Peaks" December 21, 1998
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
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*!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "No living person knows it yet. But the gateway to the Kingdom is...
Back in 1994, Lars von Trier offered to Danish television his first TV series, the Kingdom (Riget). A four episode per season saga that gave Lars his first popular success with the... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Omnes
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow to build up.
I picked this up years ago on VHS at Tower Records. The end was decent,but it took way too long to build to the climax. Really needed better pacing,I almost didn't finish it.
Published 22 days ago by dynaryder
5.0 out of 5 stars A real fun mini series
A comedy horror that is really fun to watch. I had seen this years ago and was happy to get it at such a great price. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Pulpman
1.0 out of 5 stars Farcical Drama
Compared to other "haunted hospital" films that I've come across, this one is way too farcical. As a result, there is an excess of absurdity and very little believability, which... Read more
Published on June 4, 2009 by Cary B. Barad
5.0 out of 5 stars after a long hunt for red october,finally...
Hey,I taped the whole entire series on vhs,when it originally aired on ifc,in the mid 90's. The whole entire series seemed to get on one tape,as far as I can remember? Read more
Published on October 28, 2008 by John L. Hobley II
4.0 out of 5 stars Thy Kingdom Come...
Let me start off by saying, I read another review that mentions a glitch on the DVD, and I don't think I experienced anything like that. Read more
Published on October 9, 2008 by Azriel
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this, not the American remake
After seeing "Kingdom Hospital", which I thoroughly enjoyed at the time, I decided to watch the original Danish mini-series upon which it was based, although I couldn't imagine the... Read more
Published on March 24, 2008 by Genevieve Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars supernatural twisted and gore, but Fun!
Twisted and Fun! ... and a little sick..., January 24, 2008
By Ms. Patricia J. Adams "Piaget Moviebuff" (California) - See all my reviews

I just finished both... Read more
Published on January 24, 2008 by The SciFi Moviebuff
4.0 out of 5 stars WEIRD ENOUGH FOR ME
A Danish David Lynch movie, just my kind of flick. Mad Swedish brain surgeon, hypochondriacal psychic patient, dishwashers with Downs syndrome, hanky panky all over the wards,... Read more
Published on December 22, 2007 by THE KING OF PANGAEA
5.0 out of 5 stars As expected
I had seen the movie before on cable and wanted to have it. There is really nothing like it that has ever come out of Hollywood (or can ever, for that matter). Read more
Published on January 4, 2007 by Anthony Hart
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