A Hologram for the King | Chicago Reader

A Hologram for the King

Tom Hanks stars as a washed-up salesman (his dwindling fortunes in the U.S. are dramatized in an awkward parody of the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime") who journeys to Saudi Arabia and takes up residence in the King Abdullah Economic City, an unfinished commercial and residential development near Jeddah, to sell a new teleconference system to the king. The source novel by Dave Eggers is a lament for the death of American manufacturing, its hero a former Schwinn executive who helped move the company's bicycle production to China and then watched the company collapse after the Chinese took over the market. The movie is very 21st century, with global economic forces shifting in the background like giant sand dunes, but writer-director Tom Tykwer loses much of the economic detail that made the novel pertinent and sad.



  • Tom Tykwer


  • Tom Hanks
  • Alexander Black
  • Sarita Choudhury
  • Sidse Knudsen
  • Ben Whishaw
  • Tom Skerritt
  • Tracey Fairaway
  • David Menkin


  • Uwe Schott
  • Stefan Arndt
  • Arcadiy Golubovich
  • Tim O'Hair
  • Gary Goetzman
  • Steven Shareshian
  • Gaston Pavlovich
  • Claudia Bluemhuber
  • Irene Gall
  • Gero Bauknecht
  • Jim Seibel
  • Bill Johnson
  • Shervin Pishevar

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