Movie Details

Created by the same team responsible for the quirky, iconoclastic HBO western series Deadwood, John from Cincinnati was a magical mystery tour of the California surfing scene. Set in the town of Imperial Beach, the story focused on the multigenerational Yost family, led by Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood), a onetime surfing legend who had been forcibly retired (except for a few early-morning forays into the waves) by a serious knee injury. The fall of the Yost fortunes had a deleterious effect upon Mitch's son Butchie (Brian Van Holt), who had become a seemingly hopeless druggie; conversely, Butchie's own son Shaun (Grayson Fletcher) was a surfing phenom who bade fare to surpass his grandfather's celebrity--if he ever got the chance. Holding the family together was Mitch's levelheaded wife Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay), owner of the surfing-goods store that provided their income. Into this dysfunctional family unit came a fabulously wealthy and truly bizarre dude known as John Monad (Austin Nichols), who when pressed for details identified himself as "John from Cincinnati." Outwardly a boorish dimwit with an annoying habit of repeating everyone else's conversations, John was clearly operating on some Higher Plane or other, implicitly possessing the ability to heal the sick and revive the dead, and holding out the hope of redemption for the fractured Yosts. With John in the vicinity, no one found it odd that, for example, Mitch suddenly developed the ability to float in the air; everyone seemed to accept the newcomer without question or prejudice. Only the Yosts' friend Bill Jacks (Ed O'Neill), a fancier of birds and pro wrestlers, distrusted John and his motives, suspecting that he was more Satan than Saint. The series' events--subtly but inextricably linking each character with the other--unfolded in a leisurely, day-by-day "need to know" basis, with small, tantalyzing clues as to the story's outcome (Rapture? Armageddon? The Perfect Wave?) buried within each episode. Cocreated by Deadwood's David Milch and "surf noir" novelist Kern Nunn, and featuring Luke Perry and Deadwood alumnus Jim Beaver in key supporting roles, John from Cincinnati began its HBO run on June 10, 2007. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi