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The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

R | | Drama | 26 April 1973 (France)
'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Anne Robinson ...
Lewis (as Benjamin 'Scatman' Crothers)
Charles LaVine ...
Arnold Williams ...
Surtees (as John Ryan)
Sully Boyar ...
William Pabst ...
Garry Goodrow ...
Nervous Man (as Gary Goodrow)
Imogene Bliss ...
Ann Thomas ...
Tom Overton ...
Spot Operator


'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer who asks his brother, David, a radio personality from Philadelphia to help him build a paradise on a Pacific Island - asking him to believe in yet another of his dreams, yet another of his get-rich-quick schemes. But luck is against them both and the game ends badly - real life reduced to radio drama. Written by Dave Cook <cookd@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 April 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Philosopher King  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The properties in the game Monopoly are named after streets in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but one of them was misspelled. The street is actually Marven Gardens. See more »


David listens to tape recording he made but during close-up of tape recorder, none of the buttons that would allow it to play are depressed. See more »


[first lines]
David Staebler: I promised that I would tell you... why I never eat fish. When we all moved into my grandfather's house... it somehow fell to me to keep the old man's mind off of things. We would play casino over an old card table. He never let me win. One time he put one of those tiny model trains... into my hamburger. He was a practical joker. I broke my tooth on it. On Friday evenings we had fish at our house. Every Friday. Not on religious grounds, but because... Grandpa was a fish enthusiast....
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Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo does not appear on this film. See more »


I Could Have Danced All Night
Music by Frederick Loewe
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User Reviews

A great and unusual film
13 April 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

A truly great film and sadly overlooked and under rated, following up Five Easy Pieces and showing Nicholson at his most awesome. A far better take on Atlantic City than the Louis Malle's film of that name. Incredible acting from Nicholson, Dern, Burstyn... great direction and cinamatography. The movie is set in a pre-casino Atlantic City, sort of Coney Island perfected. A real actors film that we rarely see anymore. Perhaps difficult to watch because of that yet immensely rewarding. A film that perfectly captures the time and place. Dern plays an over the top hustler while Nicholson, of all things, plays an intellectual radio dweeb. Go on... see it... "no one reads anymore..."

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