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The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 October 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,485 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 33 critic

'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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Philosopher King  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Al Pacino was personally offered the role of David by Bob Rafelson. He turned it down to act in The Godfather (1972). 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 »


Jason Staebler: You notice how it's Monopoly out there? Remember Boardwalk, Park Place, Marvin Gardens?
David Staebler: Go directly to jail?
Jason Staebler: Well, that's me. Don't pass go, don't collect $200.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Steppin' Out With My Baby
Written by Irving Berlin
Heard when Jessica dances
See more »

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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..."

25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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One of the most provocative opening scenes in film fivedimensionalmanifold
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