The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 October 1972 (USA)
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'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 »



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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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Original title: "The Philosopher King". 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 »


Featured in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »


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

Great Cast, Quirky Treat
8 July 2000 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

I can see how many might look at this film in the light of "Five Easy Pieces", considering the prior collaboration. But taken on its own merits, this piece is driven by the interesting, passionate, and sometimes manic performances by Nicholson, Dern and Burstyn. Julie Anne Robinson does a credible job in her only big screen credit, but this vehicle is driven by the big 3. If you are looking for meaning and logic from this film, you have come to the wrong place. But if you enjoy a voyeuristic peek into the lives of people who undoubtedly swirl around us daily, unnoticed, this one's for you! Plus the on location shots in "old" Atlantic City P.T. (pre-Trump) add murkiness to the angst we see. All in all, one you'll think about!

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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