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The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

 -  Drama  -  12 October 1972 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,932 users  
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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

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

Storyline

'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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Philosopher King  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the meeting with the Japanese businessmen, David Staebler (Nicholson) refers to an experiment where a woman cohabitated with a dolphin in isolation for a couple of months. This is perhaps a reference to the 1965 Dolphin Point Laboratory experiment run by Dr. John C Lilly on St. Thomas Island. The name of the woman who volunteered to participate in the experiment is Margaret Howe and she was 23 years-old at the time of the experiment. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jessica: What's going on?
David Staebler: Your mother's gonna murder one of us. So far the only one she hasn't nominated is you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Epidemic (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A quiet masterpiece
21 May 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A classic from of the New American Cinema The King of Marvin Gardens is one of the most underrated films of the 70. The film stars Bruce Dern and Jack Nicholson (cast against type as an introverted depressive) as a pair of estranged brothers reunited in Atlantic City to try to get scam artist Dern's ill-conceived property development dreams off the ground. Ellen Bursten rounds out the cast as an ageing beauty queen struggling with the realisation that her young protégé, played by the previously and subsequently unknown Julia Ann Robinson, has surpassed her. Shot in a bleak, wintry Atlantic City that contrasts sharply with Dern's vision of a happy ending for the quartet in Hawai'i, the film is a compelling and meditative character study that doesn't shy away from or glamorise the problems of the people who inhabit it. The three leads give superb performances as characters who are all in their disparate ways seeking redemption. Made in the brief period of the 1970s when the big American studios were hoodwinked into financing films that were singular, intelligent, and challenging, The King of Marvin Gardens is a must see for any fan of the cinema.


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