The Magnificent Marble Machine (1975–1976)

TV Series  |   |  Game-Show
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One of TV game show's legendary flops, a celebrity-contestant team answered questions and played a giant pinball game for cash and prizes.


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1976   1975  


Series cast summary:
Art James ...
 Himself - Host (12 episodes, 1975-1976)


Although "Magnificent Marble Machine" was short-lived, and received it's share of criticism, host Art James kept the show moving in the same low-key and friendly style he had used on his prior game shows like "Say When!" and "The Who, What, Or Where Game". Art James was probably the most under-rated game show host in television history and many fans of the genre believe his talents as a host should receive greater recognition. Written by Joseph

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Release Date:

7 July 1975 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Only two episodes are known to survive of this series. Please check your attic. See more »


Featured in The China Syndrome (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

A Major 70s Flop
16 February 2008 | by (St. Louis Park, MN) – See all my reviews

Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley created and produced game shows with larger than life sets such as Video Village, Gambit, High Rollers, the kids game show Runaround and their biggest hit Hollywood Squares. But the duo was also involved with the major 70s flop The Magnificent Marble Machine. The machine itself was very large and fragile and suffered from numerous technical problems. Also, the format and scoring system changed several times throughout the show's run, usually a sign of a bad show. A good show has a consistent format viewers identify and play along with but this one probably left viewers confused with the changes. Even worse, the show went to an all-celebrity format, another case of a show's death knell (for those who remember the 70s version of Password).

There were only two things good about the show. The first was host Art James, who guided the show smoothly through all the confusion and the main game that featured clues on an electronic marquee. Also Mort Garson's electronic theme was outstanding and carnival-like. But for the rest of the show---TILT!

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