The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
Movie InfoIn this film, Jack Nicholson plays an FM radio personality who devotes his program to nonstop ramblings about his brother Bruce Dern. Dern wants to hold a beauty contest to raise the money he needs to build a Hawaiian resort. Nicholson allows himself to get sucked into Dern's scheme.
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Critic Reviews for The King of Marvin Gardens
Admirers of director Bob Rafelson's previous feature, Five Easy Pieces, will be stunned by the tedious pretensions of his newest effort.
An odd, unsettling movie overall, vague in its characterisation and narrative, dotted with bewildering asides and lacking any real warmth or humour.
Bob Rafelson's The King of Marvin Gardens is a perversely satisfying movie -- it works after going out of its way not to -- and a very eccentric one.
Rafelson's kind of poetic realism, an accuracy in the treatment of unexpected settings, looked like quality to some in Five Easy Pieces two years back. Now it looks like the most pretentious of tired clichés.
The film is well worth seeing, but the real attraction is the stunning depiction of Atlantic City.
A flawed masterpiece full of menace, surreal moments and obscure dialogues, with the city photographed in all its desolate, decaying beauty ...
A cult classic about fading dreams that has curiously improved with age.
The wintry Atlantic City is brilliantly evoked; the firecracker dialogue is a joy, and the final, chaotic denouement is genuinely unexpected.
[A] taxingly morose, intermittently interesting reunion between the director and star of the tremendous Five Easy Pieces.
Introspective and self-conscious, it's a chill offering that struggles to find its own voice.
The King of Marvin Gardens reminds us of the diversity and dynamism of the New Hollywood movement. And how odd it is that a largely forgotten film should feel so utterly unforgettable.
Rafelson relies heavily on overt symbolism and visual metaphor, which provides plenty of food for thought for the literary-minded, but also tends to weigh down the narrative and make it feel more heavy-handed than it should
A worthwhile Rafelson outing with striking photography by Laszlo Kovacs
Memorable performances from the players, including Ellen Burstyn as a psychotic girlfriend of Dern's.
Irresistible. It was a bitterly odd pic that offered an Atlantic City scenario that had no saltwater taffy to sweeten the taste.
One of those interesting, well-acted chamber dramas at which 1970s Hollywood excelled.
Audience Reviews for The King of Marvin Gardens
For what The King of Marvin Gardens lacks in story is certainly makes up for in script, performance and artistic imagery. It's as surreal as you'd expect from one of the co-writers of The Monkees and is the perfect example of free 70's thinking alongside the sobering up from the summer of love of yesteryear. A great slice of 70's American cinema.More
O reencontro de dois irmÃ£os. As diferenÃ§as de suas personalidades e os planos que fazem para permanecer mais juntos. Uma estranha visÃ£o sobre ÃÂ familia. Sombrio.More
Easily one of the most overlooked movies of the 70s. This has such a brave finale that completely changes the entire plot, character motives and mood of the movie. Bob Rafelson takes a story about two estranged brothers and turns it into something so much more engaging and memorable. Knowing Jack Nicolson, it's almost bizarre not to see him have multiple freak outs in a movie, especially during his 70s era of acting. He plays a really introspective and reserved character that honestly ends up being just as admirable as his more famous ones. Who really does end up completely dominating the movie is a completely unsuspecting Ellen Burstyn. When you think of character development, there is no better example than her in this movie. To see her go from a seemingly jolly and upbeat person into a train wreck of doom is an event you can't miss. This has all the great cinematography and direction that Bob Rafelson had with Five Easy Pieces, but this is a completely different take on America.More
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