The King of Marvin Gardens 1972

The King of Marvin Gardens

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,951

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Movie Info

David Staebler (Jack Nicholson) is a sullen radio personality who reconnects with his scheming brother, Jason (Bruce Dern), in Atlantic City, N.J. A fast-talking con man, Jason is traveling with the beautiful Sally (Ellen Burstyn) and her stepdaughter, Jessica (Julia Anne Robinson), and attempts to rope David into a deal involving a tropical island resort. While David initially humors his ne'er-do-well sibling, Jason isn't happy when his brother tries to rain on his parade.

Cast & Crew

Jack Nicholson
David Staebler
Bruce Dern
Jason Staebler
László Kovács
Cinematographer
John F. Link
Film Editor
Toby Carr Rafelson
Production Design
G. Tony Scarano
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The King of Marvin Gardens

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for The King of Marvin Gardens

  • Oct 21, 2011
    Ellen Burstyn is crazy (as usual)
    Graham J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2011
    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.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A very deep, intense, dramatic movie with a great story and brilliant actors. I loved this movie, and I highly recommend it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2006
    The King of Marvin Gardens is a seriously underrated gem from an era where Jack Nicholson was at his peak. Between Bob Fafelson's direction and the entire cast's performances (especially Ellen Burstyn in an increasingly batshit crazy turn as a fading glamour queen) its almost impossible to see why this movie never really got its due. Admittedly there are stretches where The King of Marvin Gardens feels like a fever dream or reading a novel with some of the more important pages torn out but its so worth the ride. Especially for the opening and closing scenes.
    Michael G Super Reviewer

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