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The King of Marvin Gardens Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Dreams die hard in wintry Atlantic City in Bob Rafelson's downbeat character drama. Depressive deejay David Staebler (Jack Nicholson) tends to his grandfather as he philosophizes on late-night Philadelphia talk radio. When his huckster older brother Jason (Bruce Dern) calls out of the blue one day, David travels to Atlantic City to see what his latest easy money scheme is. Along with his former beauty queen companion Sally (Ellen Burstyn) and her pretty stepdaughter Jessica (Julia Anne Robinson), Jason plans to open a resort on a small Hawaiian island, insisting to an initially skeptical David that the deal is as good as done. David plays along but, as he learns the reality of the situation, tries to talk some sense into Jason. Jason and his women will have none of it, leading to a tragic lesson about the cost of superficial values like beauty and wealth, and the limits of brotherly love. Rafelson's follow-up to his 1970 hit Rafelson once again questions American myths of success, with one brother unwilling to come to earth to realize his dreams and the other unable to do much beyond talk about his inertia to an unseen radio audience. With Rafelson star Nicholson as the introverted lead, and impressive cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs, The King of Marvin Gardens had the makings of another Hollywood New Wave hit. The response, however, was not what stumbling BBS Productions hoped, as Columbia barely supported the film and 1972 audiences were not as responsive to Rafelson's second exploration of contemporary alienation. The King of Marvin Gardens' artful depiction of disillusionment roots it firmly in the 1970s Hollywood art cinema, and its failure became one more sign of that cycle's popular limits. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:May 24, 2013

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Venice International Film Festival Bob Rafelson Film Presented 1975 Nominee

Cast

Jack Nicholson
as David Staebler
Bruce Dern
as Jason Staebler
Ellen Burstyn
as Sally
Scatman Crothers
as Lewis
Charles Lavine
as Grandfather
John Ryan
as Surlees
Arnold Williams
as Rosko
Sully Boyar
as Lebowitz
William Pabst
as Bidlack
Imogene Bliss
as Magda
Van Kirksey
as Messenger #1
Tony King
as Messenger #2
Conrad Yama
as Fujito
Josh Mostel
as Frank
Garry Goodrow
as Nervous Man
Henry Foehl
as Auctioneers
Frank Hatchett
as Dancers
Wyetta Turner
as Dancers
Imogene Bliss
as Magda
John Ryan
as Surlees
Henry Foehl
as Auctioneers
Sully Boyar
as Lebowitz
Tony King
as Messenger #2
William Pabst
as Bidlack
Arnold Williams
as Rosko
Frank Hatchett
as Dancers
Garry Goodrow
as Nervous Man
Conrad Yama
as Fujito
Josh Mostel
as Frank
Van Kirksey
as Messenger #1

Crew

Bob Rafelson
Director
Bob Rafelson
Producer
Steve Blauner
Producer
Harold Schneider
Producer
Jacob Brackman
Screenwriter
Jacob Brackman
Book Author
Bob Rafelson
Book Author
Bob Rafelson
Screenwriter
Laszlo Kovacs
Cinematographer
Tim Zinnemann
First Assistant Director
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