The King of Marvin Gardens
The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 12, 1972
DVD Release Date: April 25, 2000
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Admirers of director Bob Rafelson's previous feature, Five Easy Pieces, will be stunned by the tedious pretensions of his newest effort.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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.

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Philip French
Observer (UK)

A flawed masterpiece full of menace, surreal moments and obscure dialogues, with the city photographed in all its desolate, decaying beauty ...

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The film is talky and often abrasive, but it sticks in the mind.

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Roger Greenspun
New York Times

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.

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Allan Hunter
Daily Express (UK)

A haunting, beautifully acted tale of impossible dreams and lost hope.

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Tom Huddleston
Time Out

An odd, unsettling movie overall, vague in its characterisation and narrative, dotted with bewildering asides and lacking any real warmth or humour.

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Sarah Cronin
Electric Sheep

The film is well worth seeing, but the real attraction is the stunning depiction of Atlantic City.

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Charlotte O'Sullivan
London Evening Standard

A cult classic about fading dreams that has curiously improved with age.

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More reviews for The King of Marvin Gardens

Flixster Audience Score: 58% Flixster User Reviews
Lucas Martins
Aj V
A very deep, intense, dramatic movie with a great story and brilliant actors. I loved this movie, and I highly recommend it.
Graham Jones
Ellen Burstyn is crazy (as usual)
Michael Gildea
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… More
Conner Rainwater
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… More