The King of Marvin Gardens

The King of Marvin Gardens

Bob Rafelson (1972)

X Certificate


Our Score
Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson's follow-up to Five Easy Pieces was this often pretentious yet absorbing study of two brothers. Nicholson is a radio presenter, intellectual and withdrawn; his brother, Bruce Dern, is an aspiring property developer who lives with two women (Ellen Burstyn and Julia Anne Robinson) and exists in a hopeless dream world. Set in a windy, charmless Atlantic City, its original title was The Philosopher King, and the final title derives from the American version of Monopoly. Some rate Nicholson's performance as a career best, and his wistful monologues at the radio microphone are indeed brilliant; others may find the cold, cerebral atmosphere easy to resist.


A radio talk-show host discovers his dreamer brother has a plan to build a casino on a Hawaiian island. At first he agrees to support the scheme, but when he comes to realise the project is doomed to failure, he struggles to pull his delusional sibling from the brink of disaster. Bob Rafelson's comedy drama, starring Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn and Julia Anne Robinson.

Cast & Crew

David Staebler Jack Nicholson
Jason Staebler Bruce Dern
Sally Ellen Burstyn
Jessica Julia Anne Robinson
Lewis Scatman Crothers
Grandfather Charles Lavine
Rosko Arnold Williams
Surtees John P Ryan
Lebowitz Sully Boyar
Frank Josh Mostel
Director Bob Rafelson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusGuidance: Contains violence and swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 24 May 2013
Drama Comedy