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The King of Marvin Gardens

By Marshall Fine

One of the most subtle and deeply felt--if ultimately downbeat--collaborations between Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson, this film was Rafelson's follow-up to Five Easy Pieces. Nicholson plays a disc jockey whose withdrawn personality translates to radio mystery. But he's out of his depth when he goes home to Atlantic City at the invitation of ne'er-do-well brother Bruce Dern. Dern has a big-money scam that's also high risk, particularly to himself if the black-crime syndicate he's ripping off ever gets wind of it. But Nicholson gets swept up in the blarney of his charismatic older brother, even as he suffers gnawing doubts about the way Big Bro treats his lady friends (including Ellen Burstyn). Low-key but evocative, this is the kind of movie that has you remembering images and moments and feeling for Nicholson's dilemma, long after you've seen it.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Bob Rafelson

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Scatman Crothers

Released: October 12, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS


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