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The King Of Marvin Gardens 1972

R CC
4.2 out of 5 stars (74) IMDb 6.6/10

Gritty 1970s landmark film about small-time losers and big-time dreamers in Atlantic City. Stars Jack Nicholson.

Starring:
Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern
Runtime:
1 hour, 43 minutes

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Rent Movie SD $2.99

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Bob Rafelson
Starring Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern
Supporting actors Ellen Burstyn, Julia Anne Robinson, Scatman Crothers, Charles LaVine, Arnold Williams, John P. Ryan, Sully Boyar, Josh Mostel, William Pabst, Garry Goodrow, Imogene Bliss, Ann Thomas, Tom Overton, Maxwell 'Sonny' Goldberg, Van Kirksey, Tony King, Jerry Fujikawa, Conrad Yama
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I hadn't heard about this collection until i ran a search for Head on Blu Ray here at Amazon. At first I was ecstatic that it was on Blu Ray but dismayed that it was only available as part of a collection. When I saw the other films included coupled with the price being right i decided to buy it. I have now watched all the films and wasn't disappointed. Criterion does an excellent job with the HD transfers and the extras on each film.

Head was a lost gem I first saw on the CBS Late Movie in the early 1970s. To understand it, it helps to have some background about the Monkees and the myths surrounding them, as well as their desire to be taken seriously as a 1960s rock group. I already owned the Rhino DVD version, which professed that the 1:33 to 1 aspect ratio was original intended version. Nothing could be further from the truth; here it is presented in its original 1:78 to 1 aspect ratio (16:9 in the parlance of our times). The extras are very informative as is the commentary by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. Finally, an honorable version of this wonderful cult film!

I have seen Easy Rider several times over the years; the last time I saw it was a DVD presentation and I found it to be somewhat dated. However, due to the excellent HD transfer I was less focused on the lingo of the day and more on Laszlo Kovac's excellent cinematography. It's amazing how great the film looks with a proper transfer and it gave me a greatly renewed interest. Again, the extras are top-notch and very informative. It's equally impressive how much "bang for the buck" BBS got from all their films.

Five Easy Pieces was another film I already owned on DVD but again, this version looks wonderful.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The film opens with Nicholson in a tight shot talking to someone. We aren't sure at first to whom he's talking or why. From that opening scene I was hooked. Nicholson is a radio personality (David) who one day gets a phone call from his brother Jason (Bruce Dern) who is in jail. Jason is basically a big-time loser who has been trying all his life to make something big happen. His latest scheme is to encourage his brother to join him and his female companions (played by Ellyn Burstyn and Julia Anne Robinson) in Atlantic City while contemplating the purchase of an island near Hawaii. Many strange events happen along the way, not the least of which finds the two women competing for Jason's affection. A very strange scene occurs involving a fire on the beach. Without giving too much away, I will say that this is a turning point that has tremendous impact later in the story. So few films today have even slightly interesting characters. These characters are so vivid and interesting that you can't help but be intrigued, wondering what's going to happen next. Each scene seems to have no rhyme or reason, until finally the pieces fall into place. When the pieces do come together, you realize that you've witnessed something very unique, original, and haunting.
The four leading actors are all at the top of their form. I have never seen Nicholson timid, unsure, or at a loss for words before. Dern is hopelessly reckless. Robinson is an innocent in an evil environment. Burstyn is perfect as the key to the whole story, which is one that I'll never forget. You'll think about this quiet little film long after the credits are over.
2 Comments 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Since I am mostly commenting on the "HEAD" portion of this set, I should include that already having "Five Easy Pieces" in a restored version on DVD and "Easy Rider" has been reissued numerous times with not much bonus material here, this print of "HEAD" is from the original 35mm negative! Where-as the awful DVD release from Rhino, who lies in a leader frame that the Full Frame format is how the film was meant to be seen! I beg to differ and bow to Criterion for releasing this incredible movie in glorious widescreen and in a true 5.1! Don't worry, those purist that still listen through a Stereo Reciever (because MOST humans only have 2 ears),like myself..the stereo seperation will blow you away, especially if you have the inferior RHINO release, you need not do a side by side comparison! Not only are the songs in true stereo but the entire soundtrack through-out the entire movie. Including the closing credits (Known on the Colgems soundtrack as "PLus Strings") by Ken Thorne. Which also gives RHINO another bad mark. In October, RHINO released a "HEAD Deluxe CD boxset" and list the "Plus Strings as "stereo" and they are most certainly not, yet Criterion goes the extra mile and finds true masters to all the Stereo songs plus Ken thorne's excellent incidental music! "Porpoise Song" has the nice deep low ends and crystal clear highs. Special credit with the live "Circle Sky" and "As We Go Along" where the vocals were burried on the RHINO release. Not so on this print. You feel as if the movie were filmed yesterday! Not bad for a 42 year old film! The colors are vibrant and the print is so sharp you may want to keep your hands away from the screen! Criterion deserves an award for thier excellence!
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