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Film Film June 29, 2001
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Bob Rafelson
The King of Marvin Gardens
1972

It's not the things that they say in this film that make it a downbeat masterpiece. True, Bruce Dern and Jack Nicholson have their share of great scenes as, respectively, an inveterate hustler and his repressed kid brother who reunite over a tortured weekend in Atlantic City. No, the beauty of this film lies in the shadows, in the long silent stretches, in the wide, sad shots of the boardwalk -- all composed by master cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. In addition to being a gripping and bittersweet film about blood ties and reckless behavior, The King of Marvin Gardens is just one damned beautiful piece of filmmaking.


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