Daily News header

Under The Boardwalk Film Review

By     get stories by email

Monopoly Documentary Celebrates Parker Brothers Popular Board Game

In 1935, Charles Darrow, au unemployed salesman from Philadelphia, got a patent on Monopoly, a board game ostensibly inspired by another named The Landlord. The original had been invented over three decades earlier by a Quaker named Lizzie Phillips as a means of illustrating capitalism's tendency to enrich property owners at the expense of impoverishing renters.

But Darrow's version of the game was more a celebration than an indictment of an evil economic system. It even featured Rich Uncle Pennybags as is mascot, an exuberant, tuxedoed character sporting a top hat, cane and handlebar mustache reportedly modeled on filthy-rich financier J.P. Morgan.

The rights to Monopoly were acquired by Parker Brothers which started mass producing the game. Soon thereafter, the game caught fire among millions of the discouraged desperate to rekindle the American Dream as they struggled to survive the Great Depression. Its popularity has persisted uninterrupted over the intervening years to the point where it has been translated into dozens of languages and is presently being distributed in over a hundred countries around the world.

Furthermore, Monopoly today is as much a brand as it is a game, with the name being licensed for use by McDonald's, gambling casinos, lotteries and so forth. Meanwhile, it has also become a part of the nation's very cultural fabric, as witnessed by the countless references to the game made in movies and on television shows.

All of the above is chronicled in Under the Boardwalk, a delightful documentary directed by Kevin Tostado which is certain to delight any Monopoly fan. For besides disseminating some fascinating historical info, the movie is kept lively by chronicling the goings-on at both the United States and World Monopoly Championships of 2009.

Coming from all walks of life, the only thing the colorful entrants have in common is an obsession with playing the endlessly-entertaining board game that has captured their imaginations since childhood. As for the key to winning, the participants seem to agree that despite the incredible amount of strategy necessary for a serious shot at the title, a lucky roll of the dice might ultimately decide the outcome.

Advance token to Boardwalk!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated G

Running time: 88 minutes

Distributor: Rhino Films

To see a trailer for Under the Boardwalk, visit:

Or: http://www.monopolydocumentary.com/videos.htm

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Potable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Water is life, but human misuse of water is causing big problems, according to the Secret of Water documentary.
Don't miss these opening movies of the week including Cinderella, starring Lily James, a live-action version of the classic fairytale.
Working man Darnell Lewis is stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in South Central L.A., living the opposite life to Mr. King who has money all around him.
High-action movies, starting with The Gunman, with Sean Penn, directed by Pierre Morel, plus the sci-fi Insurgent, with Shailene Woodley and Taylor Lautner in Tracers.
Sean Penn showcases his abilities in drama and action, as an assassin who leaves the scene of the crime only to return years later, expecting his girlfriend to be still waiting.
Besides covering the Obama administration, April's responsibilities include hosting 'The White House Report,' a syndicated show airing on about 300 radio stations around the country. The Morgan State grad still lives in her native Baltimore which is

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site