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Review: 'Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story'

March 3, 2011 1:05 p.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews the locally produced film "Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story"

Related Story: Review: 'Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story'


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

March 4, 2011

One man's passion for a board game has led to the locally produced documentary "Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story" opening today (Friday) at the UltraStar Mission Valley Theaters. KPBS film critic Beth Accomando says it's about more than just bankrupting your opponent.

MONOPOLY 1 (ba) (1:15)

Kevin Tostado's desire to compete in the Monopoly world championships led him to make a documentary about the classic board game for its 75th anniversary.

KEVIN TOSTADO: Monopoly took off because it was on the tail end of the Depression and people could live vicariously through it and be a property owner and get rich inside the game and for some people that was a dream come true.

"Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story" is a dream come true for Tostado, who spent more than a quarter of a million dollars to bring his film to the screen. He looks to the roots of the game and to how it’s gone global. He also highlights the Carlsbad company USAopoly that manufactures collector’s editions of the game.

But the most interesting story he uncovers involves the game’s British licensee. During World War II JohnWaddington and his company perfected a way of printing maps on silk and thought that could be useful to soldiers.

CLIP: But also they had the idea of putting the silk maps into sets of Monopoly… the question was how do we get sets of Monopoly inside POW camps and the answer came back the Red Cross…

Tostado employed more than a dozen local crew people and personally traveled to 5 countries to make the film.

KEVIN TOSTADO: We self-financed the film fully by friends, family and colleagues and we're still trying to raise funds to take this finished film out to more cities. (:10)

The film has its theatrical premiere today but Tostado’s work is far from done. He’s in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 more so that he can distribute the film to other cities across the nation.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.