Film: The Kid Stays in the Picture
Cast includes: Robert Evans, Charlie Bluhdorn, Francis Ford Coppola, Catherine Deneuve, Mia Farrow, Henry Kissinger, Jack Nickolson, Ali MacGraw, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney, Ernest Hemingway, Edward R. Murrow
Director: Nanette Burstein (Going the Distance)
Genre: Documentary/Biography (2002) Based on the book by Robert Evans
In brief: The journey from child actor to clothing manufacturer to leading man to movie producer is quite a story. And Robert Evans tells it in his own words… with a disclaimer about the truthfulness. One thing that’s for sure is that Robert Evans holds the record for the longest tenure as head of Paramount Pictures and the greatest number of movies in the Library of Congress’s 75 Greatest Movies. But the Robert Evans story was no easy ride.
In the 1950s, as a VP of Evan Picone… the hot fashion company that popularized slacks for women… Evans was in Hollywood on business. He was discovered at the hotel pool and auditioned for a part in a James Cagney movie. When Darryl Zanick later cast him in The Sun Also Rises, it almost led to a mutiny, with almost everyone on the project signing a telegram demanding that Zanuck fire Evans. Zanuck’s response; “The kid stays in the picture.” Instead of inspiring Evans to advance his acting career, it inspired Evans to become a producer, another Zanuck… the guy who could say whether or not the kid stays in the picture. Evan’s has had an amazingly interesting and colorful life and career, producing films such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Marathon Man, Chinatown… and 300 more.
If you love movies, this one is a must see. The role of producer is one of the least well defined and least well understood. In the case of Robert Evans, he did everything from creating a vision, selling it, choosing the talent and saving the day when films almost went off the rails. Who would have guessed that Rosemary’s Baby almost crashed and burned? Who would have guessed that The Godfather almost died 1,000 deaths along the way? It’s an interesting story, told in a most irreverent way… with lots of interesting film footage and still photos. Evans narrates it… and the kid’s got talent.
3 popped kernels
Interesting, informative and largely true