movie film review | chris tookey

Kid Stays In The Picture

  Kid Stays In The Picture Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
7.83 /10
Robert Evans (pictured left with Roman Polanski),

Directed by: Brett Morgan and Nanette Burstein
Written by: Brett Morgen, based on the book The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans

Released: 2002
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 0

A documentary celebrating one of Hollywood's most charismatic has-beens.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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All that Producer Robert Evans has been responsible for of late is a succession of terrible movies, including Jade, The Out-of-Towners, The Saint and The Phantom.

But in his heyday he was responsible for Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Godfather, not to mention the critically-despised but popular Love Story. He bluffed his way to becoming studio head (at Paramount) without having previously produced a movie. And he's lived a hedonistic life - including five marriages - that might have been scripted by Harold Robbins.

This cheerfully self-aggrandising movie, narrated by Evans himself, captures a good deal of what's best about Hollywood - the ambition, adventure and energy. It also, more-or-less inadvertently, reveals its less appetising aspects - the rampant self-indulgence, the drug culture, an obsession with money, celebrity and external appearances, the bluffing, the manipulation, the egomania.

Directors Brett Morgan and Nanette Burstein have skilfully assembled a collage of movie clips, photographs and footage of Evans's house to get away from the usual talking heads.

Evans' rise and fall are gripping and sleazy enough to be compulsively watchable. He is a great talker, if not entirely reliable. He refers to only one of his former wives - the most famous (Ali McGraw); and you can't help but suspect that this piece of self-glorification both exaggerates his achievements and whitewashes his nastiness.

The movie is as slick, self-serving and shallow as he is. But Evans still reveals more about himself than he probably intended. Enough of the disreputable truth and unconscious vulgarity shows through to make this a valuable insight into Hollywood - not so much the place, as the state of mind.

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