The Kid Stays in the Picture

2002

The Kid Stays in the Picture

Critics Consensus

Though not objective by any means, The Kid Stays in the Picture is irresistibly entertaining.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 112

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,706
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Movie Info

Robert Evans' rise from second-string actor (who really was discovered while lounging by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel) to head of one of Hollywood's biggest movie studios is told from the viewpoint of Evans himself in this documentary, adapted from his autobiography (and featuring Evans' own narration). In 1957, Evans had already achieved success in the garment business when actress Norma Shearer spotting him at poolside and suggested he should play her late husband, legendary producer Irving Thalberg, in the movie Man of a Thousand Faces. While Evans knew he wasn't cut out to be an actor, he discovered he liked the movie business, and after becoming a film industry executive, Evans was named head of production at Paramount in the late '60s. Under Evans' leadership, Paramount produced such classics as Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, and The Godfather. He also married actress Ali McGraw; however, McGraw left Evans for Steve McQueen after they starred together in The Getaway. After leaving Paramount to become a producer (and racking up hits like Chinatown and Marathon Man), Evans' golden touch began to elude him; an arrest for drugs seemed to put an end to his career, until he made a comeback as a freelance producer in the 1990s on such films as Sliver and The Saint. Part of the narration for The Kid Stays in the Picture was drawn from the book-on-tape version of Robert Evans' autobiography of the same name, which featured Evans reading his own work; the audio book has developed a cult following of its own, and legend has it Dustin Hoffman based his performance in Wag The Dog on Evans' reading style on the tape. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Kid Stays in the Picture

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for The Kid Stays in the Picture

  • Jun 16, 2012
    "The Kid Stays in the Picture" is an engaging portrait of long-time Hollywood producer Robert Evans, whose headline successes included "The Godfather," "Love Story," "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown." The film is structured behind Evans' continuous narrative ramble, yet there's only the briefest flash of the contemporary man -- possibly, vanity about aging kept him offscreen. Instead, archived photos and clips emphasize his younger, dashing persona. The lack of objectivity can be troubling -- the enemies Evans has made are not asked to testify. He does berate himself for a notorious drug bust and laments the commercial flop of "The Cotton Club," but he sidesteps other embarrassments such as his seven marriages (actress Ali MacGraw is the only wife mentioned) and the disastrous "Popeye" musical. He also liberally congratulates himself on a series of anti-drug TV specials titled "Get High on Yourself," which he humbly labels "the Woodstock of the '80s." (I personally have no memory of the show, and the clips look like horrid, saccharine kitsch. Hooray, Fonzie sings!) Elsewhere, it's puzzling that the making of "Chinatown" is casually glossed over, even though the film represented a volatile reunion of the Evans/Roman Polanski team that also birthed "Rosemary's Baby." And why no talk at all about "The Godfather II"? Hmm. But beyond these misgivings, plenty of interesting material emerges. For instance, I didn't realize Mia Farrow essentially chose "Rosemary's Baby" stardom over one-time husband Frank Sinatra, and that he served her with divorce papers during the shoot. It's also notable that Evans rejected the first cut of "The Godfather" (reason: sketchy storytelling) and pressed director Francis Ford Coppola to add approximately 50 more minutes. Obviously, that was the right call. Make sure to sit through the closing credits for a hilarious, presumably improvised Dustin Hoffman outtake.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 13, 2010
    A fascinating life story for sure but the whole film is let down by an incredibly bland voice-over by Evans (although to his credit it does say in the credits that a lot of this is from the original audiobook). Also the whole story is so one-sided you feel you're missing the whole picture. I hope they make a better doc about Evans in the future.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2009
    I was disappointed at the incredibly general nature of the story. There did seem to be huge details missing, especially on the making of The Godfather and Chinatown but Bob Evans tells his own story so honestly and so well It's hard not to enjoy the film as it unfolds
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2009
    PR, spin doctoring, whitewash, damage control, the perpetuation of Hollywood's favorite brand of mythology, and self aggrandizement are the order of the day in this nevertheless highly entertaining auto-"biographical" documentary by and about, Robert Evans, who had one of the longest careers in the business. But people in the know from Paramount have a slightly different version of the events chronicled in this film, such as the Roy Radin murder, which Evans allegedly commissioned and paid for. Fun nevertheless, especially if you like to believe that anyone can break into Hollywood show biz given the right amount of luck,
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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