The Kid Stays in the Picture is a fascinating True Hollywood Story-esque look on the tumultuous life of Robert Evans, a prolific Hollywood producer who had it all, lost it all, regained most of, all while living a life filled with sex, drugs, and movie stars.
This film is based on Robert Evans’ autobiography, so he narrates in the first person, starting by being discovered by Norma Shearer to play a bit role in James Cagney’s Man of a Thousand Faces. He take parts in some minor films, including a hilariously campy horror flick, but what sticks out to him is when after a take on the set of The Sun Also Rises, film legend Daryl F. Zanuck states, “The kid (Evans) stays in the picture!” Evans works his way up to becoming head of production of Paramount Pictures during the making of hits like Rosemary’s Baby and Love Story, but the studio really takes off with the making of The Godfather. Evans gives us an intimate look at the making of now classic movies, as well as his marriages and dates with beautiful women, and his struggles to stay on top before his cocaine bust and downfall.
It’s truly a gripping story, and Evans is very lucky to have gotten his career back on track. Film fans are going to have a field day with this one with the clips of classic films and the stories about Hollywood legends.
Parents should know that there’s some very strong language, including slurs about Roman Polanski, who is Polish. There’s some non-graphic sexual references and drug use, which is amended by an amusing all-star sing-a-long called Get High on Yourself! arranged by Evans. And of course, there are some violent clips of the R-rated movies Evans produced, including the most famous scene in Chinatown.
Families should ask what significance the title has, other than what Daryl Zanuck said years ago. They can also discuss what would happen if certain events that almost didn’t work out actually failed; can anyone imagine Francis Ford Coppola not directing The Godfather? Anyone who sees this film should enjoy seeing the aforementioned modern-day classics that Evans worked on.