The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Kid Stays in the Picture2002

The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)



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

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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)

If you love flamboyant people, movies or -- especially -- flamboyant movie people, don't miss The Kid Stays in the Picture.

November 6, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This movie is more fun than many of those tall tales that Hollywood calls feature films.

September 26, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Even at his most obnoxious, Evans remains a fascinating figure.

August 23, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

For a life lived boldly and productively if imperfectly, Robert Evans deserves this trenchant, revealing, vastly entertaining documentary.

August 23, 2002 | Rating: 4/4

Giddy, absurdly entertaining account of Evans' rise and fall in the movie biz.

August 23, 2002 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

An engrossing portrait of a man whose engaging manner and flamboyant style made him a truly larger-than-life character.

August 21, 2002

Audience Reviews for The Kid Stays in the Picture

"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 Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


The only thing more entertaining than an autobiographical Robert Evans documentary would be another biographical documentary with everybody else's opinion of the man. How much of this is truth and how much re-imagined, self-mythologizing bullshit, it's impossible to say. He's green-lighted and produced some great movies ("Rosemary's Baby", "The Godfather" and "Chinatown" the jewels in the crown) but Evans, understandably but disappointingly, has always tended to revisit former glories when his back's been against the wall (Ira Levin's "Sliver", Coppola's "The Cotton Club" and Nicholson's "The Two Jakes", which isn't even mentioned here, unless I missed it). Hardly the full story but fascinating stuff nevertheless, beautifully put together from manipulated photographs and clips from Evans' own movies, voiced-over by the man himself.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer


A great watch if you're into Hollywood history. A little hammy at points but very interesting. The quote from Evans about different perspectives on an event (your version, their version and the truth) sums up this biopic/documentary perfectly.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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