Mon September 23, 2002
The Kid Stays in the Picture
See this documentary to find out what the title means...you may never be sure you are getting the true story.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
We can talk about Hollywood endlessly from our experience with its movies and the endless gossip in our media. Some of us even have family members in the business, but we haven't completed our education until we've seen the documentary of mogul Robert Evans's life, "The Kid Stays in the Picture."
His somber and seductive narration of his life, a drama itself of classic rise and fall, peaks with his story of producing such great films as "The Godfather," "Chinatown," and "Rosemary's Baby" and marrying 5 times, most notably to Ali McGraw. As with all success, there is a downslide, and his is in the great Hollywood tragic tradition consisting of cocaine, scurrilous gossip, and losing Ali to Steve McQueen. You know you are in LaLa land when we track several times through the foyer of the Baroque Hollywood mansion he loses then recaptures through the help of longtime friend, Jack Nicholson.
After recovering from the "Cotton Club" failure and avoiding complicity for murder charges, Evans recently came back for successes in producing "Silver" and "the Saint." He may have lost his early glamour, but my daughter reports he is still revered enough in Hollywood to earn a bungalow on the Paramount lot.
See this documentary to find out what the title means (a great story about diminutive dictator Darryl Zanuck) and for an insight into seedy and sublime Hollywood. Though there are scores of photographs and film clips, you may never be sure you are getting the true story. But that conjunction of truth and fiction is the very stuff of Hollywood. As Evans himself says about the film, "There are three sides to every story: My side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently." Just enjoy it.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and vice chairs the board of The Film Council of Greater Columbus.