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9:59AM

Movie of My Week: "The Kid Stays in the Picture" (2002)

From IMDB:

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography)

I've waited for years to watch this documentary, which is about as innovative as they come in the use of stills and music and period film.  Really a visual feast, and how often can you say that about a docu?

Robert Evans had an amazing life:  born of the Evans-Picone fashion house, he's in Hollywood swimming as a young man and gets discovered by Norma Shearer (widow of Irving Thalberg), who wants him to play her dead husband opposite James Cagney as Lon Chaney. After that first film, gets discovered yet again on a NYC dance floor by legendary producer, Daryl Zanuck, who fights to keep him in a matador movie based on an Ernest Hemingway novel despite the author's public protestations--hence the phrase, "The kid stays in the picture!"

Evans realizes he's no actor and really wants to become a Daryl Zanuck, but how can this pretty boy, east coast fashion heir pull that off?  Evans goes on to run Paramount and produce a slew of famous films, only to suffer a crash later in his career.

The key to the movie is that Evans does all the narration and voice recreations, and it's a stunningly cool performance--very confessional, very arrogant, very everything.

I watched it twice in a row.

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