The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

8.0 Overall Score

A fun look at Hollywood

Could have used more of Evans life

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Kid Stays in the Picture

Studio:  USA Films

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 18, 2002 (Sundance Film Festival)/July 26, 2002 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


You know the guy who goes to Hollywood and is discovered? This is his story….

Robert Evans was a PR man for his brother’s Evan-Picone fashion company when he struck gold.  On a trip to Beverly Hills, Evans caught the eye of actress Norma Shearer and Evans landed as an actor in Man of a Thousand Faces starring James Cagney.  From that moment, things changed for Evans who after a failed acting career became a famed studio executive and film producer…facing angry backers, marriage, divorce, drugs, and murder.

Directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen, The Kid Stays in the Picture takes its title from a statement by studio head Darryl F. Zanuck when Evans was criticized by Hemingway among others for his role in The Sun Also Rises.  It adapts Evans autobiography The Kid Stays in the Picture:  A Notorious Life from 1994 and received critical praise upon its release.


Ah, Snot-Nose….I love you!

Hollywood, especially old Hollywood, is interesting.  The Kid Stays in the Picture comes at the end of old Hollywood and big studio days and shows the transition into the down and dirty Hollywood of the ’70s.  With his hand in the production of films I really admire like Chinatown, The Godfather, and Rosemary’s Baby, I was really interested to see this picture.

Robert Evans probably has little apologizes about his past.  Just how he talks and presents himself (mostly through clips instead of current interviews), you can tell he knows he has made mistakes, but owns up to them.  Through the documentary he shows how he lived hard and sometimes that came back and bit him.


Yes, I got busted for drugs…so you have to be in my community service, Paul Newman

The most interesting thing in the film is how Hollywood works.  He talks about deals and the daily pressures of producing films and his relationships with stars like his wife Ali MacGraw (whom he refers to as “Snot-Nose”) and Mia Farrow and her break-up with Frank Sinatra.  It is like reading a secret tell-all book straight from the source which is refreshing.

The movie mostly features Evans narrating with old clips of him from talk shows, presentations, and news (especially when it gets down his fall with drugs and alcohol and the murder of Roy Radin who was backing his movie version of The Cotton Club).  It could have maybe done with more “current” interviews and the film due to time was forced to truncate aspects of Evans life.

The Kid Stays in the Picture has a lot of honesty in it.  Robert Evans is brash, mouthy, and says what he thinks…and I also think it is probably close to how Hollywood worked (and maybe still does work).  It is an interesting documentary for movie fans to get inside on how deals go down, gossip, and how Hollywood can make and/or break a person…check it out!

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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