Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
This documentary captures the life story of legendary Hollywood producer and studio chief Robert Evans. The first actor to ever to run a film studio, Robert Evans' film career started in 1956, poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel. His good looks, charm and overwhelming confidence captured the eye of screen legend Norma Shearer, who offered him a film role. After a glamorous--but short-lived--career as a movie star, Evans tried out producing. At the age of 34, with no producing credits to his name, he landed a job as chief of production at Paramount Pictures. Evans ran the studio from 1966-1974. During his tenure, he was responsible for such revolutionary films as The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Odd Couple, Harold and Maude and Chinatown. By the early '80s, the Golden Boy of Hollywood was losing his luster. After a failed marriage to Ali MacGraw, a cocaine bust and rumored involvement with the Cotton Club murder, he disappeared into near-obscurity. Only through ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The soundtrack narration, in which Robert Evans portrays all the other characters as well as himself, is taken directly from the recording of the audio-book version of his autobiography. See more »
The closing credits say that Evans has been at Paramount for over 35 years, "more than any other producer on the lot." However, A.C. Lyles has been with Paramount for 75 years (as of 2003), though he is no longer actively producing. See more »
There are three sides to every story: Your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently.
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Glossy and Superficial, But Still Quite Interesting
7 out of 10
It is hard to resist this documentary even though it seems more like self promotion. The fact that this man has attained what others could only dream about makes it a must see itself. Robert Evans certainly does seem to embody every stereotype one could imagine when they think of a Hollywood producer. He is rich and suave, he wears big, tinted glasses, dresses in gaudy suits, hosts wild parties, dates beautiful women, and lives in a beautiful, serene Hollywood home. You would think that he would almost have to be a caricature, but he isn't. His stories involving famous Hollywood celebs, both past and present, could alone fill a movie if not several.
Of course that is the problem with the documentary. It all seems a bit too Hollywood. Everything seems a bit phoney and too far removed from the average person. He seems, in a way, to have made a production out of himself. The film, like the man, is very deliberate and highly glossy. It depends almost exclusively on some very well transferred old photographs and elaborate stills. At no time do we ever get someone else's viewpoint or perspective. Evans shows no ability at having any self depreciating humor or humbleness. His determination and gutsiness is inspiring yet it would have been nice to see Evans as a child and a little bit more on his upbringing. Also the dialogue between him and his then wife Ali Macgraw seems really weird and only adds to the mythical quality of the thing.
Evans does all the narrating and proves to be quite a character and showman. His ability to do different accents and voices is impressive. The whole thing is very fluid and it gets you involved in a hypnotic sort of way. You also gotta love his saying, which was taken from an old Chinese proverb "Luck is when opportunity meets good preparation."
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