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 »
Stars, sleaze, sex - and something close to brilliance
Admit it. You're only interested in seeing this film because you think it's an A-list answer to an E! Hollywood True Story episode. Stars. Sleaze. Sex. Who could ask for anything more? The gossip quotient notwithstanding (and there's an awful lot of it), this turns out to be a thoughtful and intelligent profile of a man who is among the most thoughtful and intelligent producers ever to have helmed a major Hollywood studio. His biography reads like the synopsis of a Harold Robbins potboiler - former garment industry executive is cast in a movie when Irving Thalberg's widow spots him at a swimming pool, launching him on a life of success and excess in the film industry. But, as KID makes abundantly clear, Evans' spectacular if unlikely career path owes far more to the well-established link between the manic depressive temperament and creativity than CARPETBAGGERS-type pulp fiction. His seemingly boundless reserves of energy, when constructively channelled, can create works of cinematic art; when employed in less salubrious ways, the self-destructive results usually end up in the National Enquirer. Evans comes across as an admirable albeit eccentric character who, despite devastating illnesses and a slew of professional and personal setbacks, still retains the wit, charm and high-octane enthusiasm that once propelled him to the top of the greased pole that is Hollywood. Evans is probably better known today for his cocaine conviction, blink-and-you-missed-it marriage to Catherine Oxenberg and the tell-all bestselling autobiography this documentary is loosely based on. While he would be the first to admit that his epically scaled lapses have been grist for the tabloid mill, Evans also deserves to be remembered as the man who midwived such classics as ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE GODFATHER and that definitive Chandlerian dissection of Los Angeles, CHINATOWN. Evans is direct and honest about the creative tensions that helped to shape all of these films, acknowledging that he played the grain of sand to Polanski and Coppola's oysters - trying to irritate those directors into producing pearls. His reminiscences about the hot-and-cold wars that were waged behind the scenes on these and other pictures underscore the collaborative nature of filmmaking - and expose as the nonsense that it is the widely accepted fiction of director-as-author. You'll get gossip aplenty but you'll also get insight in this is a warts-and-all portrait of a unique Hollywood personality, a kid who, deservedly, still remains in the picture.
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