The Kid Stays in the Picture |


Ali MacGraw, Robert Evans

Not only is legendary playboy/producer Robert Evans’ self-lionizing memoir, ”The Kid Stays in the Picture,” one of the greatest guilty pleasures ever printed, it’s also so vivid in its own sleaze and snake oil that you’ll need to scrub with a Brillo pad afterward. After first listening to the audio version of the book two years ago, documentary filmmakers Morgen and Burstein (1999’s ”On the Ropes”) became convinced that it had to be the subject of their next nonfiction film. The only problem was convincing Evans – the onetime head of Paramount as renowned for his debauched lifestyle as his string of box office hits (”Rosemary’s Baby,” ”Love Story,” ”The Godfather”). ”He basically didn’t want us to mention the whole second half of his life,” says Burstein, referring to Evans’ meteoric, tabloid-assisted fall from grace. Audiences at Sundance were dazzled by the look of ”Kid,” which substitutes candy-colored animated visuals for the usual staid, black-and-white-stills treatment. ”We knew we had to make it look as decadent as the man himself,” says Morgen. ”It had to be the ‘Fantasia’ of nonfiction films. If Disneyland had a Bob Evans ride, this would be it.” Dude, that’s gross!