Robert Evans' rise from second-string actor (who really was discovered while lounging by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel) to head of one of Hollywood's biggest movie studios is told from the viewpoint of Evans himself in this documentary, adapted from his autobiography (and featuring Evans' own narration). In 1957, Evans had already achieved success in the garment business when actress Norma Shearer spotting him at poolside and suggested he should play her late husband, legendary producer Irving Thalberg, in the movie Man of a Thousand Faces. While Evans knew he wasn't cut out to be an actor, he discovered he liked the movie business, and after becoming a film industry executive, Evans was named head of production at Paramount in the late '60s. Under Evans' leadership, Paramount produced such classics as Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, and The Godfather. He also married actress Ali McGraw; however, McGraw left Evans for Steve McQueen after they starred together in The Getaway. After leaving Paramount to become a producer (and racking up hits like Chinatown and Marathon Man), Evans' golden touch began to elude him; an arrest for drugs seemed to put an end to his career, until he made a comeback as a freelance producer in the 1990s on such films as Sliver and The Saint. Part of the narration for The Kid Stays in the Picture was drawn from the book-on-tape version of Robert Evans' autobiography of the same name, which featured Evans reading his own work; the audio book has developed a cult following of its own, and legend has it Dustin Hoffman based his performance in Wag The Dog on Evans' reading style on the tape.
by Mark Deming synopsis