The Kid Stays in the Picture
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The Kid Stays in the Picture

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,077 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Far more expansive than You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, The Kid Stays in the Picture by Hollywood giant and legendary "bad boy" Robert Evans is an intimate and fascinating account of his rise, fall, and rise again in show business that makes for a harrowing read. From his early days in radio to popularizing "women in pants" as part of Evan-Picone, to being "disc...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by Audio Literature (first published January 1st 1994)
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Michael
Is Evans arrogant? Absolutely. Would I want to work for him? Not on your life. Was this a great book? You bet your ass it was.

Robert Evans went from a vague business career, to modest fame as an actor, to become one of the great Hollywood power players of the 60's and 70's. He headed Paramount or worked closely with the studio during the making of Love Story, Rosemary's Baby, The Godfather, Chinatown, Popeye, and a host of others.

He's got fantastic stories, and a singular voice (figuratively and...more
Lady of the Lake
This is the autobiography of Robert Evans, actor producer head of Paramount Studios. Started in radio as a young boy... Got his big break in film playing Rhonda Shearers (she was a great actress way back when...) husband in a film. Robert Evans is the only actor ever to head up a major film studio. He is the man behind such block busters as The Godfather and China Town. He was married to Ali Magraw and Phyllis George as well as others And dated many starlets and models. He was cdiends with Carey...more
Katie
Oh, yay. I sort of love when things that I picture in my head are pretty much exactly that way. Meaning, I had the whole "Old Hollywood" stereotype in my brain forever - the phones slamming down, deals being made, everyone fucking everyone else. And, well, it's just fabulous that it was true. Maybe not if you lived it, but for a reader, it's great.

Evans writes how I assume he speaks. There's a constant jumpiness, as if he's completely coked out, flitting from thought to thought. He made his life...more
Kid
I've had some trouble with this review - figuring out what to write. First of all this is a ridiculously good page turner - never a dull moment. Secondly some of Hollywood's sacred cows get slaughtered. Coppola comes off like a man lacking the discipline to realize his vision. This book is exhibit one on the evidence table against the fallacy of the auteur - making a movie is a huge collaboration - and sometimes the producer is the driving force behind an incredible accomplishment.

There's a lot...more
Deborah
Mar 02, 2007 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: voyeurs
Probably the most fascinating man in Hollywood. This book is just incredibly entertaining and well written, and the documentary that was made after is is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. I am not lying.

Robert Evans has lived about 30 lifetimes and he keeps going. Most notable of being a major producer (chinatown, the godfather, rosemary's baby, harold and maude) and running paramount, going bankrupt and making it all back.

You'll love it if you are in awe of people like Warren B...more
Marc Leverette
After listening to the audiobook in one straight shot, I'm definately a fan of Evans as the cultural hero/oddball he's become (think Hunter Thompson living in Beverly Hills and making fun of Warren Beatty's dickless image on a poster and you're sort of heading in the right narrative direction), I'm still totally baffled as to the events that must have played out to get him in as head of production. Maybe only Korshak knows what the fuck ever actually went down. Should be heard not read probably.
Robert Haines
I was only able to get through three-fourths of this book. it is an ego trip and I knew that going in but by the tenth time Evans judged another man's merit by describing him as a "cocksman" I was done. I really wanted some detail about how films like the Godfather and China Town were made. Evans is so self absorbed his only concerns are material possessions (house, clothes, cars, women). I got to the point where I felt slimy and embarrassed to be a member of the male species.
Tony
Robert Evans is hilarious without trying to be hilarious (I don't THINK he's trying). If you've seen the Mr. Show sketch with Bob Odenkirk as God (based on Robert Evans) reading the Bible as a book-on-tape, please note that this impersonation is spot on.
To give you a taste: Did I read this book? You bet I did. Did I like it? Does a brand-new baby crap his pants? Would I recommend this book to friends? Baby, if you have to ask, you ain't been listening.
Tony
Patton Oswalt did a bit about listening to the audiobook of this autobiography. To paraphrase he said it was like listening to Satan dictate his memiors. That's not far off. Robert Evans is not a decent person, but he is an interesting one. My favorite story involves him roughing up Steve McQueen. This is a great fun read that is probably exaggerated, but who cares. Ultimately it's just some guy bullshitting about the best years of his life.
Mario Sundar
This is the quintessential novel about THE glamorous life led by "The Most Interesting Man in Show Business" - Robert Evans. HBO's "Entourage" is a cheap rip-off of this movie, with actual plotlines seemingly stolen from this book. Robert Evans, along with Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Henry Kissinger - now THAT's an Entourage.

Never a dull moment in this humdinger of a read, the book roars through the 60s, 70s through a haze of psychedelic creativity ("Love Story," "The Godfather," "Chinatown,...more
Jeff
Despite Patton Oswalt's referring to this book as Satan dictating his memoirs, I thought it was a much more sad tale of rags to riches to . . . well, rich rags I suppose. A cautionary tale and funny book as well.
R
One of my favorite books...I have read and listened to it probably a dozen times. You have to get a copy of the audio book, though. This book is well told, not well written.
Michelle
Love it. I am a few chapters from the end but am slowing down because I dont want it to end. The quality of writing is patchy, but fuckit, who cares! The story is worth it.
Ris
Thanks to Emily for the loan of this book on tape. It's priceless to hear Evans' drawl... "Was it a good book? You bet your ass it was."
Steve Coscia
This book reads like fiction. This guy was part of motion picture history. Plus, the behind the scenes politics is fascinating.
Nathan Rabin
Is this the greatest book ever written? You bet your ass it is.
Lori Watson koenig
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! It is the worst case of ego overload that I've ever read and I've read hundreds of autobiographies by ACTUAL celebraties, not idiots who think they're important and wellknown. This book is in turn complaining about how he's mistreated, bragging about how well-known and important he is and giving imaginary blow by blow details about how he outsmarted everyone who crossed him. Oh...and don't forget the horrendous name dropping.
This book is horrible and I have no idea why i r...more
Dan
Wisely, Evans begins the book by talking about how there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth. And while I have no doubt what Evans talks about in this great book is what he believes to be the truth as best he can tell it, I have no doubt that that the other side to many of his stories are just as interesting.

The one truth, however, that can't be denied to Evans are the films he produced and his influence on the quality of those films. Strangely, many of his biggest films a...more
ICPL Staff Picks
"The are three sides to every story: yours mine and the truth" thats how The Kid Stays in the Picture begins and the book ends with another statement that I can’t repeat here but it is now used as a mantra for any Hollywood player. Robert Evans is a player. From a habadasher to young actor, from a studio head to a major figure in a famous scandal, Evans has lived it all. The book while a great read, really it is a page turner, there is something about the audio version that gives this book a spe...more
Blake
This is one of those books where you wonder if the person who wrote the jacket copy read even remotely the same book as you. The above synopsis doesn't match the tone of the work and mentions things that neither happen in the book nor are mentioned on Evans' wikipedia page. Not even the joking description of it given by Patton Oswalt during a comedy special did it justice.

What this is, plain and simple, is an industry memior. Not a tell-all, nor an onanistic recounting of the high life once liv...more
Jeroen Berndsen
Aug 21, 2012 Jeroen Berndsen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: moviebuffs
To be honest I'd never heard of Robert Evans before, but this book came highly recommended in one of the lists of 'books about movies'. This review is about the audiobook, but since it's unabridged it doesn't really matter.

Robert Evans life is quite unique, he goes from a nobody to Hollywood Wunderkind to boss of Paramount Pictures while never having produced a single film. Only in Hollywood! This autobiography tells about the excessses, the marriages (especially to Ali McGraw), Hollywood's craz...more
M. Milner
Evans' The Kid Stays in the Picture is a fun, hilarious and almost uncompromisingly honest autobiography of one of the more colourful figures in movies. As an actor, he worked with people like Hemingway and Jimmy Cagney, as a producer he was behind Chinatown, The Godfather and Love Story. And the women he's been with? Well, I lost count about halfway through.

His prose is an ego-filled bluster. Anyone with an ego like his should have written a book not only half as fun at this. And while Evans is...more
Harold
A real treat for film buffs - especially fans of American films from the 60s and 70s. This is the autobiography of Robert Evans, tracing his rise (and inevitable fall) from actor to head of production at Paramount Studios. As a producer, Evans was responsible for classics like Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, Serpico, Marathon Man, and The Godfather. Amazingly candid and full of incredible anecdotes involving a who's who of Hollywood royalty. Do yourself a favour and seek out the audioboo...more
Rob
Jul 16, 2008 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Fans of autobiographies
Shelves: autobiography
Hilarious! Robert Evans does it with style. The audio CD is tops, though. If you have the opportunity to listen to it, do it. One of my two favorite stories involve Warren Beatty arriving at Evan's house with a copy of the poster for Heaven Can Wait, which he was very proud of. The poster showed Beatty in a track suit with angel wings floating over his back. When asked what Evans thought of it, he gave Beatty shit because his crotch was flat. "Where's the buldge? It looks like you're sportin' a...more
Bruce
"Just tell the whole truth", the admonition from most any publisher to a would be autobiographer. Bob Evans has taken that to heart, revealing his dark side as well as the chutzpah that elevated him to the head of Paramount studios. Married seven times all less than three years, Evans was the constant womanizer. Divorced from Ali McGraw, a friend before trying to talk her into giving Evans a second chance asks him "will you cheat on her?" He can only answer yes!
If you can get by his philanderin...more
Durdles
Fascinating and confusing in equal measure. Quite how Robert Evans managed to remain poor throughout his career took some doing. If he hadn't been such a gambler he'd never have achieved anything. A safe bet would have have left him a discontented multi-millionaire and there would be of no interest to the reader. As things are we can enjoy the Hollywood lifestyle vicariously. Apparently the audio book is the best version to have; Evans has the great voice and acting ability to make this a sought...more
Zach
If you enjoyed this I recommend: When I Am Done Talking You Will Know I am Dead by Jerry Weintraub


Evans has an interesting and unique voice, it helps that he was the
narrator of the audio book. His inflection and occasional self
depricating laugh are both very effective.

When describing the history of events/films of the which the reader is
familiar, casting of Rose Mary's Baby, will Al Pacino be in the Godfather,
who will direct these movies, Evans does a decent job of dragging out the
big "rev...more
Stephen
My favorite era in film is the New Hollywood. In general, I love everything about the 70's but the American films during that time were untouchable. Robert Evans really was the forefront of that movement. He produced Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown to name a few. Robert Evans has an incredible story and the way he tells it in The Kid Stays in the Picture is irresistible.
This is not only the best book I've read about Hollywood (Though shouts out to Easy Riders, Raging Bu...more
Chris
A funny kind of book. I started it hoping to get a sense of what producing The Godfather was like, but it turned out to be a straight-up autobiography of a larger-than-life figure who believes his own hype wholeheartedly, with more discussion of dealmaking than filmmaking. Such is a producer's life, I guess. Kind of boring after a point to hear about his hijinks, but when things start to go really wrong in the eighties, the story takes a strong, dark turn. I'm left wondering how good those good...more
Jim
It's hard to build up a picture of Evans through the blustering, bullish account given here. With an ego the size of a fairly large continent, Evans knows he's been a handful, even for himself. Mix this in with the egos that are attracted to Hollywood and you have a potent brew waiting to explode, which it frequently did for Evans, generally taking the cash with it. Cash, however, came in a far second to ego for this power broker, and he'd exchange ten million dollars for well-timed handshake fr...more
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Robert Evans (born Robert J. Shapera) is an American film producer best known for his work on Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown as well as his hedonistic lifestyle and seven marriages.
More about Robert Evans...
The Kid Is Still in Pictures: More of My Life, in My Own Words Kid Stays in the Picture II: The Fat Lady Sang Producers Pack Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures

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“Let the wealth of remembrances past be the link of friendship treasured.” 1 likes
“Getting into action generates inspiration. Don’t cop out waiting for inspiration to get you back into action. It won’t! Before I take a hike, I leave you with this thought: It’s not a compliment when someone tells you you’re a survivor. It’s bullshit. We’re all survivors till we die. Get out there, go for it, don’t be afraid. Be a winner—that’s what it’s all about.” 0 likes
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