A young clothing executive is spotted by a movie star while swimming in
a pool at a Hollywood hotel. She invites him to play a role in her
film. After that, he goes back to New York and is spotted by a
producer, who has no idea about the previous incident, and who asks him
to star in an adaptation of a The Sun Also Rises after which,
he has a successful acting career. Meanwhile, the clothing firm he
started with his brother is booming. He realizes he isn’t a very good
actor, so he options a script and becomes a producer. Soon he is the
head of Paramount and married to Ali McGraw. He has sex with half the
actresses in Hollywood. Things get more interesting after that. This
really happened. Raise your hand if you’re jealous. Well, at least the
guy’s old now.

Aside from laying out the a bit of what happens in this story, there isn’t a ton to say. Like, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, this is just an amazing story, although in many ways it’s the opposite
kind of story. Dieter’s life seems to be cursed and charmed at the same
time. On the one hand, he lived through an unspeakable hell. On the
other hand, he actually lived through that unspeakable hell.
Robert Evans, the subject of this film has lived a life that is charmed
and charmed again at the same time. He says “luck is when opportunity
meets preparation,” which is true to an extent. But being pulled out of
a pool by a starlet to star in a major film even though you can’t act
and aren’t that good looking is just plain fucking luck.

Like Dieter
this amazing story is brought to life by excellent filmmaking. Evans is
a thorough record keeper who has volumes of pictures. Burstein and
Morgen liven up the Ken Burns approach by manipulating those pictures
artfully as Evans narrates. We also have footage of Evans from his
films and the footage of the films he produced. You may have heard of
some of them: Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Marathon Man, Chinatown
and several more. Evans is the guy who brought Polanksi to Hollywood
over the fierce objections of everyone else at his studio. He also
fought to get The Godfather made and forced Coppola to flesh out the story and characters into epic
proportions. Coppola wanted his initial, two hour and four minute cut.
At least, that’s Evans’ side of the story.

One part of the film is simply hilarious, and it seems as though Evans isn’t aware of it.
Evans is busted for arranging the purchase of truckloads of coke. Being
rich and famous, he was sentenced to producing a sixty-second anti-drug
spot. He is very proud to have gone the extra mile and produced a
series of specials entitles “Be Yourself.” It features eighties
celebrities such as Dana Plato singing about the joys of just saying no
in a big chorus, kind of like “We Are the World.” My friend Tony and I
had fun trying to guess how many kilos of coke were on the set.

For all my blabbing, I haven’t given away the really big twist, or many
of the more amazing events in Evans’ life. It’s something to see but,
of course, who can be bothered with XXX in theaters?

Ruthless Ratings

  • Film Overall: 7.5
  • Direction: 8
  • Story: 8
  • Acting: 7

Special Ruthless Ratings

  • Number of times you thought, even though Evans is a very good narrator, that smoked out voice is kind of annoying: 2
  • Number of times somebody uses a pair of binoculars that can see through clothes and brick walls, but not through bras: 0
  • Number of times someone pretends to be a turtle: 0



, ,