The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life Info

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Robert Evans' The Kid Stays in the Picture
is universally recognized as the greatest, most outrageous, and most
unforgettable show business memoir ever written. The basis of an
award-winning documentary film, it remains the gold standard of
Hollywood storytelling.

 
With black-and-white
photographs from the author's archive and a new introduction by the
legendary actor, producer, and Hollywood studio chief Robert Evans,
The Kid Stays in the Picture is driven by a voice as charming
and irresistible as any great novel.
 
An extraordinary
raconteur, Evans spares no one, least of all himself. Filled with
starring roles for everyone from Ava Gardner to Marlon Brando to Sharon
Stone, The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life is sharp,
witty, and self-aggrandizing, and self-lacerating in equal
measure.
This is a must-read for fans of American cinema and
classics of the canon, including The Odd Couple, Rosemary’s
Baby
, Love Story, The Godfather, and
Chinatown.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life:

4

Mar 18, 2013

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 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 literally). He's very proud (rightly so) of his successes and doesn't mind talking himself up. However, he's also pretty honest about his mistakes and failures.

Timeline wise, the book covers much of the same New Hollywood era as Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. While Biskind's book is better written (and doesn't have the awful seduction poetry chapter), Evans' book is more fun, and more personal, since he was front and center for all of the action.

I'd highly recommend the book, especially the audio version. I could easily listen to another six hours of Evans' stories. ...more
5

Dec 28, 2009

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 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 of interesting contradictions in this book. They include his work with incomprehensible screenplays (sometimes they are disasters - a great Nabokov story in here, and sometimes they are brilliant successes - Robert Towne's Chinatown screenplay makes no sense but won a shitload of awards), his relationships with women (there's heart-breaking stuff in there about his failed marriage with Ali MacGraw - you really get the sense that he would throw away his worldly success with film to still be with her), and his battles to keep Paramount open paired with his inability to run the corporation profitably in the end.

It's a brutal ride - but it's Evans' voice that burns through the Lon Chaney-esque trappings of his life story. I believe that's what catapulted this film into a documentary in 2003. Evans did a book on tape and his voice calls out from another era - he sounds like a lost character from a Chandler novel. He's a wounded bear and it's his emotional flaws and rare sentimentality that buoy this story onto a higher plane. Read this sometimes vulgar and mostly jaw dropping story of a veteran home from a life of war. ...more
5

Dec 07, 2012

One of the most purely entertaining books I've ever read. Robert Evans is clearly a narcissistic man, but he knows how to tell the story of his fascinating life with panache.
4

Dec 26, 2013

Baby, this was a fucking enjoyable read. You think the cinematic version captured the essence of Robert Evans? That movie got nothing on the audiobok version of The Kid Stays in the Picture read by Robert Evans himself. Controversial figure? You bet. Fascinating story? Oh, God, yes.

I remember wondering how I would burn one of those Audible.com trial memberships that have been floating around. So what does Kim do? He adds Robert Evans's The Kid Stays in the Picture to his cart and signs up. Pain Baby, this was a fucking enjoyable read. You think the cinematic version captured the essence of Robert Evans? That movie got nothing on the audiobok version of The Kid Stays in the Picture read by Robert Evans himself. Controversial figure? You bet. Fascinating story? Oh, God, yes.

I remember wondering how I would burn one of those Audible.com trial memberships that have been floating around. So what does Kim do? He adds Robert Evans's The Kid Stays in the Picture to his cart and signs up. Pain in the ass to manage Audible's proprietary software so I could load it to my iPod? Haha. Well worth it? Absolutely. Did I cancel my Audible.com membership right after? You bet. That's the magic of abusing free trial memberships! ...more
0

Jun 29, 2017

A Hollywood producer in the 1970s who would one day run Paramount Studios, Robert Evans has been married seven times and is a completely bewildering character. His biography lets loose on many fascinating moments in film history, including the filming of The Godfather and what happened when Ali MacGraw left him for Steve McQueen.

I read this book when I was in college, having found it in the bargain bin in my local bookstore at the time. I knew I wanted to work in Hollywood one day so I picked it A Hollywood producer in the 1970s who would one day run Paramount Studios, Robert Evans has been married seven times and is a completely bewildering character. His biography lets loose on many fascinating moments in film history, including the filming of The Godfather and what happened when Ali MacGraw left him for Steve McQueen.

I read this book when I was in college, having found it in the bargain bin in my local bookstore at the time. I knew I wanted to work in Hollywood one day so I picked it up for about seven bucks. My view of Hollywood -- and Hollywood producers, specifically -- was never the same. ...more
4

Jun 27, 2017

Evans' name wasn't immediately familiar to me. I'd heard enough buzz about this book, though, to grab a copy when I spotted it on the shelf. Some early acting roles thrust him into the spotlight, but it was his tenure as studio head at Paramount Pictures that brought him most of his fame and notoriety. Under Evans' leadership, the studio produced such classic films as The Godfather, Chinatown, and many more. He seems to have led an interesting and eventful life, to say the least. Reading some of Evans' name wasn't immediately familiar to me. I'd heard enough buzz about this book, though, to grab a copy when I spotted it on the shelf. Some early acting roles thrust him into the spotlight, but it was his tenure as studio head at Paramount Pictures that brought him most of his fame and notoriety. Under Evans' leadership, the studio produced such classic films as The Godfather, Chinatown, and many more. He seems to have led an interesting and eventful life, to say the least. Reading some of his tales from the trenches, I'm amazed that movies get made at all, with all of the second-guessing and machinations that go on behind the scenes. His style takes a bit of getting used to, and some of the chapters--especially the later ones that seem to have been added for the paperback edition--function more as standalone essays than parts of a greater whole. Evans almost goes out of his way to portray the more negative aspects of his personality. But the result is a fascinating insider's look at the motion picture industry. ...more
5

Apr 11, 2017

I've been a big fan of the documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture" for many years so I was happy to finally get around to reading the source book. If anything, it is crazier than the movie.

Robert Evans has led a life that defies logic. He should be dead, incarcerated, blacklisted or bankrupt many times over, yet he keeps rising from the ashes to "stay in the picture". From radio actor to men's model to schmatta salesman to Hollywood producer, it is quite a ride and a fascinating tale. Having I've been a big fan of the documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture" for many years so I was happy to finally get around to reading the source book. If anything, it is crazier than the movie.

Robert Evans has led a life that defies logic. He should be dead, incarcerated, blacklisted or bankrupt many times over, yet he keeps rising from the ashes to "stay in the picture". From radio actor to men's model to schmatta salesman to Hollywood producer, it is quite a ride and a fascinating tale. Having seen the movie which he narrates, it was easy to hear his voice as I read and it certainly gave an added dimension. Next I'll have to try the audiobook edition that he also narrates. I'm not sure I would like or get along with Mr. Evans if our paths crossed, but his life story is one to remember and includes a lot of sage advice.

Since this is an updated version of the 1994 original, the story of the book and film are included in the later added chapters. I thought this was a great way to build on the story and let the interested reader know how Evans' life was affected, positively and negatively, by his new notoriety. Apparently there is a follow-up book "The Fat Lady Sang" that I will also have to find. ...more
1

Sep 27, 2011

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.
5

Jan 31, 2014

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," 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," "Marathon Man") and slowly the book grinds to a "murder, mafia, cocaine" halt in the 80s and 90s. The book can be viewed along so many genres: as a buddy flick, adventure, romance, and tragedy. The last few pages reminding one of "Sunset Boulevard," and "Death of a Salesman." But let me repeat - Never a dull moment.

And finally, for me, the most interesting part of the book was Evans' focus on the product - the movie - a la Steve Jobs. And the insane levels he was willing to go to bring a great script to screen. ...more
5

Oct 23, 2008

Is this the greatest book ever written? You bet your ass it is.
5

Mar 26, 2017

I heard the audio book which I HIGHLY recommend. Evans is 1) a complete narcissist 2) an old-school "Man's man" sexist / stereotyper 3) insanely fun storyteller, with a great sense of humor and melodrama. You WILL impersonate his ridiculous style of talking. Also, I've never done cocaine but after hearing him talk for hours I feel like I got... high? Like I absorbed his shameless confidence/fascination with his own life and was applying it to my own.
5

May 13, 2017

I re-watched the film for the 10th time after I finished this. Were there a lot of stories from the book left out? You betcha! (And the hilarious Documentary Now spoof is what got me thinking about this film again).

I realize I need to create a new book genre called: "Required management texts other than the currently fashionable compendiums of feel-good platitudes like Who Moved My Cheese or Lean In" to name just two.

The fact that this is written in the author's own New York/Hollywood street I re-watched the film for the 10th time after I finished this. Were there a lot of stories from the book left out? You betcha! (And the hilarious Documentary Now spoof is what got me thinking about this film again).

I realize I need to create a new book genre called: "Required management texts other than the currently fashionable compendiums of feel-good platitudes like Who Moved My Cheese or Lean In" to name just two.

The fact that this is written in the author's own New York/Hollywood street patois is really what makes it almost the 20th Century version of Huckleberry Finn. His life before taking over at Paramount would be hugely entertaining on its own. However, the story of how he took the studio from a backwater tax write-off for Gulf + Western to number one is the reason this needs to be a management text.

He continually proved that following a tired old formula was never going to lead to anything great. For instance, I was laughing my head off when he described the reaction of just about everyone to the scenario for Harold and Maude. It is pretty safe to say that movie would never have been made under any other studio boss.

And of course the story of how Kissinger ended up at The Godfather premier is pretty priceless. "Henry, I need you bad! The Paris Peace Talks can wait!"

Unbeknownst to him at the time, this represented the high water mark of his tenure on "The Mountain." In the 80's he was pretty much a self-described leper while his mentees (Michael Eisner and Barry Diller) became industry titans on a scale unknown in the '70's. It didn't help that scandal was always one degree of separation away (the so called "Cotton Club Murder.")

All of that makes this a great page-turner. But believe it or not, by Hollywood standards Evans is fairly humble and down to earth. He actually dispenses sage advice on how to "stay in the picture" even when everyone in the world seems to be against you. ...more
4

Nov 17, 2013

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 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 making deals, so much so that it's like he's making the deal of his life with the reader. Of course, that made the book sort of hard to follow in parts because there are things he talks about that assume context. He also mentions so many people, and brings them up randomly throughout, that I couldn't quite keep up with who was who, but I got over it and just enjoyed the voice.

People who know me, know I love old men. And I especially love old New York men, people who grew up in the city in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. And I love old Hollywood stuff, so really, if I ever met Robert Evans in a bar, I'd probably be his eighth wife. On the surface, he comes off as completely arrogant, but there's this odd sort of fascination with his own life that makes him seem a bit more humble and endearing than he lets on. On a more practical side, I really was interested in the idea of producing, as it's probably the most important yet hardest to describe job in theater, television, and film. He has some great quotes that sum it up very aptly for the uninitiated, all framed in some classic, "Guess who I banged?" stories. ...more
4

Nov 22, 2009

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."
5

Apr 19, 2015

Maybe the best audiobook of all time, immortalized by comedian Patton Oswalt. Remarkable audiobook & documentary. A remarkably self-aware and self-honest man who's lived a life beyond what most can even dream of - good and bad. Major inspiration for my first book, "The Case of the Cleantech Con Artist: A True Vegas Tale."
4

Jul 30, 2007

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.
4

Sep 03, 2011

Very entertaining glimpse at the entertainment industry from the 50's to the early 90's. Robert Evans has obviously seen and done it all. It has a little bit of a Forrest Gump feel in that you wonder if he was really such an integral part (or almost part) of things like the Sharon Tate murder (he was supposed to be at Polansky's house that night) or the crafting of iconic movies like The Godfather. I think he probably glosses over his involvement in other things like heavy drug use. Regardless, Very entertaining glimpse at the entertainment industry from the 50's to the early 90's. Robert Evans has obviously seen and done it all. It has a little bit of a Forrest Gump feel in that you wonder if he was really such an integral part (or almost part) of things like the Sharon Tate murder (he was supposed to be at Polansky's house that night) or the crafting of iconic movies like The Godfather. I think he probably glosses over his involvement in other things like heavy drug use. Regardless, it was worth the read. ...more
5

Aug 14, 2013

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.
5

Mar 01, 2007

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 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 Beatty, Jack Nicholson and all those other liberal hollywood playboys who like to have a good time and make good as well. ...more
4

May 18, 2017

Not the first, but probably the definitive Hollywood tell-all. A little perspective. Evans fathered the following movies Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Rosemarys Baby, True Grit, Love Story, Plaza Suite, Harold and Maude, The Godfather, Serpico, Chinatown, Urban Cowboy, Popeye, and The Cotton Club, among others. He was the king. Pals included Nicholson, Beatty, Hoffman, and Kissinger. And he never finished high school. And never made the money you would think.

Written in rapid fire Not the first, but probably the definitive Hollywood tell-all. A little perspective. Evans fathered the following movies Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Rosemary’s Baby, True Grit, Love Story, Plaza Suite, Harold and Maude, The Godfather, Serpico, Chinatown, Urban Cowboy, Popeye, and The Cotton Club, among others. He was the king. Pals included Nicholson, Beatty, Hoffman, and Kissinger. And he never finished high school. And never made the money you would think.

Written in rapid fire sentences to mimic his roller-coaster life you get a real sense of the ride. For spice, there are his many bedroom conquests. Highly recommended if you like movies at all. ...more
4

Jan 09, 2011

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 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 Grant...He had a long and distinguished caterer on and mostly behind the silver screen. If you are old enough to remember big Hollywood names or just love a goodies story...This book is a fun ride and what gives it the xtra kicker is Evans reads his own story! When it started, I was thinking, Eh. He seems flat reading, he seems dry... But he really got into it when he went on and many parts it was like sitting with RE and having him telling you these fun, personal and some important Hollywood stories of his life. Some of it is more him speaking than reading and you can really hear him enjoying the memories. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the stories! I loved hearing Evans tell me his life story. Bits and pieces of others lives as well told thru his eyes...All in all a great time. It's a fast audio at under 6 hours and it really went by fmuickly and every chapter was full of inside fun!
So wether your older and remember the "old days" or you just love old Hollywood and find it interesting as I do the. You won't be disappointed with THE KIDS STAYS IN THE PICTURE. ...more
4

May 03, 2015

There is something smarmy and discomforting about Evans' remembrances. It is not the cocaine conviction or the 'Cotton Club Murder'. Nor the many marriages and dalliances. To say he had a wild, eventful life is an understatement. The discomfort comes from a dark sadness that hangs over this cautionary tale.

Evans seems drawn to the dark even though he has been bronzed by the sun his whole life. As Head of Production at Paramount he oversaw Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Rosemary's Baby, There is something smarmy and discomforting about Evans' remembrances. It is not the cocaine conviction or the 'Cotton Club Murder'. Nor the many marriages and dalliances. To say he had a wild, eventful life is an understatement. The discomfort comes from a dark sadness that hangs over this cautionary tale.

Evans seems drawn to the dark even though he has been bronzed by the sun his whole life. As Head of Production at Paramount he oversaw Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Rosemary's Baby, True Grit, Love Story, Harold and Maude, The Godfather, and Serpico. As producer he put out Chinatown, Marathon Man, Black Sunday, Urban Cowboy, Popeye, The Cotton Club, The Two Jakes, Sliver, and Jade. So many of these movies are dark and the lighter ones became dark in production.

Still there is a rough honesty threaded throughout even though some of his recollections may be suspect. As he says, "There are three sides to every story: yours ... mine ... and the truth." As stated in the Foreward he was "Robust, audacious original" and had vision and drive but was felled by believing his own hype and very normal limitations. Yet, he is to be applauded for very tangible results. The man symbolized mid century Hollywood ... it's many warts and all.

I loved his conversational style of writing. It like you are sitting next to him on a plane and he regaling you with these takes over endless scotches. The book can be taken seriously or just enjoyed for the cavalcade of stars who appear. Evans' life is two degrees of separation and these supporting stories truly entertain. I was intrigued by the conflict with Coppola who Evans goes after repeatedly. In the end you begrudgingly admire the man and his tenacious spirit. He says, "Rejection breeds obsession." The man is definitely obsessed. ...more
3

Feb 04, 2020

I love books about the film industry.
I love memoirs.
I loved this at the beginning... and I didn't hate it at the end but it did feel a bit like spending time with someone who was so extra it's novel at first but by the end you're a bit exhausted with it all.
In that way the book reminded me of Piers Morgan's The Insider which in fairness is a book I enjoy but also you know, Piers Morgan wrote it and he's annoying when he writes things you disagree with but he's even more annoying when he writes I love books about the film industry.
I love memoirs.
I loved this at the beginning... and I didn't hate it at the end but it did feel a bit like spending time with someone who was so extra it's novel at first but by the end you're a bit exhausted with it all.
In that way the book reminded me of Piers Morgan's The Insider which in fairness is a book I enjoy but also you know, Piers Morgan wrote it and he's annoying when he writes things you disagree with but he's even more annoying when he writes things you agree with.
Robert Evans had a fascinating career as a producer and as the head of Paramount and the man was also a hot mess. He also has a really distinctive writing voice and you feel like you know him through his words. And all that is great. Really great.
But he also pingpongs about the place, starting a story about something and then dropping it and picking it up later. You also get the feeling he's not always telling the whole story, and also sometimes he goes off on tangents that feel irrelevant even though they probably aren't in the context of his life.
He is undoubtably arrogant and a pain in the arse but he is also self-aware (to a certain degree) and caustic in a funny way.
I guess its the perennial problem you have with memoirs opposed to a biography - you're getting someone's memories rather than someone's story.
And Robert Evans's memories are worth a read for sure - just don't be surprised if you come away with more questions than answers. ...more
4

Dec 17, 2018

Very interesting story of old Hollywood and someone who figured out the system.

I don't know that I was entirely familiar with Robert Evans before I started the book, but I am happy that I read it. You may not know him, but you know everything his hands have touched and you love it.

Quick read and interesting autobiography.
5

Oct 07, 2019

Perhaps I enjoyed this so much because I am currently working on the Paramount Studio lot and could feel the history come alive as I listened to the book. The film industry is a crazy business and Robert Evans story is another confirmation of that!

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