What Were Robert Evans’ Most Acclaimed Films at the Time of His Death?

Robert Evans, a legendary movie producer, passed away recently. According to NPR, the producer was 89 years old. Evans left behind a legacy of some of the greatest movies of the 1960s and 1970s. Let’s take a look at his best films.

Robert Evans | Jennifer Lourie/FilmMagic

4. ‘Rosemary’s Baby’

Evans had produced a few movies before Rosemary’s Baby, but that film proved that he could help create real art. The film features a career-defining performance by Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse, a woman who gets pregnant and notices strange things happening around her. Rosemary comes to believe that she may be the mother of the Antichrist.

A poster for Rosemary’s Baby | Paramount/Getty Images

Few horror films have created a sense of dread as potent as the one in Rosemary’s Baby. Rosemary’s Baby also proves that a film can be very slowly paced and still be fascinating. This film paved the way for numerous other horror movies about the devil and other demons, from The Exorcist to Paranormal Activity. The mythology that the film created was so interesting that it influenced all subsequent pop culture portrayals of the Antichrist.

3. ‘Harold and Maude’

Harold and Maude is a comedy-drama about a young man who becomes friends with a much older woman and learns the meaning of life. The film is so ambitious that it could have only been made during the New Hollywood era. Given the heavy themes that it tackles, the film probably should have failed on an artistic level but it works beautifully.

Ruth Gordon, who played a sinister neighbor in Rosemary’s Baby, shows off her acting talent with a much different role as the feisty and lovable Maude. Harold and Maude might not get as much attention as it once did, but it still deserves to be remembered as one of the best Hollywood movies of the 1970s.

2. ‘The Conversation’

Gene Hackman in The Conversation | Mondadori via Getty Images

The Conversation is a film that Francis Ford Coppola directed around the same time he directed The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now. Because of that, The Conversation occasionally gets overlooked in favor of those other films. This is a shame, as The Conversation is the greatest film ever made about paranoia. It stars Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert who realizes that a recording he has could might be evidence of a murder.

As wonderful as the performances and directing are in this film, it should be noticed that it features some of the best editing in all of Hollywood cinema. All potential editors in film school should have to watch The Conversation so that they know what they’re doing.

1. ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather Part II’

What is there to say about the first two Godfather movies that hasn’t already been said? The two films manage to tell a complex, layered story in a way that is easy for the audience to understand. It also features performances from some of the best actors of that era –  Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, and Diane Keaton – at the top of their game. These films deserve to be remembered alongside Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments as two of the greatest American epics.