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Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)

Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States.


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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Andrew Braunsberg ...
Richard Brenneman ...
Himself - Reporter, Santa Monica Evening Outlook
Douglas Dalton ...
Himself - Attorney for the Defense
Marilyn Beck ...
Herself - Hollywood Gossip Columnist
Steve Barshop ...
Himself - Assistant District Attorney
Madeline Bessmer ...
Herself - Girlfriend #2
Michael M. Crain ...
Himself - Former Public Defender
Herself - Actress
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive footage)
Istvan Bajzat ...
Himself - Photographer
Pierre-André Boutang ...
Himself - Polanski's Friend
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Guy Woodhouse (archive footage)


In 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles on charges he gave drugs and had sex with a 13-year-old girl he was photographing for Vogue. Eleven months later, having pled guilty to one count, he fled to Europe before sentencing. This film examines that year-long period, using archival footage of the media frenzy and of Polanski's life before the charges, clips from his films, and contemporary interviews with many of the principles - attorneys, the victim, and Polanski's friends and associates. Polanski remains enigmatic, but portraits emerge of the machinations of justice and of a judge more interested in his image than his word or the law. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The truth couldn't fit in the headlines.


Documentary | Crime


Unrated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




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Release Date:

11 December 2008 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Polanski: Procurado e Desejado  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,613, 13 July 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$59,192, 28 September 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Andrew Braunsberg: And in France, he's desired, and in America, he's wanted.
See more »


Features Chinatown (1974) See more »


Written by Krzysztof Komeda (as Christopher Komeda)
Sung by Mia Farrow
See more »

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User Reviews

The scandal: 44 year old man + 13 year old girl
19 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

The title of the show means: while he's currently "wanted" in America (for arrest) and he's also "desired" (revered) in France, where he lives. That's quite a disparity.

If you aren't familiar with the sex scandal involving (then) 44 year old Polanski and a 13 year old Los Angeles girl, this documentary tells the story. The film catches up with the attorneys and associated individuals to tell the story. Because there is so much archival footage and current commentary by principals involved, including the girl, this film is probably the best source of information for the event.

Missing, of course, is current-day commentary of Polanski. However, there is a fair bit of archival footage presented in which he discusses the event.

I didn't know much about Polanski, but was intrigued to learn about his background. Apparently he and his parents were sent to a concentration camp where his mother died. During his rise to fame, he married Sharon Tate, who was tortured and murdered by the Manson family (she was pregnant with his son at the time). And there is more - including some details of the event and the strange judge involved.

One gripe about the show is the use of small text: if you're watching it on a small TV, you'll have to squint to try and read some of the text presented throughout the program. It is quite irritating.

However, all in all, the show was pretty fascinating. It's kind of reminiscent of the OJ Simpson event in some says. In this case though, Polanski seems to have been able to carry on with his career.

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