A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.



3,264 ( 150)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

You Don't Know Jack (TV Movie 2010)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look at the life and work of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Al Pacino, Brenda Vaccaro, John Goodman
Salomé (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Biblical story of Salome, a girl who agrees to perform the "dance of the seven veils" in return for John the Baptist's head on a silver platter.

Director: Al Pacino
Stars: Kevin Anderson, Jessica Chastain, Ralph Guzzo
The Humbling (2014)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A stage actor who is slowly losing his mind engages in a relationship with a sexually confused younger woman.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Nina Arianda
Manglehorn (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost many years ago, Manglehorn, an eccentric small-town locksmith, tries to start his life over again with the help of a new friend.

Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two symbiotic sociopaths play obscurely deviant mind games with each other while engaging in perversely brutal acts of violence against victims apparently chosen at random.

Director: David F. Wheeler
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Guilfoyle, Joseph Maher
People I Know (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A New York press agent must scramble when his major client becomes embroiled in a huge scandal.

Director: Daniel Algrant
Stars: Al Pacino, Téa Leoni, Ryan O'Neal
Stand Up Guys (2012)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A pair of aging stickup men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment - to kill his comrade.

Director: Fisher Stevens
Stars: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin
Two Bits (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jerry Barone
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A young cop is assigned to a precinct in the working class neighborhood where he grew up, and an old secret threatens to destroy his life and his family.

Director: Dito Montiel
Stars: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry and Jake, two unsuccessful writers, spend a cathartic evening arguing about money, aesthetics, their friendship, and Harry's new manuscript.

Director: Al Pacino
Stars: Al Pacino, Jerry Orbach, Susan Floyd
Danny Collins (2015)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An aging rock star decides to change his life when he discovers a 40-year-old letter written to him by John Lennon.

Director: Dan Fogelman
Stars: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner
Me, Natalie (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman struggles for independence.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Patty Duke, James Farentino, Martin Balsam


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Fallon
ADA Alan Jackson
Music Store Owner
Mr. Brown
Grim Reaper Q. ...
Bodyguard (as Vernon W. Campbell)
Focus Group Woman (as Adalgiza Chemountd)


Record producer Phil Spector hires Bruce Cutler to defend him when he's accused of murder. Cutler persuades Linda Kenney Baden to advise him. While the prosecution's story is contradicted by facts in the case, there is convincing circumstantial evidence against Spector, not the least of which is his appearance. As Baden gradually takes over the defense, even as she is ill with pneumonia, she must find a way to introduce ballistic evidence in a dramatic enough fashion to plant doubt in the jury's mind. Calling Specter to testify may be the only way to stage the evidence. She coaches him and rehearses him: can he (and she) pull it off? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The truth is somewhere in the mix.


Biography | Drama





Release Date:

24 March 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Fall Phil Spector  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film revolves around the murder of Lana Clarkson. Clarkson appeared in Scarface (1983) together with Al Pacino, who plays Phil Spector in this film. See more »


In one of the interviews with Phil Spector, he says "Sam Cooke, in bed with some girl, the husband comes home - bam bam bam!". In reality, Sam Cooke was killed by a manager at a motel to which he had brought a prostitute. Sam Cooke was using the toilet in his room when the prostitute ran off with all his clothes, presumably to rob him. Cooke went into frenzy and headed for the manager's office, wearing nothing but shoes and a jacket, to ask where the prostitute had gone. The manager perceived Cooke's aggressive manner as an attack and shot him in the stomach. Court ruled the case as "justifiable homicide" and the manager was freed of all charges. See more »


Bruce Cutler: She shot herself.
Linda Kenney Baden: You bet she did!
Bruce Cutler: Why?
Linda Kenney Baden: Not our problem anymore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

'This is a work of fiction. It's not "based on a true story." It is a drama inspired by actual persons in a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, nor to comment upon the trial or its outcome.' See more »


Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Vince Vaughn/Miguel (2013) See more »


Barbarian Queen Theme
Written by Johnny Caruso and Brian Barrale
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Phil to bursting...
28 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I came to this HBO production with some trepidation being aware that representatives of both the victim and the convicted had poured scorn on this production, but with a top cast and being written and directed by David Mamet, I had to watch.

"Had to watch" in fact probably sums up my feelings about the movie. Spector to my mind was undoubtedly a production genius who had made some of the best records of the 60's - "Be My Baby", "You've Lost That Lovin Feeling" and "River Deep Mountain High" to name but three, not to mention his production duties for the Beatles, group and solo, but there's little doubt that he seemed to possess at the very least an eccentric and at most a control-freak mentality which, given his predilection for guns, ended up with the death of a woman named Lana Clarkson at his mansion retreat by a gunshot through the mouth.

I remember when the story broke and reading about the circumstances of her death thinking that Spector had to be guilty but when his replacement defence attorney Linda Kersey (Helen Mirren) picks up the case she finds aspects of the evidence which when skilfully presented at trial, at least seem to bring in some doubt over his guilt. The film takes us up to the end of the inconclusive first trial at which point Kersey finally surrenders to the pneumonia assailing her all through the movie and we learn through a closing credit sub-title that in her enforced absence, Spector, as we know of course, was convicted and sentenced accordingly.

However, the film is less concerned about the drama of the traditionally climactic courtroom scene than it is about examining the fragile state of mind of the crazed Spector and the efforts of Kersey to get through to him and find a way to defend him. That this seems to detract from considerations of the poor victim is a valid criticism, but as film entertainment, it's the scenes between Pacino and Mirren which undoubtedly work best.

For once, Pacino's acting, which has been in over-the-top self-caricature mode since "Scent Of A Woman", is actually suited to the mass of eccentricity that is Spector and he gives a compelling performance of this undoubtedly gifted but strange man with his sense of self-importance, mood-swings and frankly bizarre choice of wigs depending on his mood. Subtle it isn't but I was ultimately convinced by his performance as I gradually witnessed less Pacino and more Spector in his characterisation.

Mirren has to convey dogged determination combined with a legal lucidity as she tries to prise out a defence for her client, all the time struggling against her advancing illness and all this she does excellently. Arguably the skill of her acting steals some of Pacino's limelight but for me helps to ground the film more in reality, ultimately to its benefit.

The movie is however mis-titled, as viewers might be misled into thinking this was a bio- pic of some kind, rather than focusing purely on his murder trial. That carp apart, I was thoroughly engrossed by this well-acted, written and directed study of madness of a musical great and to a lesser degree, of the American legal system at work.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My disappointment gpspector
The House Cunningx2
No Ronnie? PTUTSON
Rebecca Pidgeon mjacobsen64
Air update.... Star-cjh
Just a Fan, . ..but SGJan81
Discuss Phil Spector (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: