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Phil Spector (2013)

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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.

Director:

David Mamet

Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Phil Spector
Helen Mirren ... Linda Kenney Baden
Jeffrey Tambor ... Bruce Cutler
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Mock Prosecutor
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Dr. Fallon
John Pirruccello ... Nick Stavros
James Tolkan ... Judge Fidler
David Aaron Baker ... DDA Alan Jackson
Matt Malloy ... Dr. Spitz
Jack Wallace ... Music Store Owner
Dominic Hoffman ... Mr. Brown
Philip Martin ... James
Grim Reaper Q. ... Bodyguard
Vernon Campbell Vernon Campbell ... Bodyguard (as Vernon W. Campbell)
Adalgiza Chermont ... Focus Group Woman (as Adalgiza Chemountd)
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Storyline

Record Producer Phil Spector (Al Pacino) hires Bruce Cutler (Jeffrey Tambor) to defend him when he's accused of murder. Cutler persuades Linda Kenney Baden (Dame Helen Mirren) 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

Taglines:

The truth is somewhere in the mix.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dame Helen Mirren replaced Bette Midler. Midler was forced to bow out of the project after suffering a herniated disc. See more »

Goofs

In his opening monologue Phil Spector talks about Senator Ted Kennedy's 1968 infamous car accident in Martha's Vineyard. He claims the Senator "hid under a blanket" after drowning a "teenager" in a "Volkswagen". Although he did hide under a blanket for 72 hours, Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in an Oldsmobile a few days shy of her 29th birthday. See more »

Quotes

Bruce Cutler: The girl fucking shot herself.
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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 »

Connections

References The Spanish Prisoner (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Lost That Loving Feeling
Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector
Performed by The Righteous Brothers
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

 
Penetrating Character-Study of a Has-Been
5 June 2013 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Based on actual events that took place, PHIL SPECTOR dramatizes the court-case in which the eponymous hero (Al Pacino) is accused of murder and defended by hotshot lawyer Linda (Helen Mirren). With David Mamet as writer/director, viewers can expect nothing less than a penetrating character-study with the emphasis on great dialog and changing reactions. PHIL SPECTOR does not disappoint in this respect; a study of a once-great music producer fallen on hard times who (like Norma Desmond in SUNSET BOULEVARD) lives in fantasy-worlds of his own creation. The ever-increasingly grotesque choice of wigs Spector uses is proof of this. Sometimes it's difficult to separate truth from fiction, while listening to his lengthy speeches - which makes the lawyer's task of defending him that much more difficult. In the end Spector's pretensions are unmasked as he is literally brow-beaten into making an appearance in court: Mamet's camera focuses unrelentingly on his hands that shake uncontrollably as he listens to the evidence presented against him.

As the lawyer, Mirren acts as a workmanlike foil to Pacino's central performance. Although firmly convinced of her client's innocence, she finds it increasingly difficult to present a convincing case; the judge and the prosecution seem hell-bent on frustrating her, as well as her client. Nonetheless she shows admirable stoicism in pursuing her case.

In the end, however, PHIL SPECTOR is not really a courtroom drama, even though much of the action is set in and around the court-house. Rather it concentrates on the double-edged nature of celebrity; when you're riding high, no one can touch you, but when you're down on your luck, everyone wants to kick you. This helps to explain Spector's retreat into a fantasy-world - at least no one can touch him there.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phil Spector See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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