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6.3/10
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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 ... ADA Alan Jackson
Matt Malloy ... Dr. Spitz
Jack Wallace ... Music Store Owner
Dominic Hoffman Dominic Hoffman ... Mr. Brown
Philip Martin ... James
Grim Reaper Q. ... Bodyguard
Vernon Campbell ... Bodyguard (as Vernon W. Campbell)
Adalgiza Chermont ... Focus Group Woman (as Adalgiza Chemountd)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The truth is somewhere in the mix.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helen Mirren and Jeffrey Tambor worked together in another movie. The movie was called Teaching Mrs. Tingle. See more »

Goofs

Phil drapes the shawl around Linda's shoulders as they are standing. In the next scene as they sit, the shawl is draped around Linda's arms. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References The Spanish Prisoner (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

When I Saw You
Written by Phil Spector (as Philip Spector)
Performed by The Ronettes
Courtesy of EMI Blackwood Mus Inc.
On behalf of Phil Spector Records and Mother Bertha Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
preparation for a trial
15 November 2016 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

If you're thinking this film is about the trial of Phil Spector, it isn't. It does, however, contain a lot about preparing for the trial.

Helen Mirren is Linda Kenney Baden, who reluctantly takes on the murder case of Phil Spector, who is accused of killing Lana Clarkson in his home. Spector claims it was suicide.

Baden reluctantly finds herself believing him, as she performs a series of experiments that to her prove he could not have done it. Though trying to talk with Spector is very difficult, she also finds herself liking him.

This is a good character study, if a little on the slow side. It would have been dreadful without Mirren and Pacino, however. Pacino plays Spector as a pathetic has-been who brags about his past accomplishments as he sits isolated in his home,"The Castle." He loses his temper often and goes off on tangents. "Would I have lost everything for her?" he asks Mirren about Clarkson. Because of his crazy behavior and history with guns and women, Spector is in a lot of trouble.

The film brings us through the mock trial and Baden's attempts to have Spector take the stand to see if he can do it. It's a disaster. On the day of the trial, he shows up in a huge fright wig and looks terrifying. Baden has her work cut out for her.

Mirren is wonderful as a woman with a cold that turns into pneumonia who is nonetheless vigorous in her defense. The best scene is when she receives a suggestion from an associate. To illustrate a point, she shows a young attorney the yellow piece that used to go in the middle of a .45 record - he doesn't know what it is. She shows him a .45 record and he guesses, "something for the computer?" She turns to her associate and says, "None of these people are going to know what you're talking about." Mirren is masterful.

In the end, which is not part of the movie, the first trial was a mistrial, but Baden could not take part in the second trial and he was convicted.

This HBO movie is worth seeing for the performances. It is slow at times, but then again, it's not very long.


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