×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Phil Spector’: Emmy Nominee Mamet Now Convinced of Music Legend’s Innocence

Answer to script's riddle shocked even Its scribe

David Mamet, nominated for both writing and directing “Phil Spector” for HBO, initially resisted examining the wacky recording magnate to be played by Al Pacino.

“I went kicking and screaming, the guy’s a thug, he’s a lowlife, da da da.” His change of mind about the man’s fascination parallels that of consulting attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren), whose reflex certainty of her man’s guilt slowly gives way to passionate belief in his innocence.

Sophisticated themes of rooted-out prejudice and ideology raise the pic out of the realm of the courtroom procedural, though Mamet insists his topic was never the trial: “The movie is about what might have happened backstage.”

Mamet and Baden shared a commitment not to vilify victim Lana Clarkson, which in turn helped him unlock his story’s central riddle. “She clearly didn’t kill herself, and (Baden) can’t say he killed her because she’s his attorney. So what if it was an accident?” Fun was had with the lawyer’s real-life obstacle, a ravaging case of pneumonia. What do you do, the film asks, when everything’s on the line and you feel like hell?

Mamet professes enjoying it all, intimate two-handed confrontations and big crowd scenes. “You take the crock of shit the writer has handed you,” he notes wryly, “and try to make the best movie you can.”

More TV

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Continues to Slam Agencies Over Affiliate Ownership

    With the Writers Guild of America’s stalemate with talent agencies in its seventh month, the guild has doubled down on the issue of ownership of production. In a message to titled “The Truth About Agency Studios” sent to members Monday, the WGA’s negotiating committee blasted the leading agencies CAA, UTA and WME for owning the [...]

  • STUMPTOWN - "Forget it Dex, It's

    ABC to Stop Using Live+Same Day Ratings

    ABC is set to become the second of the major networks to no longer use Live+Same Day figures to measure the performance of its shows (with the exception of live programming), according to an internal memo sent out by ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. The move comes four years after Fox chose to do the [...]

  • HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE

    'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Cast Talks New Music (Watch)

    Disney has debuted a preview clip of the upcoming “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” in which the cast discusses how the music of the original movies and 2019’s tunes combine to tell a new tale. Indeed, it’s the start of something new: instead of cheering on Troy Bolton and Gabriella, a next generation [...]

  • Facebook Stock

    PBS' 'Nightly Business Report' to Cease Production by Year End

    “Nightly Business Report,” the PBS program that started in 1979 and became TV’s longest-running business-news broadcast, is set to cease production by the end of the year. CNBC, which picked up production of the show in 2013, has decided to end its association with the show, according to people familiar with the matter. “NBR,” originally [...]

  • Rick Ludwin

    Rick Ludwin, NBC Late-Night Executive Who Backed 'Seinfeld,' Dies at 71

    Rick Ludwin, the longtime NBC executive who championed “Seinfeld” and worked in late-night from the Johnny Carson era through Jimmy Fallon, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 71. Ludwin was well-liked throughout the TV industry and was highly regarded as a student of the medium. He retired from NBC after 31 [...]

  • Kim Rozenfeld

    Kim Rozenfeld Exits Apple as Head of Current, Unscripted

    Apple’s Kim Rozenfeld is exiting his post as head of current scripted programming and unscripted at Apple, shortly after the launch of the tech giant’s streaming service, Apple TV Plus. The TV exec will now work with the Cupertino behemoth through his company Half Full Productions, as part of a newly inked first-look deal with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content