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Did Phil Spector kill Lana Clarkson?
A jury thought so when it returned a guilty verdict on March 26, 2009, and sentenced Spector to 19 years to life in the California penal system.
But in this first glimpse of Phil Spector, a new HBO film about the sensational murder trials written and directed by David Mamet, the question of the record producer’s guilt in the firearm death of Clarkson, a B-movie actress working as a House of Blues hostess, is a ball that gets tossed repeatedly into the air.
Starring as Spector is Al Pacino, who sinks his incisors into the meaty role of the eccentric architect of the legendary “Wall of Sound,” playing him like a wild-eyed, cornered raccoon.
He’s matched scene-for-scene by Helen Mirren, cast here as his deeply conflicted defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, whose own interpretation of the forensic evidence has led her to maintain her client’s innocence to this day.
Jeffrey Tambor plays defense attorney Bruce Cutler, who parted ways with Spector in August 2007 citing “a difference of opinion … on strategy.”
The movie looks as wild and teased-out as one of Spector’s signature wigs. But could it sway public opinion as to his guilt?
Find out after it premieres on HBO on Sunday, March 24, at 9 p.m.
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