Pa­cino steps into Spec­tor’s shoes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

MUCH to his sur­prise, Al Pa­cino (pic­tured) learned that once upon a time he met the leg­endary mu­sic pro­ducer Phil Spec­tor, whom he now plays in a new TV film. He had no me­mory of it, ‘‘but some­body showed me a pic­ture of me and him on the in­ter­net’’, Pa­cino laughs. ‘‘It was at some event or party, and we’re both look­ing into the cam­era, two guys who do not want to be pho­tographed. Since he had mostly worked be­hind the scenes, I didn’t know who he was, and he looked like he didn’t know who I was.’’ That was then, when­ever that was. This for­got­ten en­counter serves Pa­cino as a fit­ting first step into the char­ac­ter he cap­tures for Phil Spec­tor, a new tele­movie that de­buts on payTV chan­nel show­case this week­end. Writ­ten and di­rected by David Mamet, this pen­e­trat­ing film ex­plores the prepa­ra­tion for Spec­tor’s mur­der de­fence: As the story be­gins in 2007, he stands ac­cused of hav­ing forced a pis­tol into the mouth of a woman – his date for the night – and pulling the trig­ger. The dif­fi­cul­ties of the case seem be­yond the where­withal of Spec­tor’s orig­i­nal lawyer (Jef­frey Tam­bor), who has brought in hot­shot lawyer Linda Ken­ney Baden (He­len Mir­ren). She takes over as lead lawyer and joins Spec­tor in a ver­bal pas de deux: ‘‘Why do you have so many guns?’’ she asks. ‘‘I might need one,’’ he replies. ‘‘Why would you need more than one?’’ she asks. ‘‘How many shoes do you have?’’ he poses. He’s a prob­lem for his lawyers. He says he didn’t kill the girl, but who’s go­ing to be­lieve him?

– FRA­ZIER MOORE Phil Spec­tor: Satur­day, 7.30pm, Show­case.

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