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Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Los Angeles Times Collection, UCLA Library
Polanski himself doesn’t appear in this documentary that applies solid journalism to the unlawful sex case which saw the director flee the US in February 1978 before final sentencing, but many others involved in the trial feature as talking heads, including Geimer (née Gailey), the 13-year-old he was accused of raping, both their lawyers, and other key witnesses.

Zenovich revisits Polanski’s early biography, with emphasis on the sneering treatment he received from the press after the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, in their Los Angeles home in 1969 while he was in London, which she employs partly to explain Polanski’s later paranoia over his public persona. There’s no questioning of the seriousness of the crime of which Polanski was found guilty, but Zenovich convincingly argues, with recourse to strong testimony, that Polanski fell foul of the attention-hungry Judge Rittenband who appeared to care more about his profile and indulging celebrities than in administering justice.

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Cast and crew

Director: Marina Zenovich
Screenwriter: Joe Bini, P.G. Morgan, Marina Zenovich
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