Wanted and Desired ~ Documentary of Hollywood Director Roman Polanksi's Criminal Case
December 3, 2008 News: Hollywood Director Roman Polanski wants charges dropped
Wanted and Desired by Marina Zenovich
The 1977-1978 statutory rape case involving film director Roman Polanski was arguably the most publicized, controversial statutory rape scandals ever to hit Hollywood. This year it is the subject of a documentary film Wanted and Desired. The premier screening was on January 18, 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is written, directed and produced by Marina Zenovich.
Additional Aritlces about this film: May 21, 2008 Polanski gets a fair trial in Cannes May 19, 2008 HBO Documentary Film Presents Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Premiering June 9, 2008 December 3, 2008 Breaking News in the Roman Polanski Case - Attorney's file motion to dismiss the charges.
On January 19, 2008 the Weinstein Company purchased the international rights to the film.
On January 21, 2008 HBO purchased U.S. domestic rights to the film.
After silence for many years, California criminal defense attorney Douglas Dalton and District Attorney Roger Gunson give case details in this documentary film and talk about many strange events and situations with Judge Rittenband; for example, the judge would make rulings and give direction on the case behind chamber doors, then influencing the criminal defense attorney and the district attorney to display their arguments before the court for the sake of the media. The judge did some rather bizarre and twisted things during this case and after.
This documentary is well researched and well thought out. Respectfully and thankfully, it doesn’t glorify or defend Polanski’s crime, but rather clears up and explains many of the strange twists and turns in the case. It dispels some of the rumors and myths that for the past 30 years were thought by many, to be "factual".
Some of the main facts of the 1977/78 felony statutory rape case have not changed
It is a fact that Roman Polanski committed a terrible crime against a 13 year old girl who was star struck by his fame, charm and influence.
It is a fact that Polanski was facing rape charges along with five other felony charges.
It is a fact that Polanski under-went psychological evaluations by two court appointed psychiatrists while he was incarcerated for approximately 47 days.
It is fact that those doctors determined he was NOT a deranged sex pervert.
It is a fact that Roman Polanski was staying in the home of Jack Nicholson which is where the crime was committed.
It is a fact that Jack Nicholson was out of town at the time and had no knowledge of the crime.
It is a fact that Roman Polanski, was not an American citizen.
It is a fact that Polanski, at some point, took topless photos of the 13 year old.
It is a fact that Roman Polanski fled the jurisdiction and the country 30 years ago and has lived in exile as a French citizen ever since.
It is a fact that he remains a fugative until he surrenders.
It is a fact that "indeterminate sentencing laws" in effect at the time, would mean Roman Polanski, now over 70 years old, could still face a sentence anywere from 1 to 50 years.
Interview with Marina Zenovich Creator of "Wanted and Desired"
The rest of the story will have to be viewed in what promises to be one of 2008's most watched documentaries, soon to be aired on HBO. Check your local HBO schedule for times. The film includes extensive interviews with Samantha Geimer, the victim of the crime, now in her 40's.
It’s interesting to note that in today’s “to catch a predator” world things probably would have been more serious than they were in 1977/78. If these charges were filed today, there may have been a federal charge including child pornography. Polanski’s criminal defense lawyer would have had a much tougher time making a deal.
Roman Polanski Brief History
Roman Polanski is revered as one of the greatest film directors of our time and is credted with many successes and contributions to the arts. He has also endured more hardships and painful tragedies throughout his life, arguably, more than the average person; this is in addition to entering a guilty plea to a criminal sexual act, fleeing the US and remaining a fugitive from justice while maintaining his reveared status as a film director for the past 30 years. These are only very brief highlights of his life.
Roman Polanski was born August 18 1933. Given his notoriety, there is much documentation available on his life and films. He was born in Paris and his parents moved back to Poland a couple years prior to beginning of World War II when Roman was very young. Roman was separated from his parents when they were removed from their home in Poland and placed in concentration camps. He never saw his Mother again but later in the mid 1940’s was reunited with his father.
has a very interesting background and story of which much is documented. These are only very brief highlights. Roman Polanski was born August 18 1933. His birth name is Roman Liebling. Roman was born in Paris and his parents moved back to Poland a couple years prior to beginning of World War II when Roman was very young. Roman was separated from his parents when they were removed from their home in Poland and placed in concentration camps. He never saw his Mother again but later in the mid 1940’s was reunited with his father.
He became an actor in the 1950’s and appeared in films. He studied at Lodz Film School and eventually became a well known film maker in Poland. He moved to Paris where he received acclaim at the Berlin Film Festivals for the films “Repulsion” and “Cul-de-sac” in 1965 and 1966 respectively.
Roman Polanski made his way to Hollywood in 1968 and the film Rosemary’s Baby was released shortly after. In 1969 Roman’s wife Sharon Tate and their unborn child were brutally murdered in the killing spree murders of the Manson family gang. Roman went back to Europe in 1969 and did not return until 1973 to direct Chinatown which was released in 1974.
In 1977 he was involved in a Hollywood sex scandal, convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He spent 47 days in jail then fled to France to avoid sentencing.
Roman Polanski's works date back to 1955. His films from the 1970's forward include: