Growing up in suburban Los Angeles, I knew Roman Polanski as a celebrity long before I knew his work as a film director. The murder of his wife by the Manson Family in 1969 and his controversial rape case in 1977 were well covered in the media, and I formed strong negative opinions about him, especially after he fled the US in 1978.

Still, I'd heard such interesting things about Marina Zenovich's doc Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired -- including Erik Davis' excellent, measured review from Sundance -- that I made sure to tune in when it premiered on HBO on Monday night after an extremely-limited theatrical qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles.

Before the broadcast, Slate reported that HBO changed the ending after Los Angeles Superior Courts officials complained. The Los Angeles Times published a similar story on Tuesday. Erik described what he saw at Sundance: "Perhaps the most fascinating fact (and this was something I did not know) came in the reveal that, when a new judge was assigned to the case in 1997, he agreed to throw out the charges if Polanski were to return to the States -- on one condition: that the hearing be televised. Because of that, Polanski decided against coming back."

categories Movies, Cinematical