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Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 18, 1933 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Paris, FR Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

In 2003 at the height of Polanksi's noteriety for directing "The Pianist ," Samantha Geimer, the alleged victim in Polanksi's statutory rape case when she was 13, claimed in an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times that the director fled to France because the judge in the case reneged on a plea bargain struck by both parties that limited Polanski's punishment to the 40 days he had already spent incarcerated awaiting trial. "Who wouldn't think about running when facing a 50-year sentence from a judge who was clearly more interested in his own reputation than a fair judgment?," Geimer wrote. She also indicated that she believed his film work should be judged on its own merits: "I believe that Mr. Polanski and his film should be honored according to the quality of the work. What he does for a living and how good he is at it, have nothing to do with me or what he did to me," said Geimer, describing herself as a happily married mother of three.

"[Polanski] would be excommunicated by Hollywood because his wife had the bad taste to be murdered in the papers,' his friend Jack Nicolson said later." --From "Profile: Artist in Exile" by Lawrence Weshler, The New Yorker, December 5, 1994.

"When Sharon died, the press said the most terrible things about us--that it was connected to black magic, that it had something to do with the type of movies I had always made. They just lie and lie and lie, but when they print it, then people think it's true. When they found out that Manson was behind it, then they changed their song. But they were relentless. And when the trouble happened with the girl, it was like everyone said, 'We were right about him, he's crazy, that's why his wife got killed.'" --Polanski quoted in "Roman Holiday" by Martha Frankel, Movieline, January/February 1995.

"As for the ending [of "Chinatown"], [screenwriter Robert] Towne, in his original version, had had the Faye Dunaway character killing her father [and incestuous tormentor], the creepy John Huston character, before he could get his hands on the barely pubescent child whom he had sired upon her and whom she was desperately endeavoring to protect. Instead, Polanski had the Faye Dunaway character herself getting gruesomely killed right in front of the child, whom the Huston character now enveloped in his oily embrace, leading her away as Jack Nicholson's detective character looked on ineffectually and a police pal muttered, 'Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.'" --From "Profile: Artist in Exile" by Lawrence Weshler in The New Yorker, December 5, 1994.

"When Polanski discusses the violence that occurs in his films, he often asserts that, far from being a sensationalist, he is a pure realist; and certainly he is one of the few directors around who have experienced at first hand such a sheer amount and so many varieties of violence." --From "Profile: Artist in Exile" by Lawrence Weshler in The New Yorker, December 5, 1994.

Polanski served as president of the 44th Annual Cannes Film Festival committee in 1991.

"I have a friend who worked for Polanski on "Repulsion". For years after he kept the director's picture pasted inside one of his shoes, 'So every time I took a step I'd crush the wretched dwarf.' Roman Polanski has no problem playing the prick. He can also play a smarmy civil servant or a sentimental fool aching to be victimized. Terrorized children--Polanski eluded the Nazis--pick up useful tricks. If he hadn't needed to control things, he could've been an actor of Ben Kingsley's stature." --From Georgia Brown's review of "A Pure Formality" in Village Voice May 30, 1995.

"I miss the efficiency of the studios, I miss the big machine, I know how to operate it. It has great inertia this machine, but if you know how to use it, you can do alot of interesting things."--Polanski's response when asked if he misses working in America, Village Voice, April 19, 1994.

Polanski was supposed to direct "The Double" in 1996. Conflicts with star John Travolta led to Travolta's leaving the film days before shooting was to begin. Polanski eventually left the project as well.

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