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See Al Pacino’s Iffy Phil Spector Impersonation

Al Pacino as Phil Spector

HBO’s Phil Spector biopic, written and directed by David Mamet, premieres on March 24, and today the channel unveiled the trailer for the story behind the producer’s murder trials. The film, called simply Phil Spector — we were hoping for Wall of Sound, House of Pain — casts Al Pacino in the role of the eccentric Let It Be producer, while Helen Mirren portrays his defense lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden. (Arrested Development‘s Jeffrey Tambor seems to play famed forensic pathologist, defense witness, and Kenney-Baden’s husband Michael Baden.) Judging by decades’ worth of wigs, the film bounces around from the Lana Clarkson killing to some of Spector’s other infamous moments, like when he fired a gun in the studio while working with John Lennon.

While Pacino looks the part thanks to Spector’s incredible selection of wigs, the Oscar winner most certainly doesn’t sound the role. His Spector sounds like Al Pacino impersonating a caricature of Al Pacino; the New York-raised actor doesn’t even get Spector’s Bronx accent right. In reality, Spector’s voice is nasal, his cadence more like the cartoon dog Droopy. Listen for yourself below.

However, where Pacino does excel is when he replicates one of Spector’s epic meltdowns. By all accounts, the diminutive Spector became a tiny volcano when he got angry, like a bewigged Incredible Hulk armed with a revolver, and the always-shouting Pacino does a good job of capturing that intensity in the trailer’s closing seconds. Pacino may not be a Spector doppelganger by any stretch, but this role still screams Emmy.