We gave it a B
Manipulative, philandering, occasionally incarcerated, Spiegel won Oscars for producing On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Lawrence of Arabia. To David Lean, he was an antagonist. To Jack Nicholson, a father figure. Fraser-Cavassoni — who knew Spiegel when she was growing up and worked on his last film, 1983’s Betrayal — has a clear affection for her subject. Which may explain her reluctance to explore his peculiar motivations (Spiegel’s oft-mentioned affinity for much, much younger women is never analyzed; many relatives appear only in passing). What results is the gripping tale of an enigma, but the incomplete story of a man.