April 28: Alan Smithee — IMDB has 115 movies credited to the Alan Smithee pseudonym, which was created by the Directors Guild of America for use when a director doesn’t want their name on a movie.
The Alan Smithee here is Jerrold Freedman, a director who also made a lot of TV before ending his career with this, including episodes of The X-Files, Night Gallery and movies and TV movies like Kansas City Bomber, A Cold Night’s Death, Unholy Matrimony, The Boy Who Drank Too Much and The Comeback.
Written by Stephen Harrigan, who also write a John Denver TV movie, this movie has to decide when OJ is a good guy and when he’s, well, a monster who beat and killed his second wife.
Bobby Hosea is Simpson and he was a former football player, which helped. Jessica Tuck is the doomed Nicole Brown Simpson. If you’re looking for famous people, well, there’s Terence Howard as young AC and Bruce Weitz as Robert Shapiro. But otherwise, one imagines that actors really avoided being in thsi cash-in movie, which was filmed in 1994 and not aired until after there was a jury for the trial.
The one thing I learned is that the biggest fight that OJ had with his wife, the one that led to the 911 call when he attacked her, was over her saying that he’d never win an Oscar being in a movie called The Naked Gun. Now, I’m not saying OJ was right, but I love The Naked Gun and Nicole nearly kept the world from seeing Nordberg going down the steps in a wheelchair. He’s still wrong and a murderer, but for that moment, for the first time ever, I understood a bit of how he felt. That’s filmmaking.