This weekend while I was enjoying “Disturbia” on a “Free HBO Weekend” some paperwork was being prepared for said movie, some not-so-nice paperwork at that. On Monday a lawsuit was filed in Manhattan’s federal court, alleging that Steven Spielberg and associated studios stole the story for 2007’s thriller, “Distubia”:

According to the lawsuit, filed by the Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, the basis for Hitchcock’s 1954 film was “Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint,” a short story by Cornell Woolrich.

Hitchcock and actor James Stewart obtained the motion picture rights to the story in 1953. The lawsuit argues that Dreamworks should have done the same.

“What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the ‘Rear Window’ story without paying compensation,” the lawsuit said.

I had no idea that Spielberg and company had not acquired rights to the plot. It was immediately evident that this movie borrowed heavily from Hitchcock’s work, so much so that I just assumed they were careful in the endeavor. Apparently not. Look for this one to be settled out of court. Nice going Dreamworks and Universal!

Source: Reuters

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