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studios sued over film's similarities to Rear Window
A lawsuit filed in Manhattan claims Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures Corp. ripped off the plot from Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window when they made the movie Disturbia.
The 1954 film, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, features a wheelchairbound photographer who spends his time spying on his neighbours and one night, believes he has witnessed someone disposing of a body.
Hitchcock and Stewart obtained the film rights to the story in 1953.
Woolrich died in 1968. All the rights to Rear Window were sold to Sheldon Abend, Woolrich on sale who died in 2003. His estate the Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust brought the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
The suit says Spielberg, Dreamworks and Paramount should have obtained rights from the trust.
"What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly,Woolrich Jackets Women legitimately and legally, [they] have done surreptitiously, by their backdoor use of the Rear Window story without paying compensation," the lawsuit said.
Representatives for Spielberg, DreamWorks and Paramount said they don't comment on pending litigation.
Court documents say the main character in the short story and the two films behave in the same way and interact with characters that are similar.
"In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story," the lawsuit said.
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