RSS
Did Spielberg rip-off Hitchcock?
Why a lawsuit claims <em>Disturbia</em> stole from <em>Rear Window</em>.
 

Is anyone really surprised that Steven Spielberg and his production company are being sued for ripping off Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window in their film Disturbia? said Natalie Finn in E! Online. While promoting the movie, Disturbia star Shia LaBeouf “paid tons of lip service” to Rear Window, and critics made the connection between the two films “right away.”

But is “the resemblance close enough to merit legal action?” said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. “Plot details were changed” and “the character dynamic is different”—it really seems more like “a riff on Rear Window than a literal remake.” Then again, the producers of Disturbia probably couldn’t have “credited ‘inspired by’ without buying the rights to the story Rear Window was based on.”

It really doesn’t matter either way, said Maxim Jakubowski in the Guardian. “Films feed on themselves. Every new shoot-out, or road movie, or rom-com unconsciously steals plot devices, situations, if not wholesale clichés from its many predecessors.” In the movies, is “anything ever really original?”

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week