Dreamworks Sued for Ripping Off ‘Rear Window’

It appears that Dreamworks are being sued for ripping off the idea of Rear Window for the recent movie Disturbia starring Shia LaBeouf. We get the story thanks to our friends over at Cinematical:

“And now, not surprisingly, Dreamworks, its parent company Viacom and Universal Pictures, is being sued for creating an unauthorized remake.

The defendant in the case is not exactly related to Hitchcock’s film, though; the lawsuit was filed by Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, which owns the rights to Cornell Woolrich’s original short story “It Had to Be Murder” (called “Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint” in the article), upon which Rear Window is based.

“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… In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story.”

Rear Window is in my top 10 films of all time and my disgust when I saw Disturbia in the cinema was very high indeed. Basically it was just Rear Window for dummies, a modernization of a story that didn’t need to be so. If you wanna’ experience this story then go and bloody watch the original Rear Window (or in the studios case just re-release it in cinemas) instead of hashing out a modernized, gadget-filled piece of crap that’s only real merit was David Morse as the villain (which was down to him as an actor being awesome and not necessarily the film).

If this company had the rights to this story and Dreamworks did this story without acquiring what should be known as “rights to a remake” then they have every right to sue the hell out of them. I urge anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing Rear Window to go and watch that and do not watch it’s modern-day, infinitely inferior remake that is Disturbia.

Hype Can Certainly Affect Opinion

I am writing this article having just hours ago watched Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal. An interesting film with some gorgeous cinematography and some stellar acting. But did I find it as brilliant, as fantastic, and a masterpiece as so many others found it to be? Sadly no.

This was just one of the countless examples of films I have watched after hearing the hype and praise about them from everyone (including websites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes) and ended up not thinking anywhere near as much of them. It’s a frustrating thing but also inevitable, and I guarantee it will continue happening in the future.

Now having mentioned The Seventh Seal, of which I must say I did still moderately like, I thought I would throw in some others which I had the same experience with.

Apocalypse Now – This is one of the most highly regarded films in history, even stated to be the very best war film ever made. Channel 4 even listed it as the number one film to see before you die. So when I eventually got round to watching it I was sorely disappointed. Again it was the technical filmmaking, the cinematography and acting etcetera, that was what I found high merit in. However I found myself bored, un-interested and overall it felt like an utter chore to sit through.


The Deer Hunter – Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and director Michael Cimino? Certainly a recipe for greatness in my book. However I don’t think I have had a more boring cinematic experience in my life. Dragging on for an excruciating three hours, I was looking at my watch every five minutes during this one. I may have to try it again at some point but all I can remember is I was bored stiff (except, of course, for those harrowing Russian roulette scenes – the only saving grace).


The Exorcist – There’s always a danger when something gets labelled the best of it’s genre when someone then watches it for the first time. The Exorcist is so often given the title of “the scariest film ever made” and I’m sorry but not once did I feel frightened during this movie. Partly down to my knowledge of how the little girl behaves in it and partly down to the fact the film hasn’t aged well but overall I laughed when I should have been scared. I just don’t get why this is hailed as high as it is and in the way it is.

Those are just a few of mine, why not throw in some of yours?