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Dreamworks Sued For Stealing 'Disturbia' From Hitchcock's 'Rear Window'

Dreamworks is facing a lawsuit that claims the studio stole the plot from Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 film 'Rear Window' in making last year's 'Disturbia'.

'Disturbia' cost rougly $20 million to make and grossed a modest $80 million at the box office. But where the problem comes in is that none of it was shared with Sheldon Abend's estate, which owns the rights to 1942 story on which the Hitchcock classic was based.

The lawsuit claims that 'Disturbia' and 'Rear Window' stories are "essentially the same" and that Dreamworks should have obtained rights to use the story. It says what Dreamworks did was nothing more than make a "back-door use of the 'Rear Window' story without paying compensation," and adds that "the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story."

The lawsuit is only bringing to light on what those of us that have seen both movies have known ever since 'Disturbia's release -- that it is indeed a remake of Hitchcock's 'Rear Window'. In fact, in its review of the movie, the Los Angeles Times went so far as to say it was "basically an uncredited remake of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window", while the reviewer for the Richmond Times Dispatch, slammed Christopher Landon, the 'writer' for the movie, pointing out that "I'm not sure watching Rear Window qualifies as writing a story."

September 9, 2008 |

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