When does a homage go too far? In this story from Reuters Spielberg and Dreamworks are being sued for ripping off Hitchcock’s 1954 classic Rear Window.

According to the lawsuit, “Disturbia” and the “Rear Window” story are “essentially the same.” Both are murder mysteries beginning with a man who, while peering from his window, witnesses strange behavior in the home of his neighbor.

The protagonist in all three of the works behaves in essentially the same way, interacts with similar characters and the plot unfolds in basically the same way, the lawsuit said.

“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.

When Disturbia was released many saw the distinct similarities to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Where is the line drawn? Most films today take some type of past story or filmmaking style and transform it to their own way. Did Disturbia take it too far?

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