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Movies "stealing" Ideas From Other Movies


Stephan55
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Earlier this month I again watched LIBELED LADY, 1936 screwball comedy directed by Jack Conway, with Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, & Walter Connolly, as the lead actors.

The story was by Wallace Sullivan, with screenplay by Maurine Watkins, Howard Emmett Rogers, & George Oppenheimer.
 

Now this is a thoroughly entertaining film, that I always enjoy, no matter how many times I've seen it.

But there is one particular scene in it that strikes me with deja vu.

 

William Powell is trying to ingratiate himself with Myrna Loy and her father, played by Walter Connolly, who is an avid fisherman.

Powell plays a man who has absolutely no experience with a rod, and is reading up on the "sport"  and practicing,  so that he can be convincing as the "expert" fisherman that he has pumped himself up to be.

Powell, Loy & Connolly are out on the river, and Powell distances himself from Myrna and her dad, so that he can review the fisherman's guidebook that he has stashed in his fishing basket.  

While doing so, seated on a rock, with his line dangling in the water behind him, he inadvertantly tantalizes a big one to take his lure. The fish, a monstrous trout with a name, runs with such force as to drag Powell backwards into the water. Powell never let's go of his pole and the two do battle, splashing and alerting Myrna and Walter, who are thoroughly convinced that William is the fisherman that he claims to be.....

 

Fast forward 28 years... to 1964.

 

MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT?

A romcom directed by Howard Hawks, with Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy, John McGiver, & Roscoe Karns, in the lead roles.

Based on the story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank, with a screenplay by John Fenton Murray, & Steve McNeil
 

Aside from Hudson pretending to be the expert outdoorsman and fisherman, which everyone assumes that he is, and which he is anything but... The plot lines of these two films differ enough, to be original.

 

To quote a past copy of the TCM schedule:

Rock plays Roger Willoughby, a fishing gear salesman for Abercrombie & Fitch who's ordered by his boss to participate in a fishing competition. There's only one problem: Roger's never worked a rod and reel in his life!

 

So what does Rock do?

He reads his own book full of ideas he's snatched up from talking with the expert fishermen who have come into his store, and begins a crash course on 'how to fish.'

 

Then follows a scene, this time on a lake, where Rock does the exact same thing as Powell did above (in LIBELED LADY) and snags a record trout for the fishing tournament.

 

Anyone familiar with Howard Hawk's other screwball comedies (i.e. BRINGING UP BABY, 1938) will recognize his formula for laughs here!

But borrowing past proven formula's from yourself doesn't count as "stealing" in this thread. So I will not address those similarities of Hawk, borrowing from Hawk.

 

However...... Nowhere in the credits is given for the idea of the above scene taken (as far as I can reckon) directly from LIBELED LADY.

 

Not counting REMAKES

 

Was wondering if anyone out there in TCM land is aware of any other films that displayed one or more uncredited acts of obvious larcenous plagiarism from another film???

 

Or at least unexplained similarities in specific scenes????

 

If so, please at least minimally share the films titles, and describe the scene or scenes with enough detail so that those of us who have seen (or will see) these films, will be able to remember or recognize those scenes.

 

Your participation is appreciated!

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I've seen variations of that particular sequence before too, in comedies, The 3 Stooges, Abbot and Costello, and maybe even Laurel & Hardy, even The New Yorker may have had that cartoon.

 

BTY I'm a professional fly fishing guide and it has actually happened on more that one occasion in the last 26 years.

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There is almost no similarity between Man's Favorite Sport? and Libeled Lady.   Maybe none actually.  

William Powell read a fishing book to fool Myrna Loy's father.  He had to go fishing once.  Rock Hudson wrote a fishing book based on information he received from fishermen.  He then got trapped into participating in a fishing tournament and having to learn how to fish and then to compete in the tournament.

You could just as easily say that any comedy with a man and a woman is based on previous movies.

You could just as easily say that the mostly fictitous enemy snipper in American Snipper is based on Enemy at the Gates.

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MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT?

A romcom directed by Howard Hawks, with Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy, John McGiver, & Roscoe Karns, in the lead roles.

Based on the story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank, with a screenplay by John Fenton Murray, & Steve McNeil

 

Aside from Hudson pretending to be the expert outdoorsman and fisherman, which everyone assumes that he is, and which he is anything but... The plot lines of these two films differ enough, to be original.

 

To quote a past copy of the TCM schedule:

Rock plays Roger Willoughby, a fishing gear salesman for Abercrombie & Fitch who's ordered by his boss to participate in a fishing competition. There's only one problem: Roger's never worked a rod and reel in his life!

 

So what does Rock do?

He reads his own book full of ideas he's snatched up from talking with the expert fishermen who have come into his store, and begins a crash course on 'how to fish.'

 

Then follows a scene, this time on a lake, where Rock does the exact same thing as Powell did above (in LIBELED LADY) and snags a record trout for the fishing tournament.

 

Anyone familiar with Howard Hawk's other screwball comedies (i.e. BRINGING UP BABY, 1938) will recognize his formula for laughs here!

 

 

The Rock Hudson movie also borrows (pays homage to?) the scene in "Bringing Up Baby" in which Cary Grant tries to cover up Katharine Hepburn after the back of her dress is torn off.

 

 

 

 

 

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One of the things I remembered so well were the film critics attack on "The Last Starfighter" stating the cockpit battle scenario was a ripoff of "Star Wars IV"

 

Well if they didn't then the movie should had been called "Space Invaders - The Movie", referring to the classic video game on how the Kodan had the classic ship attack.

 

 

 

 

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One of the classic examples of a studio cannibalizing its own films was when Warner Bros. released "They Drive By Night," starring George Raft and Humphrey Bogart in 1940. The drama includes a murder subplot lifted from the 1935 Paul Muni-Bette Davis film "Bordertown."

 

In "They Drive By Night," Ida Lupino, who is married to trucking company magnate Alan Hale, Sr., bumps him off so that she can be with trucker Raft. In "Bordertown," Davis murders her casino owner husband (Eugene Pallette) so that she can have Muni.

 

The methodology of the murders was the same. In each film, the ambitious spouse locked her drunken husband in a garage while his automobile's motor continued to run. As a result, he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Earlier this month I again watched LIBELED LADY, 1936 screwball comedy directed by Jack Conway, with Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, & Walter Connolly, as the lead actors.

The story was by Wallace Sullivan, with screenplay by Maurine Watkins, Howard Emmett Rogers, & George Oppenheimer.

 

Now this is a thoroughly entertaining film, that I always enjoy, no matter how many times I've seen it.

But there is one particular scene in it that strikes me with deja vu.

 

William Powell is trying to ingratiate himself with Myrna Loy and her father, played by Walter Connolly, who is an avid fisherman.

Powell plays a man who has absolutely no experience with a rod, and is reading up on the "sport"  and practicing,  so that he can be convincing as the "expert" fisherman that he has pumped himself up to be.

Powell, Loy & Connolly are out on the river, and Powell distances himself from Myrna and her dad, so that he can review the fisherman's guidebook that he has stashed in his fishing basket.  

While doing so, seated on a rock, with his line dangling in the water behind him, he inadvertantly tantalizes a big one to take his lure. The fish, a monstrous trout with a name, runs with such force as to drag Powell backwards into the water. Powell never let's go of his pole and the two do battle, splashing and alerting Myrna and Walter, who are thoroughly convinced that William is the fisherman that he claims to be.....

 

Fast forward 28 years... to 1964.

 

MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT?

A romcom directed by Howard Hawks, with Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy, John McGiver, & Roscoe Karns, in the lead roles.

Based on the story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away" by Pat Frank, with a screenplay by John Fenton Murray, & Steve McNeil

 

Aside from Hudson pretending to be the expert outdoorsman and fisherman, which everyone assumes that he is, and which he is anything but... The plot lines of these two films differ enough, to be original.

 

To quote a past copy of the TCM schedule:

Rock plays Roger Willoughby, a fishing gear salesman for Abercrombie & Fitch who's ordered by his boss to participate in a fishing competition. There's only one problem: Roger's never worked a rod and reel in his life!

 

So what does Rock do?

He reads his own book full of ideas he's snatched up from talking with the expert fishermen who have come into his store, and begins a crash course on 'how to fish.'

 

Then follows a scene, this time on a lake, where Rock does the exact same thing as Powell did above (in LIBELED LADY) and snags a record trout for the fishing tournament.

 

Anyone familiar with Howard Hawk's other screwball comedies (i.e. BRINGING UP BABY, 1938) will recognize his formula for laughs here!

But borrowing past proven formula's from yourself doesn't count as "stealing" in this thread. So I will not address those similarities of Hawk, borrowing from Hawk.

 

However...... Nowhere in the credits is given for the idea of the above scene taken (as far as I can reckon) directly from LIBELED LADY.

 

Not counting REMAKES

 

Was wondering if anyone out there in TCM land is aware of any other films that displayed one or more uncredited acts of obvious larcenous plagiarism from another film???

 

Or at least unexplained similarities in specific scenes????

 

If so, please at least minimally share the films titles, and describe the scene or scenes with enough detail so that those of us who have seen (or will see) these films, will be able to remember or recognize those scenes.

 

Your participation is appreciated!

Capra was continually stealing ideas and scenes from his own films.

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When the Johnny Depp DILLINGER came out a few years back, the ads featured a scene lifted from BONNIE AND CLYDE. An old farmer is getting money from a teller at the time the bank is being robbed. The robber (Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow/Johnny Depp as Dillinger) asks if the money belongs to the man or the bank. When the old guy says, "Mine," the robber lets him keep it.

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When the Johnny Depp DILLINGER came out a few years back, the ads featured a scene lifted from BONNIE AND CLYDE. An old farmer is getting money from a teller at the time the bank is being robbed. The robber (Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow/Johnny Depp as Dillinger) asks if the money belongs to the man or the bank. When the old guy says, "Mine," the robber lets him keep it.

Supposedly in real life it was John Dillinger who made the "noble" gesture to the farmer.  It was Warren Beatty who "stole" that incident to use in the Bonnie and Clyde film.

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The Rock Hudson movie also borrows (pays homage to?) the scene in "Bringing Up Baby" in which Cary Grant tries to cover up Katharine Hepburn after the back of her dress is torn off.

 

 

 

 

 

Those two lips don't clearly show what you may have been trying to convey..One's a clip from a movie, the other is a trailer.

 

Now, there HAVE been times I thought one movie stole some idea from another, but it turned out I WAS watching a "remake"

 

And, one could argue that most if not all those "motorcycle gang" movies American International made in the late '60's "stole" the idea from Brando's THE WILD ONE of 1954.

 

 

Sepiatone

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it was a ripoff, it was a novel ripoff,

 

 

 

That is correct, as I said. Several IMDB reviewers also notice it and mention it..

 

 

"The Last Flight (1931) – John Monk Saunders Hijacks Hemingway’s Lost Generation"

 

The 1931 novel was torn apart by critics as a pale imitation of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, published a little over four years earlier. The New York Times review went so far as to call Single Lady, “the worst novel of the year” (Goff).

 

http://immortalephemera.com/54758/the-last-flight-1931/

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http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Singling%20out%20John%20Monk%20Saunders:%20Hemingway%27s%20thoughts%20on%20an%20imitator.-a0191011222

 

By the late 1920s and early 1930s, the literary scene was riddled with imitators of the infectious and seemingly effortless Hemingway style. These included John Monk Saunders, a Hollywood screenwriter and WWI veteran who published the novel Single Lady in 1931. His narrative imitates the characters, dialogue, and storyline of The Sun Also Rises, but fails to capture any of the novel's depth or dignity. The similarities between Saunders's novel and Hemingway's escaped neither critics nor Hemingway himself. The author of The Sun Also Rises wrote to his lawyer Maurice Speiser about Saunders when the film version of Single Lady prevented Hemingway from getting a good price for the movie rights to his own novel.

**********

WHEN JOHN MONK SAUNDERS PUBLISHED THE NOVEL Single Lady in 1931, literary critics regarded the writer as an inept imitator of Ernest Hemingway's style and dismissed the work as a second-rate homage to The Sun Also Rises. In an afterword to the 1976 Southern Illinois University Press edition of Single Lady--part of the "Lost American Fiction" series--screenwriter Stephen Longstreet ruminates on the significance of Saunders's novel to the "School of Hemingway":

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There's long been plagerism in literature and music.  Why should movies be any exception?

 

The old addage:  "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery "  was likely coined by an originator who got PAID.

 

Look to TV:

 

On one channel, you can watch "Criminal Minds"  all day, or on another, there's only the NEW episodes.

 

On another channel, you can catch NCIS

 

And on another:  LAW & ORDER

 

or, elsewhere:  LAW & ORDER SVU!

 

All the same kind of fare, only the locations and Law enforcement agencies represented are different.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I suppose the only way to find out for sure is to read them both.

 

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Singling%20out%20John%20Monk%20Saunders:%20Hemingway%27s%20thoughts%20on%20an%20imitator.-a0191011222

 

In the summer of 1931, when Hemingway discovered that Fox Film Corporation planned to make a bullfighting picture based on Saunders's novel but titled "The Sun Also Rises," he wrote immediately to his newly acquired lawyer, Maurice J. Speiser. Despite the title's origins in Ecclesiastes and the fact that titles cannot be copyrighted, Hemingway was enraged that the studio would steal a title he had made either "famous or notorious" and that Saunders and Fox would benefit from the title's association with him. Hemingway was also concerned that they would pilfer the story itself, changing it just enough to make plagiarism difficult to substantiate. He instructed Speiser to sell the movie rights to The Sun Also Rises as soon as possible, before his chances of doing so were ruined by a knock-off picture. Hemingway was confident about getting a good price for the rights, hypothesizing that they should be worth $50,000 as he had recently sold A Farewell to Arms for $80,000.

 

Hemingway's letter continues on about Saunders, explaining to Speiser that the Fox movie was drawn from the series that had appeared in Liberty magazine. Hemingway claimed that the stories "were, shall we say, inspired" by The Sun Also Rises and that the magazine's readers kept inquiring why editors had commissioned Saunders to rewrite Hemingway's novel. He asserted that the readers' letters were in Liberty's files (it is unclear how Hemingway knew this), and conceded, "Oh, well, what the hell. I read a little and would call it inspired--no more than that" (Hemingway to Speiser, 31 August 1931).

 

Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway about Saunders in October. There was some confusion over which agent--Leland Hayward or Ann Watkins--was handling the sale of movie rights to The Sun Also Rises. Perkins explained the situation with the agents and their trouble procuring an offer that was even half of what Hemingway thought the novel was worth:

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A bit off topic as this is about music, but here is a link to an article that describes the similarity between John Williams’ STAR WARS And Korngold’s KING’S ROW Scores:

http://www.filmbuffonline.com/FBOLNewsreel/wordpress/2013/10/28/cinematic-swipe-williams-star-wars-korngold-kings-row-scores/

 

Very good!! You are right!!

 

:)

 

And how many times have we heard something like this.........

 

Robin Hood:

 

 

 

And this:

 

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Fritz Lang's You Only Live Once and Raoul Walsh's High Sierra are contrasting crime films, Lang's of the society-made-me-a-murderer school and Walsh's dealing with an old time gangster living past his time.

 

However, they have endings that have strong similarities.

 

In High Sierra Bogart is killed by a sniper. When girlfriend Ida Lupino asks a reporter what it means for someone to have "crashed out" he responds by telling her that it means he's free. The film ends with a closeup of Lupino's smiling face as she says, "Free."

 

In You Only Live Once, filmed four years earlier, there are echoes of Bonnie and Clyde as Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney are on the run from police. After getting ambushed by a cop and shot up they escape into some woods. Fonda is then hit by a bullet again, this time fired by a long distance sniper. As he is dying Fonda imagines the voice of a priest telling him that he is free. The last image we have of Fonda is with a slight smile on his face at that thought.

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A bit off topic as this is about music, but here is a link to an article that describes the similarity between John Williams’ STAR WARS And Korngold’s KING’S ROW Scores:

http://www.filmbuffonline.com/FBOLNewsreel/wordpress/2013/10/28/cinematic-swipe-williams-star-wars-korngold-kings-row-scores/

And, only about ONE movie, I find a haunting and narcoleptic similarity in both the score to THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965) and Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings"  (1938)

 

By the way, while I have some of yours' attention----

 

I'm of a generation used to seeing "biblical Epic" movies on TV usually near some religiously significant holiday. (sorry, the italicize tab initiated itself!)  And although I'm NOT Catholic, but AM Polish, I know "Fat Tuesday" ISN'T a religiously significant holiday!  So,....WHY was "The Greatest Story Ever Told"  ON that night?

 

 

Sepiatone

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Fritz Lang's You Only Live Once and Raoul Walsh's High Sierra are contrasting crime films, Lang's of the society-made-me-a-murderer school and Walsh's dealing with an old time gangster living past his time.

 

However, they have endings that have strong similarities.

 

In High Sierra Bogart is killed by a sniper. When girlfriend Ida Lupino asks a reporter what it means for someone to have "crashed out" he responds by telling her that it means he's free. The film ends with a closeup of Lupino's smiling face as she says, "Free."

 

In You Only Live Once, filmed four years earlier, there are echoes of Bonnie and Clyde as Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney are on the run from police. After getting ambushed by a cop and shot up they escape into some woods. Fonda is then hit by a bullet again, this time fired by a long distance sniper. As he is dying Fonda imagines the voice of a priest telling him that he is free. The last image we have of Fonda is with a slight smile on his face at that thought.

...and I don't believe Fonda ever played a bad guy again until many years later, did he?

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