Following on from yesterday's (12th December UK) news that the Weinsteins are suing Warner Bros. over The Hobbit on the grounds that expanding it into a trilogy means a loss of earnings, I'd like you to look at other times court disputes overshadowed famous films. Hollywood is a legal merry go round with lots of litigious happenings every year. It is a surprise that any films get made at all. The problem is that Hollywood is a big business enterprise, and where there is a lot of money - there are invariably a lot of greedy people wanting to hop on the financial bandwagon. There are, of course, legitimate complaints mixed into the piggy backing. There was the human tragedy of the Twilight Zone movie in which the director was charged with being negligent and thereby causing the deaths of three people. Court cases of that magnitude make things like the recent Weinstein lawsuit against Warner Bros over the royalties of the Hobbit films look petty and greedy.
9. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987)Okay, so it isn't a big Hollywood Movie, but the story behind the film is fascinating. It is a biopic of Karen Carpenter from her discovery to her death by cardiac arrest (secondary to anorexia). It is rendered by director Todd Haynes with a cast of modified Barbie Dolls. A cult classic, you can watch it on Youtube, however it got into considerable legal trouble with Karen's music collaborator and brother - Richard Carpenter who was incensed with the film which insinuated he was gay. There was also a large case against Haynes from Carpenter, as he had used their music freely throughout the film without licensing. Carpenter won his case and Haynes paid out a hefty sum to him. As a result, all copies and prints of the film were seized and destroyed, but as I said, if you are curious, head on over to Youtube and have a gander.