NASHVILLE (CN) – Sam Moore, “The Legendary Soul Man,” sued The Weinstein Co. and MGM Studios for trademark infringement, privacy invasion and unfair competition, saying the studios made an offensive movie allegedly based on his life, called “Soul Men.” Moore and the late Dave Prater – Sam & Dave – sang the immortal ditties, “Soul Man,” “Hold On, I’m Comin'” and others.
Moore sued The Weinstein Company dba Dimension Films, MGM Studios, Genius Products, Concord Music Group, Harvey Weinstein, and Bob Weinstein.
The federal complaint states: “In early 2008, Sam Moore learned from a press release that TWC and the Weinsteins were producing a new film entitled ‘Soul Men’ about a lack duo from the 1960s that broke apart and was reunited after a long separation to perform a tribute at the famed Apollo Theater. The movie’s title, theme, characters and music (the Memphis sound which became synonymous with Stax Records) immediately raised suspicions that the lead characters of the movie were being passed off as ‘Sam and Dave.'”
He claims the movie contains “many references to Sam Moore.” He claims that the “shooting script,” which Moore apparently obtained, includes the direction: “(O)ver the opening credits ‘The infectious, foot tapping sounds of ‘Sam & Dave’ rendition of ‘Sweet Soul Music’ plays over the credits. While that song plays, the script then provides for vintage footage to place the movie’s lead characters, the singing duo The Real Deal, into their era – the 1960s and 1970s.”
Sam & Dave were a hit act from 1961 to 1971. The complaint cites numerous other parts of the shooting script to substantiate the claim that the film is based on Sam & Dave. Moore claims that the movie and ads for it have been “highly damaging to Sam Moore, because among other things, the movie is filled with incessant, gratuitous and offensive language; the movie contains unnecessary, inappropriate and vulgar sexual content; the lead character identified with Sam Moore engages in the criminal use of a handgun; the lead characters’ musical performances, most particularly Sam & Dave song, ‘Hold On I’m Comin’,’ are so poor as to make a mockery of Sam Moore’s talent; and the characters engage in the use of constant, repeated and despicable racial slurs and epithets.”
Moore alleges conspiracy, trademark violation and dilution, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, deceptive competition, unfair publicity and privacy invasion. He wants all copies of the movie and all products associated with it recalled, plus punitive damages and disclaimers.
Moore is represented by Steven Zralek with Bone McAllester & Norton.