LOS ANGELES (CN) – Movie director and choreographer Stanley Donen sued Paramount Pictures, Viacom and The Gap for $375,000, claiming they swiped a famous dance scene from the Audrey Hepburn movie “Funny Face” and are using it in TV commercials to sell women’s pants.
Donen, who directed or co-directed a host of classic pics, including “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Charade,” and “The Pajama Game,” as well as “Funny Face,” says he never conveyed to Paramount his interest in “Funny Face.”
In the scene at issue, “Audrey Hepburn does an original and highly unique dance in a Parisian Café,” the complaint states. Donen claims that “As the creator and author of the Dance Scene, plaintiff was and is the rightful owner of the copyright in that scene.”
He claims that without his permission, Paramount and Viacom in 2006 sold The Gap a license to make 30- and 60-second TV commercials based on the Café dance. Donen says The Gap paid $750,000 for the rights to the dance scene.
He says the store made the commercials and used the scene in print ads and posters. Donen wants one-half of the $750,000. He is represented in Federal Court by Bert Fields with Greenberg Glusker Fields.