RE: RARA-AVIS: a question

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 14 Nov 2000

I have a problem too with assuming that something was borrowed or stolen because of similarities in the story as well when that's the only evidence. A friend of my wrote a spec script once for Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and was accepted as a potential screenwriter for the show. Her script wasn't accepted though because they were already wrapping up an episode with pretty much the same story. Now I haven't seen the Japanese film in question, however, I have seen "A Fist Full of Dollars," "Last Man Standing," and have read "Red Harvest" ... if the only thing that's tying them all together is the fact that there are similarities in the story/plot and that the fact that one predates the other ... well, that ain't enough to hang OJ.

I've tossed three stories that I was working on into the drawer because Hollywood or another author published the same or a very similar story before I could ... although I still think one was actually stolen while we were both on DorothyL. So it is by no means outside the realm of possibility that none of those involved were actually aware of the other's work. Without any confirmation on the author's part, I'd say probably so.

Hell, we live on a planet whose cultures all share very similar mythical stories ... the flood myth nearly covers the globe with the various peoples who have a flood story as do dragons and other mythical concepts.

That's not to say that people haven't stolen other people's stories, but you need more evidence than similarity. As the cliché §oes: everything's already been written.

Anthony Dauer

Hard-boiled Noir
-----Original Message----- From: Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 1:25 AM
Greetings to DC's Finest (missed you at the door), but having said that I have to express my usual scepticism on the Kurosawa borrowing idea. We argued this at length once upon a time, and I'm just old enough to have forgotten all the excellent points I undoubtedly made (?)...but I don't remember that anyone came up with a hard link; the evidence was circumstantial. As someone mentioned recently, Kurosawa doesn't acknowledge the debt.
Probably we need someone who knows all those Jacobean blood revenge plays (with bodies galore) to find the real origins of the plot in question.
I agree that Miller's Crossing feels like Red Harvest, more than Kurosawa's or Leone's films do. Feels like it in the great scenes, urban setting, within a plot that is episodic, a series of actions that start and stop, sometimes a bit separated at the seams. On the other hand, both Kurosawa and Leone have a fairly unified plot, rising to an expected, ultimate face-off.
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