Spoiler:If you haven’t seen these two movies then my post is irrelevant and spoiling.
I had a good time last Friday night watching the movie “RV” . I was academically disturbed however by what may be a case of plagarism, which would be the first time it ever occured to me in film. I could easily be going overboard however so I’m asking what you think.
The final scene in The Italian Job as I remember it is a large long bus on a mountainside road teetering on its chassis and the movement of the occupants inside were critical to its positioning and the desired outcome to be relieved of this predicament. There is a scene in RV where a buslike recreation vehicle on a mountainside road teeters on its chassis and the movement of Robin Williams is critical to the desired outcome which frankly was the continuation of the movie.
I could mention also the trashing of cars on a mountain road which occurs in both movies also but I think I would be getting carried away.
If you’ve seen both these movies, would you agree that the movie RV plagarized a scene from the movie The Italian Job?
It’s not plagiarism to use an idea from another work of fiction, as long as you don’t take it word for word. As others pointed out, gags especially are constantly recycled.
In films, there’s also the issue of “hommages,” where you duplicate another well-known film in a different context. The most obvious of these was in Monster’s Inc., when they set a scene to be almost an exact duplicate to on in Chuck Jones’s “Feed the Kitty.” There are also some of the gags in Shrek. That’s a different issue, but no one considers it plagiarism (other than Tony Roberts*).
A teetering vehicle which requires its occupants to shift their weight to the safe side of he fulcrum is a staple of Hollywood “peril” devices. Didn’t Steven Spielberg use it in one of the Jurassic Park movies? Anyway, it’s not plagiarism, it’s just hackneyed…sort of like how the car never starts when the girl is trying to escape from the killer.
Charlie Chaplin did it in a house in “Gold Rush.” (At least I think it is Gold Rush. Been awhile since I’ve seen it.) As stated before. Teetering peril is so common that when I saw the trailers for “RV” I thought “How unoriginal that moment was and how the heck could someone as gifted as Robin WIlliams be stuck in such uninspired dreck.” (I know, I know, he sold out for the money.)