MUMBAI: The Legendary Soul Man, Sam Moore, surviving half of the 60’s greatest R&B and soul duo of all time, Sam & Dave, his wife Joyce and the SJM Trust have filed suit in federal court in Nashville, TN, against the producers of the 2008 movie Soul Men.
Named in the suit are Harvey and Bob Weinstein and their production and video distribution companies The Weinstein Company, Dimension Films and Genius Products, as well as the film’s distributor, MGM Studios, and Concord Record Group.
The lawsuit recounts Moore’s extraordinary entertaining and performance history and establishes how the Defendants’ film infringes settled rights. The eight count complaint alleges violations of Moore’s rights of publicity and trademark, as well as unfair competition and false light, unfair and deceptive practices, and conspiracy. The Moores and their Trust have requested a jury trial.
According to the complaint, the movie Soul Men, misappropriates the history, trade names and marks belonging to Moore and the Plaintiffs. According to music history, Sam & Dave’s 1967 Grammy-winning hit Soul Man led to duo’s renown as the Soul Men and Moore’s identity as The Legendary Soul Man.
The suit is based on claims that the film unfairly capitalizes on that fame and renders the glorious legacy created by Moore and the duo in tatters.
After numerous requests and attempts to the Weinstein’s through their staff and their legal counsel prior to the theatrical release of the feature to make things right, Moore, marked the release of the Blu-Ray and DVD, distributed by Weinstein owned Genius Products, LLC., with the litigation.
Moore said, "There are just too many problems with this shameful film — too many similarities to my career and events in my life, too many references to significant cultural moments and people in our country’s musical history, too many racial slurs and obscenities, too many degrading and demeaning scenes."
Tom Wood of NashvillePost.com, in reporting about the litigation did his own research and reported that when the movie came out, plenty of viewers made the connection between the Real Deal and Sam & Dave.
Film review Web site Movie City News, for instance, remarked that "Soul Men" was "clearly written with the great Sam & Dave in mind." A Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: "The alleged laugh fest ‘Soul Men’ is clearly inspired by the famously warring ’60s Stax act Sam & Dave – except Sam & Dave could sing." An online search reveals that more than 60 reviews of the film include the name "Sam & Dave."
Representing Moore and the Plaintiffs are Arnold Lutzker of Lutzker & Lutzker LLP Washington D.C. and Stephen Zralek of Bone McAllester & Norton PLLC, Nashville TN.