Show Business: A Rape in the Sun

The plaintiff in the California Superior Court in Los Angeles was Director George Stevens; the defendant, the National Broadcasting Co. The charge: "Rape of a creative effort." That's what Stevens had called it, anyhow. The "effort" was his memorable 1951 six-Oscar picture, A Place in the Sun. NBC bought the TV rights to the film from Paramount for $300,000, put it on nationwide TV last March, and Stevens protested that it was mutilated by the insertion of no fewer than 42 commercials.

Clearly, Stevens presented the court with a grand opportunity to strike a blow for helpless televiewers who get bombarded constantly...

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