MGM today prevailed in a protracted dispute over underlying rights to Raging Bull involving the daughter of the writer of an early screenplay based on the life of fighter Jake LaMotta. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the earlier District Court ruling that Paula Petrella, daughter and heir of Frank Petrella (under screen credit Peter Savage) who died in 1981, had waited too long to dispute ownership. Frank Petrella wrote a 1963 screenplay based on LaMotta’s life, some of which the 1980 Martin Scorsese film was based on. The District Court had issued summary judgment against Paula Petrella in favor of MGM and other defendants including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The lower court also denied MGM and other defendants’ motions for sanctions and attorney fees. The appeals court today affirmed both those decisions in a ruling that you can read here.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.