'The Butler' sparks movie title feud

Forest Whitaker stars in "The Butler."

Forest Whitaker stars in "The Butler." (Credit: The Weinstein Company)

'The Butler" is serving up a reheated title.

The Weinstein Co. drama about Cecil Gaines, head butler at the White House from 1952 to 1986, bears the same name as an obscure 1916 short owned by Warner Bros. The studio claims Weinstein is infringing on its rights, while Weinstein says the matter is tied to giving Warner Bros. the rights to "The Hobbit." ("The Butler" is set to open Aug. 16.)

This isn't the first case of two movies having the same title and different stories. Here are others:

HIGH SOCIETY The 1956 Bing Crosby-Grace Kelly songfest had the same title as a 1955 Bowery Boys comedy. Talk about controversy: The latter's screenplay was mistakenly nominated for an Oscar instead of the musical. The writers declined the nod.

MEN IN BLACK Did this 1997 popcorn flick about agents vs. aliens get its title from a 1934 Three Stooges short with Moe, Larry and Curly as doctors? Soitenly.

NOTORIOUS We dare you to find any connection between this 2009 bio of rapper Notorious B.I.G. and Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 suspenser with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

MORNING GLORY This fluffy 2010 comedy about an A.M. news show bears no resemblance to a 1933 drama starring Katharine Hepburn as an aspiring actress in love with the theatah.

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