Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” illegally replicated Hitler’s globe


Tom Cruise has gotten himself into all sorts of trouble over “Valkyrie.” First, there’s the fact that it sucks, according to nearly every review that’s been written. With the exception of a few where the reviewer was probably drunk and/or bribed. So really, we don’t need a second. But just to add another log to the fire, it turns out that one of Hitler’s globes – which is central to the movie – was replicated for the film. Illegally. The globe’s owner had its image copyrighted when he purchased it. A technicality that Cruise’s United Artists chose to completely ignore.

TOM Cruise, who fights the Nazis in “Valkyrie,” might now have to battle a San Francisco advertising executive who says the couch-jumping star used a replica of one of Adolf Hitler’s prized possessions in the movie without permission. Robert Pritikin – who penned such jingles as “Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat” and has a $40 million art collection – owns several Hitler artifacts, including the Fuehrer’s notorious globe, which he used to plan U-boat attacks from his compound in the Bavarian Alps.

The globe was replicated and prominently featured in “Valkyrie,” the thriller about a real-life plot to assassinate Hitler – and that has Pritikin mulling legal action. In 2007, Pritikin paid $100,000 for the globe and had its likeness copyrighted to keep it from being used in propaganda by sick neo-Nazi groups. So he was stunned to see it in the movie from Cruise’s United Artists studios.

Pritikin recently put the Hitler items up for sale through businessman Peter Marino and hopes Cruise may buy them. “I think it would be a wonderful gesture of good will on Tom Cruise’s part to purchase the globe along with all of the other Hitler artifacts owned by Mr. Pritikin and donate them to the Wiesenthal Center,” [investigator Paul] Barresi said. Added [investigator Dan] Hanks: “It would be a hell of a way for Tom Cruise to save the day for United Artists and be a real-life hero.”

[From Page Six]

Both of the investigators that were retained to look into the copyright issue said it was very possible United Artists didn’t know the globe’s image was copyrighted. But isn’t that one of the things legal departments are for? A lot of research supposedly went into this film, and that seems like a big oversight.

While I never side with Tom Cruise on much of anything – and I agree that it would be gracious of Tom to offer to buy the globe – it seems to me like Pritikin is trying to pressure him into it by having the story put in Page Six. He’d just put the items up for sale – how wonderful to have such a quick buyer! But it probably would be the quickest and easiest way out, and would avoid additional bad publicity for a bad film.

Here are Tom and Katie out and about in Manhattan yesterday. Images thanks to WENN and Fame.

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24 Responses to “Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” illegally replicated Hitler’s globe”

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  1. Codzilla says:

    I saw the movie last weekend and thought it was really good. And I wasn’t drunk OR bribed.

  2. MomInNH says:

    Saw it with a group of friends. 5 of us hated it, 2 of us liked it.

  3. your hiness. you cannot replicate a fact of history. either this fact is a fact of history, or it is the intellectual property made up from someone’s imagination?

  4. vdantev says:

    I can’t wait for school to start tomorrow, then we can have our blog back.

    If you own an artifact, you own it. Period. He can make whatever claims he likes on the object.

  5. Air America says:

    Fact be known, the name “Valkyrie” is probably trademarked as well. The Honda motorcycle comes to mind and perhaps even going back to Richard Wagner who used the mythological creatures in his “Ring.” I’d put my money on the studio facing costly legal losses.

  6. Iz says:

    I agree with Codzilla, I wasn’t drunk or bribed, and I really liked it. The lady beside me may have been drunk though.

  7. Susan says:

    Just wondering why this is Tom’s problem. The producers of the movie are the ones with the problem not Tom. He was simply an actor. The globe was public knowledge and can be used any where. This guy is just trying to make a quick buck and get some attention. pretty sad how people use people with fame to get attention and money. Tom doesn’t need to do anything. and by the way his movie is at 58 on Rotten Tomatoes that is pretty good considering some production companies have put movies in for the oscar campaign that are only at 595.

  8. daisy424 says:

    Why doesn’t Mr. Pritikin donate the artifacts to the Wiesenthal Center himself? A $40 Million art collection, sounds like he can afford the donation. Instead Pritikin is laying it at UA’s doorstep, reeks of blackmail to me.

  9. yourself says:

    I don’t see a problem either, can one copy right historical stuff?

    I saw Valkyrie, liked it quite a lot and I was very sobber. Why are you calling it a bad movie? My boyfriend wants me to go back and see it with him, but I want to see Marley and Me. So I guess we will have to enter different rooms. He refuses to see M&M, thinks it is girly. Maybe I may have to see Valkyrie again and see MM with my sister later. She wants to see it but hasn’t yet.

  10. Dubdub2000 says:

    Seeing that the Wisenthal center has reportedly lost pretty much everything thanks to Madoff, I’m sure it would be very much appreciated if Mr. Rice a roni there would hold a little art auction on their behalf.

    I’m not one to defend the cruister but come on! This is ridiculous, sue UA and TC if you want but don’t be all self righteous about it from the top of your 40 million + dollar fortune!! The nerve!

  11. pends says:

    It was not a bad movie. It was actually a really interesting story.

    And I agree that this is not Tom’s problem. While I think he’s nuts, I don’t think any other actor would be blamed if the same thing happened in his movie. That’s not really fair.

  12. Joolzz says:

    My husband is a history buff and has issues with the whole thing…. me I dont know much about it. But I would rather go see Marley and Me too. :)

  13. elisha says:

    That is sooo petty. What’s next? The Empire State Building? The uniforms worn during the Civil War? This is something a historical figure used (apparently) on a regular basis. It’s part of history. They obviously didn’t use the globe itself, it was a replica. This globe owner is a pathetic creep.

    I am getting SO FRUSTRATED with how litigous this world is becoming. Pathetic! If this crap keeps up, we’re going to start seeing movies become less and less historically accurate just to appease the money hungry lawyers.

    So, I’m going to go copyright the image of the twin towers right now. That way, I can profit from any movie they make on 9/11 in the future. Or it’ll force the movie makers to change the story, they can say the planes crashed into the Statue of Liberty. Or they can change the coast and make it the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t care… as long as I make some money!!!!!!

  14. Jenna says:

    I just bought the Statue of Liberty. I’m going to sue everyone who put it in their movie. Didn’t they know who owned it!?

  15. Spike says:

    Hmmm, I hate to burst your bubbles, but since TC is one of the owners of UA it IS his problem. He’s an executive for this project. Sounds like a dumb error. With all the folks that worked on this, as well as the Interweb and Google no one took 5 minutes to research this. Shame on them.

  16. vdantev says:

    Everyone welcome our newest Clam, Matt !!

  17. Seth says:

    1. This controversy is good news for Valkyrie it will get the public interested in the movie and about seeing that famous/infamous globe.
    2. The copyright owner will have to prove it was the main reason for the money earned and not an incidental prop.
    3. This hate Tom Cruise has become an illness for some people. advice to hate-tom-cruisers – Seek help

  18. breederina says:

    @dante: and his little friend Seth. Howdy fella’s !

  19. KDRockstar says:

    vdantev might have made me pee a little.

  20. Miranda says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of in a long time. Unless the owner of the globe actually designed the globe himself, it is not his intellectual property and he can not copywright and can not sue for copywright infringement.
    People should really try to find a lawyer who actually passed the bar before they declare that they are going to sue.

  21. Shannon says:

    Hmmm…I don’t think this guy has a leg to stand on and it sounds as though he’s just trying to get Cruise to buy the collection. My question is this. How does he know the globe used in the movie is an exact replica? Also, how could he tell just from watching the movie? I would think he’d have to have the item in his hand as a comparison with the true globe to tell if it’s an exact copy. Also, the globe was used a central piece of the movie, but it’s a prop. The reasonable viewer wouldn’t assume it was the real one.

    I think this is very groundless and pointless use of the legal system. I hope the judge throws this out immediately.

  22. dr.grrl says:

    hey matt….

    why are you trolling on a gossip site if you want to slam the writer of the article?! why waste your “precious” time in your interesting life?!

    in the great words of ren & stimpy..