LOS ANGELES, DEC. 17 -- RKO Pictures has agreed to drop a lawsuit that attempted to block entertainment mogul Ted Turner from colorizing many of its classic black-and-white films, including "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," attorneys said today.
RKO attorney David Gerber said the agreement, signed in U.S. District Court earlier this month, clears the way for computerized color tinting of the films by Color Systems Technology Inc., a Marina del Rey company hired by Turner.
The settlement stems from the sale earlier this month of RKO Pictures to the newly formed Entertainment Acquisition Co., Gerber said. In that deal, the RKO Pictures library was sold to Turner, giving him control of the films, Gerber said.
Before the deal, Turner contended his purchase of the MGM-UA library gave him the right to colorize RKO's black-and-white films because they were included in the library, Gerber said. RKO disputed that claim.
In its suit, RKO had tried to stop colorization of the 10 films targeted first for color: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," 1939; "Allegheny Uprising," 1939; "Tall in the Saddle," 1944; "Back to Bataan," 1945; "Badman's Territory," 1946; "Return of the Badman," 1948; "Fort Apache," 1948; "Mighty Joe Young," 1949; "Every Girl Should be Married," 1949, and "Big Sky," 1952.