Stallone brothers embroiled in 'Good Life' fight
August 19, 1997
Web posted at: 5:01 a.m. EDT (0901 GMT)
From Correspondent Ron Tank
HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- The movie is called "The Good Life," but
life has been anything but good for those involved in making
It's a tale that involves two famous brothers and disgruntled
brother and sister filmmakers Alan and Diane Mehrez.
Frank Stallone was the producer and is one of the stars of
the low-budget gangster film. The Mehrezes say they hired him
because he said he could get his older, more famous brother,
Sylvester, to appear for a minimal fee.
But when a promotional reel suggested that instead of a cameo
appearance, Sylvester Stallone was the star, the actor sued
the filmmakers for $20 million, his average salary for a film
The Mehrezes countersued both Sylvester and Frank Stallone
for $50 million, claiming -- among other things -- extortion,
death threats, threats of economic reprisal, fraud and breach
"The Stallone brothers have teamed up to destroy me, to
destroy my sister, to destroy our company," says Alan Mehrez.
Time is at issue
The Stallones deny any wrongdoing. Frank says what's at issue
is how long his brother was supposed to work.
"I think the most troubling thing is, it's all untrue," he
says. "They read the contracts. Obviously they read the
contracts, but the contracts said six to eight minutes. He
did more than six minutes. He stayed there for 12 hours (and)
Sylvester Stallone says the day after his cameo was done, the
Mehrezes fired the film's director and hired someone who was
"(They) basically just used the film in a way that it was not
the way it was discussed," Sylvester told CNN's "Larry King
That, Sylvester told King, is why he filed the lawsuit, which
led to the countersuit and lots of publicity for an otherwise
"Any lawsuit, especially in Hollywood, is posturing, is
looking for publicity," says film critic Frank Swertlow. "It
strikes me that this is a film that no one ever would have
heard of but for this lawsuit."
The public has now heard of "The Good Life" and is likely to
"I have the evidence, OK," says Pierce O'Donnell, the
Mehrezes' attorney. "This case is not going to go away
The Stallone brothers aren't going away either.
"This was a blatant, slanderous, cruel thing to do," Frank
says. "And it didn't have to be. It's a movie."
It's also "The Good Life," Hollywood style.