Gosford Park (2001)
The Accusation: Robert Altman's drama about shenanigans between aristocracy and servants during a weekend away in a country home drew plenty of plaudits, including a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Julian Fellowes, but isn't it basically an unacknowledged remake of Jean Renoir's classic La Regle Du Jeu ?
The Spark Of Originality: Where Renoir's film ends in a tragic accident, Altman and Fellowes place a murder at the centre in order to create a satirical whodunnit.
Star Wars (1977)
The Accusation: George Lucas didn't hide the fact he was stealing from WWII dogfight movies, Westerns, sci-fi serials and even Nazi propaganda pic The Triumph Of The Will . Even so, anybody who sees Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (about two peasants - the models for C-3PO and R2-D2 - who help to rescue a princess) will be struck by the parallels. Even the word Jedi is derived from the samurai genre, known to the Japanese as jidai-geki.
The Spark Of Originality: If we need to tell you that, you're probably reading the wrong website.
Toy Story (1995)
The Accusation: Toys that can come alive? The boss toy fearing the arrival of a rival? The incoming space toy deluded into believing that they're a real person? Isn't that the plot of the Jim Henson-produced TV special The Christmas Toy ?
The Spark Of Originality: The existential trauma of obsolescence, so moving it defined Toy Story 's equally brilliant sequels.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The Accusation: Strip away the disco gear, and doesn't John Badham's story of a Catholic kid in New York who yearns from escape from his trouble-causing pals look an awful lot like Scorsese's Mean Streets ?
The Spark Of Originality: Mean Streets has one of cinema's greatest rock and roll soundtracks, but it doesn't define an era in quite the same way as the Bee Gees do here.
The Accusation: When Nicolas Winding Refn's film was released last year, many critics did a double-take, as Walter Hill's 1978 car-chase movie The Driver had already done the 'getaway specialist known only as The Driver' premise. Still, Hill can't complain - his own film was a thinly veiled reprise of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai .
The Spark Of Originality: The fact that Ryan Gosling's Driver is a Hollywood stuntman by day gives Refn's film an extra layer of meta-fictional satire.
Stardust Memories (1980)
The Accusation: Woody Allen paid homage to two of his heroes - Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini - in a film that marries the audience-presentation premise of Bergman's Wild Strawberries with the visual style of Fellini's 8½ .
The Spark Of Originality: The scope for Allen to turn his sense of humour inwards. This was the film that began the gag about Woody's "earlier, funnier movies."
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Accusation: So many hipsters were falling over themselves to note similarities with Chow Yun-fat's jewel heist thriller City On Fire that they nearly missed that the colour-coded character names were nabbed from The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three .
The Spark Of Originality: The era-defining decision to populate the dialogue with long, ragged pop-culture riffs about Madonna and tipping waitresses, although to be fair they are probably transcripts of conversations Tarantino had in real-life.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The Accusation: " E.T. would not have been possible without my script of The Alien being available throughout the United States in mimeographed copies," reckoned Indian auteur Satyajit Ray of his unfilmed tale of a Bengali boy befriending an extra-terrestrial.
The Spark Of Originality: The semi-autobiographical details of a fatherless child in suburbia who finds escape via other worlds, which makes E.T. the central film in Spielberg's career.
Black Swan (2010)
The Accusation: Many critics noted the similarity of the plot to Satoshi Kon's anime thriller, Perfect Blue , about a performer whose psyche fragments as she embarks on her biggest project. Intriguingly, Darren Aronofsky owned the remake rights because he'd adapted a scene from Perfect Blue in Requiem For A Dream , although he shrugged off comparisons here.
The Spark Of Originality: Natalie Portman's literal transformation into the swan is weirder than anything in the Japanese film.
The Matrix (1999)
The Accusation: Take your pick. The Wachowskis have been accused of ripping off comic book adventure The Invisibles (whose mentor looks just like Laurence Fishburne's Morpheus), anime sci-fi thriller Ghost In The Shell (the visuals and themes) and even a Doctor Who adventure where The Doctor does battle in a computer called the Matrix.
The Spark Of Originality: Not even bullet time was 'new' but it was this film's use of the technology that properly introduced it into the grammar of Hollywood filmmaking.