According to a report in the Toronto Star newspaper, Vizinczey sold the rights to his 1965 novel to Lantos' original production company RSL Productions for C$42,500. The contract, written by Vizinczey, stipulated he would receive six per cent of the film's gross revenues less deductions.
Vizinczey said he was told the film, which was directed by George Kaczender and follows the sexual exploits of a young man (Tom Berenger) in post-WWII Hungary through to his subsequent emigration to Canada, did not make money. Although RSL was dissolved in 1993, Lantos continued to own the rights.
In 2004, Lantos' then-distribution company THINKFilm released In Praise on DVD. One of the DVD's features includes an interview with Lantos who describes the film as a success story and says it grossed approximately C$20m worldwide.
Indeed, the film is something of an institution in the lore of Canadian cinema, one of the few productions of the so-called tax shelter era to survive the test of time. 'My own dentist invested in the production,' says Lantos at one point in the featurette.
Vizinczey, who is 73 and lives in London, said he is not claiming Lantos owes him money but rather that he is entitled to see the related financial documents and hence the deductions.
It's not the only time Vizinczey sold the rights to the novel. In 1996, Spanish production house Lola Films shot a Spanish-language feature En brazos de la mujer madura, starring Faye Dunaway.