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Encyclopedia > Motion Picture Association of America film rating system

The Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system is used in the U.S and its territories to rate a film's thematic and content suitability for certain audiences. It is one of various motion picture rating systems used to help patrons decide what movies are appropriate for children, for adolescents, and for adults. MPAA redirects here. ... Political divisions of the United States as they were from 1868 to 1876, including 9 organized territories and 2 unorganized territories Territories of the United States are one type of political division of the United States, administered by the U.S. government but not any part of a U.S... A motion picture rating system categorizes films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. ...


In the U.S., the MPAA's rating system is the most recognized classification system for determining potentially offensive content, but usually is not used outside the film industry, because the MPAA has trademarked each rating. Its system is criticised for the secrecy of its decisions,[1] and for censorship being stricter for sexual than for violent content.

Contents

Ratings

The current MPAA movie ratings are:

Rating Symbol
Text
G - General Audiences
All ages admitted.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested
Some material may be inappropriate for younger children.
PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 years old.
R - Restricted
People under 17 are not admitted without parental guidance.
NC-17 - No Children Under 17 Admitted
Nobody under 17 is admitted.

If a film is not submitted for rating, the label NR (Not Rated) is used; however, "NR" is not an official MPAA classification. Films as yet unrated by the MPAA, but that are expected to be submitted for rating, are often advertised with the notice "This Film is Not Yet Rated" or, less frequently, "Rating Pending." Image File history File links RATED_G.svg‎ Although this image is subject to copyright, I, Vargklo (talk Â· contribs), feel that its use in Motion Picture Association of America film rating system and articles mentioning the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system is covered by the U.S. fair... Image File history File links RATED_PG.svg‎ Although this image is subject to copyright, I, Vargklo (talk Â· contribs), feel that its use in Motion Picture Association of America film rating system and articles mentioning the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system is covered by the U.S. fair... Image File history File links RATED_PG-13. ... Image File history File links RATED_R.svg‎ Although this image is subject to copyright, I, Vargklo (talk Â· contribs), feel that its use in Motion Picture Association of America film rating system and articles mentioning the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system is covered by the U.S. fair...


History

Origins

The United States began rating its movies rather late, as most all other countries already had been rating their cinema for decades[citation needed]. The MPAA's film-ratings were instituted on 1 November 1968, in response to religiously-motivated complaints about the sexual, violent, profane, and impudent content of American cinema, after the MPAA's 1966 revision of the Production Code of America. The revision created the "SMA" (Suggested for Mature Audiences) advisory, identifying violent movies and movies with mature themes, along with the MPAA Code seal. (see Green Sheet about an internal precursor to the ratings system). is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Production Code (also known as the Hays Code) was a set of industry guidelines governing the production of American motion pictures. ... Before the formal application of film ratings by the MPAA CARA, the Green Sheet provided recommendations about age-suitability for major motion pictures in theatrical release. ...


The cultural erosion of the film production code had several effects: it allowed violently artistic films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), and an increase in low-budget exploitation films that were more sexually and violently explicit. In 1966, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? used the phrase "hump the hostess". In 1967, two movies — Ulysses and I'll Never Forget What's'isname — used the word fuck in their dialog. This precipitated public demand for the reintroduction of self-censorship. After meeting with government, the MPAA and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) agreed to a uniform ratings system for every film produced by its members that, theoretically, would be enforced by exhibitors. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 â€“ April 29, 1980) was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ... Psycho is a 1960 suspense/horror film directed by auteur Alfred Hitchcock from the screenplay by Joseph Stefano about a psychotic killer. ... The year 1960 in film involved some significant events. ... Grindhouse redirects here. ... Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 film adaptation of the play of the same name by Edward Albee. ... The year 1967 in film involved some significant events. ... Ulysses is a film shot in 1967 and based on James Joyces novel Ulysses. ... Ill Never Forget Whats Isname (also released as Ill Never Forget Whatsisname) is a 1967 British film directed and produced by Michael Winner. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. ...


Non-MPAA member film producers went unaffected; the ratings system was legally unenforceable because of the free speech guarantee, inherent to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as interpreted regarding the sexual, violent, profanity, and impudence content in communications media dating from the 1952 Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson decision. However, two important 1968 Supreme Court cases, Ginsberg v. New York[2] and Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. Dallas,[3] led to the MPAA's creation of its movie rating system. First Amendment may refer to the: First Amendment to the United States Constitution First Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland Categories: ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. ...


Original ratings

The original movie ratings (used 1968–1970) were:

  • Rated G: General Audiences. All ages admitted.
  • Rated M: Suggested for Mature Audiences. Parental discretion advised.
  • Rated R: Restricted. People under 17 are not admitted unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian.
  • Rated X: People under 18 are not admitted.

This content classification system originally was to have three ratings, ending with the Restricted rating (like the system then used in most of Canada), however, business pressure from cinema owners forced the MPAA's creation of an exclusively adult "X" film rating to protect them from local church-instigated complaints and lawsuits. Initially, the "X" rating was not an MPAA trademark: any producer not submitting a movie for MPAA rating could self-apply the "X" rating (or any other symbol or description that was not an MPAA trademark).


The M rating is replaced

Parents were confused whether or not M-rated films had more mature content than R-rated films. This was especially true in the pre-rating years 1965–1968 when the earlier, ambiguous "Suggested for Mature Audiences" advisory allowed explicit violence and adult subjects in a movie. Their confusion led to its replacement, in January 1970,[4] by the GP rating: // Events February 11 - The film The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr premieres in New York City. ...

  • Rated GP: All Ages Admitted/Parental Guidance Suggested

In the GP-rating, the "G" meant the film was not age-restricted (like the G rating, "All Ages Admitted"), while the "P" told audiences that, despite no age restriction, parental discretion was expected, however, many misunderstood GP-rated as an abbreviation for "General Patronage". The change from "M" to "GP" took effect on March 1, 1970;[5] again, "GP" confusion caused its revision to the "PG" rating, an abbreviation for Parental Guidance. is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Age problems with the R and X ratings

Simultaneously, in 1970, as the M rating changed to GP, the ages of viewers admitted to R- and X-rated movies was raised from 15 to 16 [4][5] however, the age on the X rating varied per the jurisdiction, until the MPAA officially changed it to the NC-17 rating. Some newspaper advertisements clearly altered ages for R- and X-rated films to 18 years of age instead of 17.


The GP rating is replaced

By 1972, problems with the GP rating emerged; parents perceived it as too permissive, unindicative of a film's true content. In 1971, the MPAA had experimented with including a content advisory warning to GP-rated movies, the wording varied, but typically read: Contains material not generally suitable for pre-teenagers; thus, it was an early form of the PG-13 rating; the warning was indicated with an asterisk next to the GP letters. This short-lived rating can be called GP*, however, the number of such films quickly outnumbered GP films (sans the warning) and the MPAA, in February 1972 (standardising rating symbols used in movie advertising), announced that both the GP and the GP* ratings would be replaced with the new PG rating;[6] it was used through the 1970s.


Originally, the rating, and its content advisory warning, read:

  • Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested — Some material may not be suitable for pre-teenagers.

Today, the rating, and its warning, read:

  • Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested — Some material may not be suitable for children.

By then, the rating box contained the rating in boldface, the MPAA logo, and the content advisory warning. From the adoption of the system through the mid-1970s, mildly adult mainstream cinema — Airport, Planet of the Apes, The Green Berets, The Odd Couple, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and 2001: A Space Odyssey — commonly were released with G ratings, but, by 1978 (given substitution of "children" in place of "pre-teenagers" in the PG rating), the G rating became over-associated with children's films, while the PG rating became the norm for "family" films. Most G-rated films from the system's early years are today perceived as having PG and PG-13 content, hence, G-rated movies from the 1960s and 1970s have often been re-rated PG in later years. This article is about the 1968 film. ... The Green Berets is the title of a 1968 film starring John Wayne and featuring George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton, and Aldo Ray. ... The Odd Couple is a 1968 film written by Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name, and directed by Gene Saks. ... For the Melvinss album, see Tora Tora Tora (album) Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American-Japanese film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that unintentionally improved its effectiveness. ...


In retrospect, some ratings are culturally odd, though it must be remembered that the rating standards then were more liberal; violence, sexually suggestive speech and action, naked men, and mild cursing were acceptable in the lower ratings, while sexual intercourse (either implicit or explicit) and naked women were not. A movie's rating depended on the personal mores and opinion of the individual censors. For example, the G-rated Battle of Britain (1967) had mild British cursing and explicit killings of RAF and Luftwaffe aircrew. True Grit was G-rated after being edited-down in tone; however, it still contained American cursing and strong cowboy violence. Larry Cohen's cult horror film It's Alive (1974), about a killer mutant infant, re-released in 1977, was rated PG despite being bloody per the socio-cultural mores of its time. Its two sequels, It Lives Again (1978) and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987) (released direct-to-video), were rated R. Nevertheless, Finland banned all three films per its film rating system. Battle of Britain is a 1969 film directed by Guy Hamilton, and produced by Harry Saltzman and S Benjamin Fisz. ... True Grit by Charles Portis first appeared as a 1968 short story in The Saturday Evening Post. ... The Larry Cohen Collection Larry Cohen (born 15 July 1941, Kingston, New York, USA) is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. ... Its Alive was a 1974 horror film written and directed by Larry Cohen. ... A film that is released direct-to-video (also straight-to-video) is one which has been released to the public on home video formats first rather than first being released in movie theaters. ...


Moreover, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) was rated R instead of M (despite its violence being like that of a contemporary James Bond film of the 1960s), because of a chess-game-as-sexual-foreplay between the protagonist and antagonist. In 1975, the phrase May Be Too Intense For Younger Children was the rather unusually-worded PG rating featured in the television adverts for Jaws (1975). The Thomas Crown Affair is a 1968 movie starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. ... Jaws is a 1975 thriller/horror film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter Benchleys best-selling novel inspired by the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. ...


In the late 1970s, the PG ratings were reworded, the word pre-teenagers replaced with children. An analysis of the proportion of films rated G and PG at that time (corresponding with a cultural shift to stricter rating standards) shows that fewer G ratings were issued, while more family films were rated PG with the less restrictive "children" label. By the early 1980s, the phrase "pre-teenagers" was almost unused, and, in 1984, the PG-13 rating (see below) was established, restoring the clear distinction (see GP and GP* above) between films of lighter and heavier content. The Motion Picture Association of Americas film-rating system is used in the U.S and its territories to rate a films thematic and content suitability for certain audiences. ... The Motion Picture Association of Americas film-rating system is used in the U.S and its territories to rate a films thematic and content suitability for certain audiences. ...


By the end of the 1970s, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) ended mainstream (heavily-marketed, live-action) big studio films rated G (though the director's cut is PG, for strong science fiction violence and mild cursing; the original G rating is questionable, as it features on-screen killings and mature thematic elements). Since then, such movies would be released minimally rated PG. That transition was when live-action Disney movies, such as The Black Hole, The Watcher in the Woods, and The Devil and Max Devlin routinely were rated PG. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Paramount Pictures, 1979; see also 1979 in film) is the first feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series and is released on Friday, December 7. ... The Black Hole is a 1979 science fiction movie directed for Walt Disney Productions by Gary Nelson. ... The Watcher in the Woods is a 1980 film best known as an atypical live action Disney movie that has become a cult classic. ... The Devil And Max Devlin is a motion picture from Walt Disney studios released in early 1981 starring Elliott Gould and Bill Cosby. ...


The addition of the PG-13 rating

Before July 1, 1984, there was a minor trend of cinema straddling the PG and R ratings (per MPAA records of appeals to its decisions in the early 1980s), suggesting a needed middle ground. Disney's PG-rated Dragonslayer (1981) alarmed parents with explicit fantasy violence and blood-letting. In summer of 1982, Poltergeist (1982) was re-rated PG on appeal, although originally rated R for strong supernatural violence and marijuana-smoking parents. is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Dragonslayer is a 1981 live action fantasy movie set in medieval Britain. ... Poltergeist is the first and most successful Poltergeist film, released on June 4, 1982 and nominated for three Oscars. ...


Because of such successful appeals, based upon artistic intent, many mild, mainstream movies were rated PG instead of R because of only some thematically necessary strong cursing, e.g. Tootsie, Terms of Endearment, Sixteen Candles, and Footloose. These censorship reversals were consequence, in large measure, of the 1970s precedent established by All the President's Men.[7] Had these movies been released after 1984, they likely would have been rated PG-13 because of their content. George Fields and Dorothy Michaels at the Russian Tea Room Tootsie is a 1982 comedy film that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult makes it hard for him to find work. ... For the Drawn Together episode, see Terms of Endearment (Drawn Together episode). ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... Footloose is a 1984 movie that tells the story of Ren McCormick (played by Kevin Bacon), a teenager who was raised in Chicago. ... This article is about the 1976 film. ...


In 1984, explicit violence in the PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins were "the straws that broke the parents' backs". Their complaints led Hollywood figure Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom, to suggest a new rating, PG-14, to MPAA president Jack Valenti. Instead, on conferring with cinema owners, Mr Valenti and the MPAA on July 1, 1984, introduced the PG-13 rating, allowing in children under 13 years of age without a parent or an adult guardian, but warning parents about potentially shocking violence, cursing, and mature subject matter that may be inappropriate for children under 13; though weaker than an R rating, PG-13 is the strongest unrestricted rating. The first widely-distributed PG-13 movie was Red Dawn (1984), followed by Dreamscape (1984), and The Flamingo Kid (1984), although The Flamingo Kid was the first film so rated by the board. [8][9] This article is about the film. ... For other uses, see Gremlin (disambiguation). ... Steven Allan Spielberg KBE (born December 18, 1946)[1] is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. ... Jack Joseph Valenti (September 5, 1921 – April 26, 2007) was an influential corpse and a long-time president of the Motion Picture Association of America. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... For other uses, see Red dawn (disambiguation). ... Dreamscape can refer to The movie Dreamscape The ‘dream world’ within a dream, also called a dreamscape. ... The Flamingo Kid was the first movie to receive a PG-13 rating, although it was released after Red Dawn. ... The Flamingo Kid was the first movie to receive a PG-13 rating, although it was released after Red Dawn. ...


It took a year for the PG-13 logotype to metamorphose to its current form. From 1984 to 1986, the initial rating, instead of using boldface text and a content advisory warning, bore the wording:

  • Rated PG-13: Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13.

Today, it reads:

  • Rated PG-13: PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED — Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

With the PG rating still being used unchanged, it remained unclear to some parents, at first, whether or not PG and PG-13 films were intended for adults. Until 1990, some of the same content that prompted the creation of the PG-13 rating was in some PG films. For example Big, Spies Like Us, Spaceballs, and Nothing in Common were three late-1980s PG releases containing PG-13-level innuendo; the dialogue of two contained the word fuck . Big is a 1988 comedy film which tells the story of a teenaged boy who is aged to adulthood by a magical fortune telling machine. ... Spies Like Us is the name of a 1985 comedy film directed by John Landis, starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, and Donna Dixon. ... Bold text Spaceballs is a 1987 science fiction parody film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks. ... Nothing in Common is a 1986 comedy-drama film, directed by Garry Marshall and starring Tom Hanks and comedian Jackie Gleason, in his last film performance. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The socially and culturally conservative ratings board quickly reacted to protesting parents, and PG-13 films outnumbered PG films; content standards were narrowed for PG classification. At decade's turn, PG-13 rating standards also were narrowed, at least for violence, as the censors became more likely to issue R ratings to violent films showing explicit blood-letting and the killing of policemen. Except for a brief reversal in 1994, the number of PG-13 films outnumbered the PG films since, and the proportion of R-rated films (beginning with the boom of privately-viewed home video in the late 1980s) has generally increased at the expense of unrestricted films. Only within the last two years has there been an indication that the proportion of restricted films has slightly decreased as a cultural trend.


NC-17 replaces X

In the rating system's early years, X-rated movies, such as Midnight Cowboy (1969), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and Last Tango in Paris (1973), could earn Oscar nominations and win awards yet film makers continue disputing the true effects of an X rating. X-rated, X certificate, X classification or similar terms are labels for movies implying strong adult content, typically pornography or violence. ... This article is about the 1969 film. ... This article is about the film. ... The Last Tango in Paris (Italian: LUltimo Tango a Parigi, French: Le Dernier Tango à Paris) is a 1972 film which tells the story of an American widower who is drawn into a sexual relationship with a young, soon-to-be-married Parisian woman. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ...


That the MPAA rated those mainstream movies X as if they were pornography, only underscored the contradictions between commerce and Art. Although Deep Throat (1972), Behind the Green Door, and The Devil in Miss Jones were rated X, the rating never was either an official rating or trademark of the MPAA. Pornographers often self-applied it for business reasons, to the degree that it became acceptable in their advertising, and then the eponym for pornography in American mainstream culture; not the rating's original intent. Ironically, its over-use led pornographers to rate their films XXX to increase the success of their marketing efforts.[10] Deep Throat is an American pornographic movie released in the summer of 1972, written and directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace (the pseudonym of Linda Susan Boreman). ... Behind the Green Door (1972) was the first hardcore pornographic movie widely released in the United States. ... The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) The Devil in Miss Jones is a 1973 Pornographic movie, written and directed by Gerard Damiano. ... Porn redirects here. ...


This concern led many newspapers and television stations to refuse X-rated movie adverts; some cinema owners forbade the exhibition of such movies. Such policies led the distributors' compromise with George Romero about his classic zombie horror film Dawn of the Dead (1978): participating NATO cinema owners would enforce the audience restriction rating, but the letter X would not appear in advertising, but, instead, the content warning advisory message: There is no explicit sex in this picture; however, there are scenes of violence, which may be considered shocking. No one 17 and under will be admitted would be displayed. George Andrew Romero (born February 4, 1940) is an American director, writer, editor and actor. ... For the remake, see Dawn of the Dead (2004 film) For the song by Schoolyard Heroes, see The Funeral Sciences Dawn of the Dead (also known as George A. Romeros Dawn of the Dead, and Zombi internationally) is a 1978 American independent horror film, written and directed by George...


The MPAA stresses the voluntary nature of their film rating system, denying that it could inhibit a film's commercial distribution and so deny the businessman-film maker the right to earn a profit and make a living. Horror films, such as the sequel Day of the Dead (1985) and Re-Animator (1985) were so marketed. Some, such as the horror parody Evil Dead 2 did earn an adult rating, while others, such as Guardian of Hell and Zombie, used such violent content warnings along with their R ratings (sometimes deliberately surrendered) as profitable marketing ploys. Day of the Dead (also known as George A. Romeros Day of the Dead) is a horror film by director George A. Romero, and the third of five movies. ... Re-Animator (1985) is the first in a series of films based on the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West: Reanimator. ... Evil Dead II (also known as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and Evil Dead II, the Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror) is a sequel to the movie The Evil Dead by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. ...


In 1989, two critically-acclaimed mainstream art films, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer were released featuring very strong sexual and violent content. Neither was approved for an R rating, hence had limited commercial distribution and so suffered commercially as unrated films. At around that time, the MPAA revised its rating system. Again, in answer to such dilemmas between art and commerce, director David Lynch (writer and director of Blue Velvet (1986)), suggested establishing an RR rating for such mainstream adult drama films. // Actress Kim Basinger and her brother Mick purchase Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. ... The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover is a 1989 film by director Peter Greenaway starring Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and Alan Howard in the titular roles. ... ... For other persons named David Lynch, see David Lynch (disambiguation). ... This article is about the David Lynch film. ...


On 27 September 1990, the MPAA introduced the rating NC-17 "No Children Under 17 Admitted" as its official, standardised rating allowing the commercial distribution of adult-oriented cinema bearing the MPAA seal. This rating, as opposed to no rating, would in practice be an indication that the film is not pornography. (Pornographers tend not to submit their films for rating, since pornography is either independently distributed to cinemas or directly to video distributors.) Thus, people could differentiate between MPAA-rated adult mainstream cinema and pornography at last, leaving the definition of "obscene" to the viewer's private thoughts. is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


But in practice, communications media that refused to advertise pornography and X-rated films also refused to advertise NC-17 movies as equally unsuitable for family consumption through their venues, ironically transferring censorship authority to cinema landlords' decisions to permit or deny the exhibition of such movies. In addition, socially conservative and religious groups pressured video distribution businesses (e.g. Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video), to not rent or sell NC-17 movies, citing "family values". Nevertheless, business being business, the stores do rent and sell the movies, provided they are not explicitly labeled as such, i.e. are in a plain wrapper. Blockbuster video store This article is about the chain of video stores. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


In 1996, the NC-17 rating age limit was subtly increased by one year, by rewording it from "No Children Under 17 Admitted" to "No One 17 And Under Admitted".


Starting with Henry & June (1990) few NC-17 movies have proved profitable, but, United Artists, boldly attempting to broaden public acceptance of such films, marketed the big budget drama Showgirls with clever, colourful television and print advertising. To date, it was the first and only widely distributed NC-17 movie, to 1,388 cinemas, simultaneously. It was critically savaged and earned little money for the studio, and for a time, it established the NC-17 rating as commercially untenable; "box office poison" in journalese. Henry & June is a 1990 film. ... This article is about the film studio. ... This article is about the film Showgirls. For a dancer/performer, see Showgirl. ... Plan 9 from Outer Space, infamously considered so bad its good, is a contender for Worst Movie Ever Made. ...


The makers of the critically-successful anti-drugs film, Requiem for a Dream (2000) released it unrated, rather than endanger any commercial success with an NC-17 rating. The MPAA had threatened that rating because of the orgy montage climax. Despite artistic intent, the MPAA rejected the film makers appeal for an R rating. Today, the NC-17 rating tends to cinema appealing to the art house patrons who do not interpret the rating as either a positive or a negative reflection upon a film's content. Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 film adaptation of a 1978 novel of the same name. ... Andrei Tarkovskys The Mirror Le Fantôme de la liberté, one of the last films by Luis Bunuel (1974), which depicts seemingly random events, disrupting the conventions of storytelling in film. ...


Most NC-17 films are released in cinemas, either in an edited, R-rated, version or in its original version. For example, the studio Fox Searchlight Pictures released a censored R-rated American edition of the European movie The Dreamers (2003), and later released both the original, NC-17 "Director's Cut" and the censored American commercial version on the same DVD. Only the viewers can determine whether or not that was a marketing strategy to make more money, or if it is censorship. Ironically, American film studios release NC-17 movies abroad uncensored and artistically intact; adding controversy to the subject of the MPAA's movie ratings system in the United States. The Dreamers, released as The Innocents in some countries, is a 2003 British/French drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. ...


The most recent major-studio film rated NC-17 is Focus Features' Lust, Caution (2007), about an assassination conspiracy in Shanghai during World War II, on account of its eroticism not its violence; director Ang Lee will not alter his film for distribution in the U.S.A.[11] Focus Features (formerly USA Films) is the art house films division of NBC Universals Universal Studios, and acts as both a producer and distributor for its own films and a distributor for foreign films. ... For the novella by Eileen Chang, see Lust, Caution. ... For other uses, see Shanghai (disambiguation). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Li (李) Ang Lee (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (born October 23, 1954) is an Academy Award-winning film director from Taiwan. ...


"Hard R"

In March 2007, according to Variety, the MPAA chairman Dan Glickman has been trying to create a new rating called "Hard R" for films that contain too much violence, sexual content, language, and impudence; the suggested rating would also prohibit people under the age of 18 to watch the films, much like NC-17. The move is apparently motivated by parents, who have been pressuring Glickman and the MPAA to create a new rating to solve the problem because they think the R rating is too "wide-ranged". The other problem is that if Hard R horror films were rated NC-17, they would lose a large amount of the teen audience. Variety is a daily newspaper for the entertainment industry. ...


Film studios have also pressured the MPAA to retire the NC-17 rating, because it can make their film worthless (e.g. most Blockbuster stores refuse to carry DVDs rated NC-17 and many daily newspapers also refuse ads for NC-17 films).[12][13] Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) is one of the largest chains of DVD and video game rental stores in the world. ...


Trailers

The MPAA also rates movie trailers for theatrical exhibition. This system uses 3 ratings: green band for previews that have been approved for all audiences (shown before any films), blue band for previews approved for mature audiences (shown before PG-13, R and NC-17 films), and red band for trailers approved for restricted audiences (shown before R and NC-17 films only). The colors refer to the cards shown before trailers indicating whether they're intended for general, mature, or restricted audiences. As long as the trailer meets the MPAA guidelines for a green band rating, the rating for the film it's advertising is irrelevant. In principle a green band trailer for an R-rated movie can play before children's films. Movie trailers are film advertisements for films that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, on whose screen they are shown; they are commonly known as previews of coming attractions. ...


Rating process

Although the MPAA does not publish an official list of all the exact words, actions, and exposed body parts used to determine a movie's rating, and one of the strongest criticism against the current rating system is the alleged inconsistency, some guidelines can be derived based on the MPAA's actual rating decisions:

  • If a film uses "one of the harsher sexually derived words" (such as fuck) one to three times, it is routine today for the film to receive a PG-13 rating, provided that the word is used as an expletive and not with a sexual meaning (this was mentioned in Be Cool, when Chili Palmer complains about the movie industry. The F-word is said twice in that scene with many other uses of coarse language, giving the movie a PG-13). An example of a film that might suggest this criterion is Waiting for Guffman, which contains mostly PG-13 (some could even argue PG) content, yet is rated R (brief strong language) because a man auditioning for a role uses fuck while quoting Raging Bull (the only time it is spoken in the movie), in a sexual sense. Another film in the same situation is Once, which contains little to no suggestive content with the exception of about a dozen uses of the word fuck. Exceptions may be allowed, "by a special vote of the ratings board" where the board feels such an exception would better reflect the sensibilities of American parents. A couple of exceptions were noted: rare films such as Guilty by Suspicion were allowed as many as nine uses of the word; probably due to the precedent set in the 1970s by politically important films such as All the President's Men. All the President's Men was once rated R but then it was re-rated PG on appeal. It is a common misconception that if a movie uses fuck in a nonsexual context more than once, it will automatically receive an R rating. In reality, PG-13 movies are routinely allowed two or three uses, such as A Civil Action, As Good as It Gets, Rent, and 1408, which all use the word three times. But there are two extreme circumstances so far: Gunner Palace has 42 uses of the word, 2 used sexually[14] and The Hip Hop Project has 17 uses. Both films were rated PG-13 on appeal. Spaceballs uses "fuck" once (and "asshole" non-sexually several times) and is rated PG. The same goes for Beetlejuice and Big. (despite Beetlejuice being rated 15 by the BBFC).
  • A reference to drugs, such as marijuana, usually gets a movie a PG-13 rating at a minimum. A well known example of an otherwise PG movie getting a PG-13 for a drug reference (momentary, along with brief language) is Whale Rider. The film contained only mild profanity but received a PG-13 because of a scene where drug paraphernalia was briefly visible. Critic Roger Ebert criticized the MPAA for the rating and called it "a wild overreaction."[15]
  • A graphic or explicit scene of illegal drug use will earn a film at least a PG-13 rating (such as Ray, where Ray Charles uses heroin and marijuana) and, especially in the case of hard drugs, even an R rating. In extremely rare cases, extremely graphic scenes of hard drug use will get a film an NC-17 (see Trainspotting, rated R for graphic heroin use and resulting depravity, strong language, sex, nudity and some violence).
  • In May 2007, the MPAA announced that depictions of cigarette smoking would be considered in a film's rating.[16]
  • If a film contains strong sexual content, it usually receives at least an R rating. The film Lost in Translation had a scene in a strip club that had brief topless nudity and a song in the background that repeated the phrase "sucking on my titties". The scene was brief and the rest of the film had PG-13 level content, but the film still received an R rating. In fact, any film containing female nudity almost always receives an automatic R rating. In the case of I Capture the Castle, a shot of a topless woman got the film an R rating "for brief nudity". In many other countries with a similar ratings system (such as the UK, Australia, and Canada), the film received an equivalent of G or PG. Also, the anime Paprika had a brief scene that may be contemplated as sexual assault in a dream sequence and some momentary nudity. That gave Paprika an R rating even though the rest of the film had PG-13 level content. But other countries gave Paprika the equivalent of a PG-13 rating (except for Singapore and Britain, which gave the film NC-16 and 15, respectively). However, at least fourteen films including breast nudity were rated PG-13 or less:
  1. Sixteen Candles has a shower scene where there is a close-up of breasts and buttocks.
  2. Just One of the Guys has a scene where Joyce Hyser shows her breasts when her character (Terry Griffith) convinces the male lead that she is, in fact, a girl
  3. Doc Hollywood has a scene with full frontal female nudity where Julie Warner emerges from a lake nude
  4. Back to School had a scene where Rodney Dangerfield accidentally walked in on a showering co-ed
  5. Calendar Girls contained breast nudity on a calendar that was crucial to the plot
  6. Titanic had female nudity for artistic purposes
  7. Super Size Me has an Art Deco-styled art piece with bare breasts in the background of one shot
  8. Across the Universe has a scene with a woman sleeping nude, with her breast visible. The scene was meant for artistic purposes.
  9. National Lampoon's European Vacation has a breif scene where a woman un-buttons her shirt, reveling she is not wearing a bra. Both nipples "ARE" exposed.
  10. Bean has a poster of a woman that is not naked while one of her breasts is showing. However, her nipple is not visible
  11. Beowulf has Grendel's mother appear fully naked while most of her body is covered with a gold liquid for most of the time. Her nipples or genitalia are not visible
  12. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, a PG-rated film, has a live-action depiction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus in which the title subject is portrayed nude. Her genitalia are not visible
  13. Airplane! has a scene where everyone is running around in panic on an airplane and a topless lady runs close to the camera, faces it, then continues running. You can't see the woman's face because the camera is only focused on her breasts.
  14. Airplane II: The Sequel has a scene in which women walk towards a computer that shows their bare breast when they walk past it.
  15. Romeo and Juliet has a scene in which Juliet moves in bed and her breasts are shown for a split second after having sexual intercourse with Romeo.
  • Even some PG films have breast nudity in cultural contexts, such as Baraka and The Gods Must Be Crazy. Rarely, a sexual reference can get an otherwise "PG" film a PG-13, as is the case with The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, with a comedic sequence of a video featuring "Mr. Awesome". He said the word "poontang" in that scene and that gave TKOK a PG-13.
  • Topless men are allowed in G-rated films, while topless women earn PG-13 automatically. If a film contains male rear nudity, it is more likely to be given a lower rating than if the nudity were female. Male nudity is generally regarded as ribald (i.e. mooning) or natural, whereas female nudity is generally regarded as sexual. When it comes to exposed genitalia, the MPAA treats male and female nudity equally. Some films containing full-frontal male nudity have received a PG rating such as Superman although not in a sexual context in this example. Films containing male or female full-frontal nudity usually earn an R rating, or possibly NC-17 if depicted in sexual situations. Many R-rated films have male frontal nudity such as Wild Things, Jackass: The Movie, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Eurotrip, Scary Movie, Kinsey, Sideways, Bad Lieutenant, 28 Days Later, Any Given Sunday, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and many more. While many films show female full-frontal nudity, in nearly every case, only the pubic hair is seen and the actual genitalia (the labia, clitoris, and vagina) are not seen. The end result is that male genitals are far more prevalent than female genitals in R-rated films.
  • Films that have legitimate historical or educational value are often granted leniency. Some have argued that the level of violence in Saving Private Ryan merited an NC-17, but that the film was given leniency because it was a historical war movie (It should be noted however that in both the UK and Ireland the film received a 15 cert, and in Australia an MA15+ rating after an appeal against the initial R-rating). This argument also came up when The Passion of the Christ was released without cuts, with an R-rating.
  • Violence which includes bloodshed will usually receive a PG-13 or R rating. Though, in extreme cases bloodshed violence can receive an NC-17 rating. The film "Scream" was orginally rated NC-17 for "graphic horror violence, and gore" But under appeal by Wes Craven, it was changed to 'R' with some overly graphic content cut out. It does depend on how long the blood is actually shown and how much of it. Bloodless violence will usually be rated PG or PG-13 (eg. Alien vs. Predator, the unrated version contains the same content as the PG-13 version in terms of violence however, every violent scene includes bloodshed; the same thing happened with Pearl Harbor in which explicit gunshot wounds and violence were added to get an R-rating on the DVD director's cut.) The anime Appleseed has PG-13 level violence. However, there was a scene of a mecha crushing a man's head, with resulting blood. The MPAA rated it R for "some violence". It should be noted that in the UK, it was rated 12A and in Spain it was rated 13. But the sequel, Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina, has been rated PG-13 for "action/violence and brief strong language". Likewise Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country contained a scene where a number of Klingons were massacred in a zero gravity environment with copious bloodshed. Despite this bloodshed, the Klingon blood was pink, and thus the film was given a PG rating.

Ratings criteria are intended to reflect changing norms and compromises between the diverse needs and rights of various interests in a large and complex modern society. Inevitably, the private views of the Ratings Board members will affect what is deemed acceptable for children to watch, determined in part by the culture of the time. Therefore, an evaluation of ratings criteria must specify what year or approximate period of time is being referred to, when modeling the standards relevant to each film classification. For example, according to This Film Is Not Yet Rated, films depicting homosexual sex scenes have been treated much more harshly than those depicting similar heterosexual scenes. This article is about sex, meaning the different sexes; male, female, etc. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The word expletive is currently used in three senses: syntactic expletives, expletive attributives, and bad language. The word expletive comes from the Latin verb explere, meaning to fill, via expletivus, filling out. It was introduced into English in the seventeenth century to refer to various kinds of padding — the padding... Be Cool is a 2005 movie which was adapted from a 1999 novel. ... Waiting for Guffman is a mockumentary written,starring, and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. ... This article is about the 1980 film. ... ONCE (pronounced ), or Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (National Organization of the Spanish Blind), is a Spanish foundation founded on December 13, 1938 to raise funds with which to provide services for the blind and persons with serious visual impairment. ... Guilty by Suspicion is a 1991 film about the Hollywood blacklist and associated activities stemming from McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee. ... This article is about the 1976 film. ... A Civil Action is a 1998 film, starring John Travolta (as plaintiffs attorney Jan Schlichtmann) and Robert Duvall, based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. ... As Good as It Gets is a 1997 film which tells the story of an obsessive-compulsive, cantankerous, and homophobic writer named Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) who, because of his anxiety disorder, lives in a world that has shrunk to about the size of his apartment and the books he... This article is about the 2005 film. ... 1408 is a 2007 horror film based on the Stephen King short story of the same name directed by Swedish film director Mikael Håfström. ... Gunner Palace is a documentary film by American documentary filmmaker Michael Tucker, which had a limited release in the United States on March 4, 2005. ... Bold text Spaceballs is a 1987 science fiction parody film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks. ... This article is about the film. ... The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is the organisation responsible for film classification (see Motion picture rating systems and History of British Film Certificates) within the United Kingdom. ... Cannabis, also known as marijuana[1] or ganja (Hindi: गांजा),[2] is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa. ... Whale Rider is a 2002 movie directed by Niki Caro, based on the 1987 novel The Whale Rider by New Zealand Māori author Witi Ihimaera. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ... Ray is a 2004 biographical film focusing on thirty years[2]of the life of legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. ... Trainspotting is a 1996 Academy Award-nominated, BAFTA-winning cult classic film directed by Danny Boyle based on the novel Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. ... Lost in Translation is an Academy Award-winning 2003 comedy-drama film. ... I Capture The Castle is a 2003 film, directed by Tim Fywell. ... This article is for the 2006 film Paprika Paprika, see Paprika (1991 film) Paprika ) is a Japanese animated science fiction film, based on Yasutaka Tsutsuis 1993 novel Paprika, about a female research psychologist involved in a project to develop a device that will permit therapists to help patients by... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... DVD case cover for Just One of the Guys Just One of the Guys is a 1985 comedy film, directed by Lisa Gottlieb. ... Doc Hollywood is a 1991 comedy film based on the book, What? Dead again?, by Dr. Neil Shulman. ... Julie Warner (born February 9, 1965 in Manhattan, New York) is an American actress from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. ... Back-to-school, in clothing retailing, is a product season and is characterized by a display of items appropriate to a school wardrobe. ... Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), born Jacob Cohen, was an American comedian and actor, best known for the catchphrase I dont get no respect and his monologues on that theme. ... Calendar Girls is a British film of 2003, based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produce a nude calendar to raise money for leukemia research, under the auspices of the Womens Institute. ... Titanic is a 1997 disaster romance film directed, written, produced and edited by James Cameron about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. ... Super Size Me is an Academy Award-nominated 2004 documentary film, directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. ... Asheville City Hall. ... Across The Universe is a 2007 Academy Award-nominated musical film produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures. ... National Lampoons European Vacation (1985, Warner Bros. ... Bean, also known as Mr. ... Beowulf is a 2007 animated film adaptation of the Old English epic poem of the same name. ... The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville (as the Baron), Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, and Robin Williams. ... Botticelli redirects here. ... The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. ... Airplane! is an American comedy film, first released on 27 June 1980, produced, directed, and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker. ... Romeo and Juliet (1968) is an Oscar-winning movie adaptation of the William Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. ... Baraka can refer to several things: // In Judaism, a berakhah or bracha (Hebrew: ברכה; plural ברכות, berakhot) is a blessing, usually recited at a specific moment during a ceremony or other activity. ... The Gods Must Be Crazy is a film released in 1980, written and directed by Jamie Uys. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis... For the series of films, see Superman (film series). ... For other uses, see Wild Thing. ... Jackass: The Movie Jackass: The Movie directed by Jeff Tremaine was released on October 25, 2002 with the tagline Do not attempt this at home. ... EuroTrip is a 2004 American comedy film produced by the same people as Road Trip and Old School. ... This article is about a horror parody movie. ... Kinsey film poster Kinsey is a 2004 semi-biographical film written and directed by Bill Condon. ... Sideways is a 2004 Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy/drama film, co-written and directed by Alexander Payne. ... Bad Lieutenant is a 1992 film crime drama directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Harvey Keitel as the titular bad lieutenant. The screenplay was co-written by actress-model Zoë Tamerlis Lund (credited as Zoë Lund). ... 28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris and Christopher Eccleston. ... For the Australian sports television show, see Any Given Sunday (television show). ... Get Rich or Die Tryin can refer to: The debut album of rap artist 50 Cent, released in 2003. ... Forgetting Sarah Marshall is an American comedy film from Universal Pictures directed by Nicholas Stoller and written by Jason Segel. ... Pubic hair is hair in the frontal genital area, the crotch, and sometimes at the top of the inside of the legs; these areas form the pubic region. ... Saving Private Ryan is an eleven-time Academy Award nominated 1998 war film. ... Australia is a federation[1], and responsibility for censorship is divided between the states and the federal government. ... This article is about the film. ... Scream can refer to several topics: Look up scream in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Alien vs. ... Pearl Harbor is an Oscar-winning war film released in the summer of 2001 by Touchstone Pictures. ... For other uses, see Appleseed. ... This article is about the term used in science fiction, anime, and manga. ... Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Paramount Pictures, 1991; see also 1991 in film) is the sixth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... This page is about the race. ... Look up massacre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Astronauts on the International Space Station display an example of weightlessness Weightlessness is the experience (by people and objects) during freefall, of having no weight. ... This Film Is Not Yet Rated is an independent documentary film about the Motion Picture Association of Americas rating system and its effect on American culture, directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie Schmidt. ...


Members of the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration, which the MPAA claims consists of a demographically balanced panel of parents, view the movie, discuss it, and vote on the film's rating. In fact, many of the "children" of the "parent" members are adults. Further information about members is difficult to obtain, as they operate in secret. The only publicly known member is chair Joan Graves. If the movie's producer is unhappy with this rating, he/she can re-edit the film and resubmit it, or can appeal to an Appeals Board. Appeals generally involve a film which was rated R for which the producer is seeking to have the rating changed to PG-13, or a film rated NC-17 for which the producer is seeking to have the rating changed to R. Joan Graves is the head of the Classification and Rating Administration for the MPAA, and was appointed to that position by Jack Valenti. ...


According to This Film Is Not Yet Rated, as of December 2005:[17] This Film Is Not Yet Rated is an independent documentary film about the Motion Picture Association of Americas rating system and its effect on American culture, directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie Schmidt. ...


The MPAA Ratings Board members are:

  • Joan Graves, Chair
  • Anthony "Tony" Hey, Senior Rater, 61,
  • Scott Young, Senior Rater, 51,
  • Joann Yatabe, Senior Rater, 61,
  • Matt Ioakimedes, 46, (has been a rater for nine years),
  • Barry Freeman, 45,
  • Arleen Bates, 44,
  • Joan Worden, 56,
  • Howard Fridkin, 47,
  • Kori Jones, now deceased

and the MPAA Appeals Board members are: Joan Graves is the head of the Classification and Rating Administration for the MPAA, and was appointed to that position by Jack Valenti. ...

The Movie Experience is a small chain of southern California movie theaters founded in 1918. ... Regal Cinemas (NYSE: RGC) is North Americas largest movie theatre chain, operating 6,273 screens in 584 locations in 40 U.S. states. ... Fox Searchlight Pictures logo. ... Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is the television and film production unit of Japan-based corporate giant Sony. ... The River Oaks Theatre, located east of the River Oaks neighborhood in the River Oaks Shopping Center, is one of Landmark Theatres two Houston, Texas theatres. ... The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. ... Times Square and Loews Theatre Loews Theaters, founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America until it merged with AMC Theatres on January 26, 2006. ... Founded in 1981,The American Film Market (AFM) is an annual event which attracts over 8,000 industry attendees to Santa Monica, California for eight days in early November. ... The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist denomination, and the second-largest Protestant one, in the United States. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      For other types of... The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (usually identified as National Council of Churches, or NCC) is an association of 35 Christian faith groups in the United States with 100,000 local congregations and more than 45,000,000 adherents. ...

Effects of ratings

Legally, the rating system is entirely voluntary. However, signatory members of the MPAA (major studios) have agreed to submit all of their theatrical releases for rating, and few mainstream producers are willing to bypass the rating system due to potential effects on revenues. Most films released unrated nowadays are either relatively obscure independent films, pornographic films, foreign films, direct-to-video films, made-for-TV films, documentaries not expected to play outside the arthouse market, or large format (IMAX) films, which typically contain minimal offensive content and generally receive a G or PG rating when they are submitted for a rating. An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced outside of the studio system. ... Porn redirects here. ... A film that is released direct-to-video (also straight-to-video) is one which has been released to the public on home video formats first rather than first being released in movie theaters. ... A television movie (also TV movie, TV-movie, made-for-TV movie, etc. ... IMAX theatre at the Melbourne Museum complex, Australia BFI London IMAX by night IMAX (short for Image Maximum) is a film format created by Canadas IMAX Corporation that has the capacity to display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film display systems. ...


In the 1970s, G ratings were commonly associated with children's movies and might limit a movie's audience. It is sometimes said that the makers of the original Star Wars movie purposely added scenes in order trigger a PG rating to find a broader range of audience.[18] By the time of the 2000's, PG ratings have also been associated with children's films, and are widely considered to be commercially bad for films targeted at teenagers and adults. For example, the 2004 action/adventure film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which was not targeted at children, received a PG rating, which some believe caused it to underperform at the box office as preteens and teenagers—both huge movie-going demographics—may have brushed it off as a "kiddie flick".[19] In 2001, in response to the poorer performance of R rated material, the film industry began to shift focus toward PG-13-rated films.[20] None of the X or NC-17 films have been commercially successful, even Showgirls which was a widespread release in 1995.[21] This article is about the series. ... Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a 2004 American pulp adventure, science fiction film written and directed by Kerry Conran in his directorial debut. ... Preteen or pre-teen is a stage of human development during childhood. ... “Young Men” redirects here. ... Showgirls is a movie directed by Paul Verhoeven and released in 1995 in North America by United Artists. ...


While some may debate the degree to which any such things are truly unintended, since the ratings now have a clearly established use as part of the marketing strategy for a film, the whole question of children tending to scorn "tame" G or PG fare in favor of whatever they can get away with seeing is a legitimate criticism of an age based rating system. Some R fare is not aimed at older adults, but at a high school and college age market eager to engage in what they perceive as mature activities. Thus, the pretense that offensive content can be considered "adult" serves as a misleading marketing strategy to attract a youthful audience, often for purely sensational or provocative content for its own sake.


The minimum age for unaccompanied patrons at R films, and all patrons at X films, was originally set at 16. By 1970 it was raised to 17 (in some areas the age may be higher still—often 18—and in rare cases as high as 21). Theater owners could still allow anyone into R-rated films without being accompanied by an adult since the rating system is technically voluntary and in most jurisdictions (excluding Massachusetts[citation needed]) does not have the force of law behind it. Attendance at films with strong enough content to merit an NC-17 rating could be restricted by law due to the possibility of being considered indecent. This article is about the U.S. state. ...


In the 1970s the East Coast based Century theater chain used its own rating system, with only three categories instead of four: For All Ages, For Mature Audiences, and No One Under 17 Admitted, with most, but not all, R-rated films receiving the middle designation, under which no age limits were enforced. In 2000, due to issues raised by Senator Joseph Lieberman, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the major trade association in the U.S., announced it would start strict enforcement of ID checks for R- and NC-17-rated movies. Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Joseph Isadore Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is a Jewish-American Democratic politician and a current U.S. senator from Connecticut. ... The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. ...


Many retailers of videos, especially Wal-Mart, tend to prohibit the sale of R-rated movies to minors. POS systems are set up to prevent a transaction without a sales associate checking an ID. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ... The BancNet (BN) Point-Of-Sale System is a local PIN-based electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS) payments solution operated by BancNet on behalf of the member banks and China UnionPay (CUP). ...


The 2001 independent film L.I.E. challenged its NC-17 rating and waged a publicity campaign against the arbitrary nature of the ratings system. Lot 47, the film's distributor, lost its appeal, and released the film unrated. With the recent success of another NC-17 film, The Dreamers, some film producers and directors hope that the rating may begin to lose some of its stigma and more movie theaters will consider playing such films. The Dreamers also had an R-rated version released on DVD and VHS. NC-17 films often have R versions when released on DVD. Earlier, the NC-17-rated Kids waged a similar campaign, part of which included exhibiting the film to persons under 18 and publishing their (generally favorable) reactions to it. Another film to successfully challenge its NC-17 rating was the cult classic 1994 comedy Clerks., which eventually garnered an R rating. Director Kevin Smith announced he was prepared to release the sequel, Clerks 2, without a rating, but was surprised and relieved when the MPAA passed it uncut with an R-rating. Gunner Palace appealed to the MPAA and overthrew its R-rating in favour of a PG-13 rating, even though it contains 42 instances of the word fuck, some used sexually. This article is about the year. ... An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced outside of the studio system. ... L.I.E. is an independent film, released in 2001, about a relationship between Howie, a 15-year-old boy, and a pederast known as Big John. The title is an acronym for the Long Island Expressway. ... The Dreamers, released as The Innocents in some countries, is a 2003 British/French drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. ... The Dreamers, released as The Innocents in some countries, is a 2003 British/French drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. ... Kids is a 1995 American film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Clerks. ... This article is about the American screenwriter, film director, actor and comic book writer. ... Clerks II is the 2006 sequel to Kevin Smiths 1994 movie Clerks. ... Gunner Palace is a documentary film by American documentary filmmaker Michael Tucker, which had a limited release in the United States on March 4, 2005. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Earlier in the rating system, African-Americans complained that rating criteria were too heavily biased against inner city conditions and dialects. For his 1971 film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, director Melvin Van Peebles came up with a winning ad slogan ("Rated X by an All-White Jury") that proved successful with the urban market. The revision of the ages upward corresponded with a slackening of standards that generally allowed most such product to receive an R rating thereafter. Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar, known as the year of cyclohexanol. ... Sweet Sweetbacks Baadasssss Song was a 1971 independent film written, produced, scored, directed by, and starring Melvin Van Peebles. ... Melvin Van Peebles, circa 2001, as seen in the documentary The Real Deal (What it Was. ...


Since the rapid expansion of the home video market in the late 1990s, studios have been known to skirt the rating system and release unrated versions of films on videocassette and DVD. Sometimes these versions would have earned an NC-17 if submitted for rating, but often their unrated status is merely for marketing purposes. Films that have been rated PG-13 in their theatrical run are sometimes extended with footage equivalent to an R (but not NC-17) rating and marketed as "unrated" with the implication that the added unrated material is racier than an R rating would permit. For example, one DVD release of American Pie, rated R in its theatrical release, exclaims on the box, "UNRATED! The Version You Couldn't See In Theaters". Sometimes the difference between an R-rated feature and its unrated home video counterpart is as little as a few seconds, while other unrated video editions add scenes that have no sexual or violent content whatsoever, making them "unrated" in the technical sense even though they don't contain more provocative material than the theatrical version (one example of this would be Unleashed). A number of filmmakers have also taken to filming additional footage specifically for video or DVD release, with no intention of submitting this material to the MPAA. The home video business rents and sells videocassettes and DVDs to the public. ... The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc - see Etymology) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... American Pie is a 1999 teen comedy film directed by Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz and written by Adam Herz. ... Unleashed (also known as Danny the Dog), is a 2005 action / thriller film, directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. ...


Some foreign and independent films do not bother to submit to the rating system, reasoning that they will not be distributed widely beyond their arthouse audience, so the expense is unnecessary.


Starting in 2004, GKC Theatres (now Carmike) had 'R-Cards' that let teens see R-rated films without adult accompaniment. The cards generated a lot of controversy, and Jack Valenti of the MPAA said in a news article: "I think it distorts and ruptures the intent of this voluntary film ratings system. All R-rated films are not alike."[22] The president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, John Fithian, also says that the cards can be harmful. He noted in a news article for the Christian Science Monitor that the R rating is "broad enough to include relatively family-friendly fare such as Billy Elliot and Erin Brockovich (both rated R for language) along with movies that push the extremes of violence, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill."[23] Carmike Cinemas is a movie theatre corporation headquartered in Columbus, Georgia in the United States of America. ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... For other uses, see Billy Elliot (disambiguation). ... Erin Brockovich is a 2000 movie which dramatizes the story of Erin Brockovichs first fight against the West Coast energy giant PG&E. The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and featured superstar Julia Roberts in the lead role for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... Pulp Fiction is a 1994 film by director Quentin Tarantino, who cowrote the film with Roger Avary. ... Kill Bill is the fourth film by writer-director Quentin Tarantino. ...


Criticism of the MPAA Rating system

Emphasis on sex versus violence

The movie rating system has had a number of high profile critics. Film critic Roger Ebert argues that the system places too much emphasis on not showing sex while allowing the portrayal of massive amounts of gruesome violence. The uneven emphasis on sex versus violence is echoed by other critics, including David Ansen, as well as many filmmakers. Moreover, Ebert argues that the rating system is geared toward looking at trivial aspects of the movie (such as the number of times a profane word is used) rather than at the general theme of the movie (for example, if the movie realistically depicts the consequences of sex and violence). He has called for an A (adults only) rating, to indicate films high in violence or mature content that should not be marketed to teenagers, but do not have NC-17 levels of sex. He has also called for the NC-17 rating to be removed and have the X-rating revived. He felt that everyone understood what X-rated means while fewer people understood what NC-17 meant. He called for rating A and X to identify whether an adult film is pornographic or not. Roger Ebert came up with this idea when he felt that The Passion of the Christ did not get the NC-17 rating it deserved. Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ... David Ansen is movie critic and senior editor for Newsweek, where he has been reviewing movies since 1977. ... This article is about the film. ...


Perhaps with these objections in mind, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting (a descendant of the formerly influential National Legion of Decency) maintains its own film classification system, which takes the overall "moral tone" of a film into account, rather than focusing on content alone. The Office for Film and Broadcasting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops maintains a motion picture rating system . ... The National Legion of Decency was an organization dedicated to identifying, and combatting, objectionable content in American motion pictures. ...


Tougher standards for independent studios

Many critics of the MPAA system, especially independent distributors, have charged that major studios' releases often receive more lenient treatment than independent films. They allege that Saving Private Ryan, with its intense depiction of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, would have earned an NC-17 if it were not a Steven Spielberg film. The independent film Saints and Soldiers, which contains no sex, very little profanity, and a minimum of violence, was said to have been rated R for a single clip where a main character is shot and killed, and required modification of just that one scene to receive a PG-13 rating.[24][25] The comedy Scary Movie, released by a division of The Walt Disney Company's Miramax Films, contained "strong crude sexual humor, language, drug use and violence" but was rated R, to the surprise of many reviewers and audiences; by comparison, the comparatively tame porn spoof Orgazmo, an independent release, contained "explicit sexual content and dialogue" and received an NC-17. On the other hand, the studio distributed film The Passion of the Christ received an R rating despite graphic depictions of violence. Saving Private Ryan is an eleven-time Academy Award nominated 1998 war film. ... This article is about the assault phase of Operation Overlord. ... For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). ... Steven Allan Spielberg KBE (born December 18, 1946)[1] is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. ... Saints and Soldiers is a war film released by Excel Entertainment in August, 2004. ... This article is about a horror parody movie. ... Disney redirects here. ... Miramax Films is a film production and distribution brand that was a Big Ten film motion picture distribution and production company headquartered in New York City before being bought out by The Walt Disney Company. ... Orgazmo is a 1997 comedy-action film written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the animated series South Park, and directed by Trey Parker. ... This article is about the film. ...


Before Miramax Films was purchased by The Walt Disney Company, Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein often clashed with the MPAA, proclaimed the rating system unfair to independents, and released some films unrated to avoid an X or NC-17. Orgazmo director Trey Parker's ratings battles later inspired the (R-rated) film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, which directly criticized the MPAA and holds the Guinness world record for most profanity and violence in an animated feature (399 profane words, 128 offensive gestures and 221 acts of violence). Miramax Films is a film production and distribution brand that was a Big Ten film motion picture distribution and production company headquartered in New York City before being bought out by The Walt Disney Company. ... Disney redirects here. ... Bob Weinstein, along with brother Harvey Weinstein, was head of Miramax Studios. ... Harvey Weinstein at Cannes, 2002 Harvey Weinstein CBE (Hon) (born March 19, 1952) is an American film producer and movie studio chairman. ... Randolph Severn Trey Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an Academy Award nominated American animator, screenwriter, film director, voice actor, actor and musician. ... South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a 1999 motion picture based on the cartoon television series of South Park. ... Suresh Joachim, minutes away from breaking the ironing world record at 55 hours and 5 minutes, at Shoppers World, Brampton. ...


Arbitrary ratings

Another criticism of the ratings system is the apparent arbitrary nature in designating PG-13- and R-rated content. Many critics (professional, the general public and religious and moral groups) believe that the content of recent PG-13 films equals that of R-rated films from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. For example, depictions of sexual content, violence, profanity and other objectionable content in a PG-13 film from the late 1990s on may have been considered "R level" in the 1970s and 1980s. A Harvard study suggested that the rating system has allowed far more violence, sex, profanity, drug use and other mature content in 2003 than they have allowed in 1992 in PG and PG-13 rated movies.[26] That study found this when they noticed that an R-rated movie released in 1992 had the exact same content levels as a PG-13 rated film released in 2003.


Call for publicizing the standards

Many critics of the system, both conservative and liberal, would like to see the MPAA ratings unveiled and the standards made public. The MPAA has consistently cited nationwide scientific polls, (conducted each year by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey) which show that parents find the ratings useful. Nevertheless, critics respond this proves only that parents find the ratings more useful than nothing at all.


Stephen Farber's internal critique

An internal critic of the early workings of the ratings system is film critic and writer Stephen Farber, who was a CARA intern for six months in its early years, 1969–1970. In The Movie Ratings Game (Public Affairs Press),[27] he documents how, since its early days, the board has used the same censorship tactics it uses today: threatening an X rating to force a film maker to delete content offensive to the personal sensibilities of the board's members; the lopsided prejudice against sex relative in favour of violence; and using of psychological jargon to justify restricting films because of their themes rather than their images, even when inexplicit; for example, the anti-war movie The Revolutionary first was rated PG, but later was re-rated R because it is anti-war.


Farber documents that the ratings board used its power to punish the most creative film makers such as Stanley Kubrick and John Schlesinger – A Clockwork Orange, Midnight Cowboy – while rewarding conservative, uncontroversial film makers and films with open-ended ratings; the hypocrisy about "protecting" in light of the fact that most of the severities imposed on certain films is borne less for impact on children than on parents' reactions; annoyance at the board's rating the Woodstock (1970) film with an R, given that the festival itself had no age restrictions, which arguably is less traumatic an experience than was the festival. This article is about the film. ... This article is about the 1969 film. ... Woodstock (subtitled 3 Days of Peace & Music) is a 1970 documentary on the Woodstock Festival in 1969. ...


Another, current problem is the freely-wielded threat of a restrictive rating to force studios to tone down submitted films; he cites movies that were re-cut not only to be removed from the X category (sometimes as many as two brackets, to PG), but for re-rating from R to PG, and from PG to G. This censorship extends to screenplays submitted for analysis to determine a projected rating; the example is The Panic in Needle Park (1971), the script was rated X because of its vulgar, street junkie dialogue, cursing, and many references to using heroin; it was released with an R rating. The Panic in Needle Park is a 1971 American film starring Al Pacino and directed by Jerry Schatzberg. ...


Farber recommends that the X rating either be abolished or re-labelled to A or AO, but recommends its abolition, arguing that an R rating ought be an enlightened society's most restrictive film rating. He concludes The Movie Ratings Game by endorsing public pressure and economic activism as the best means of reform, because: "The rating system is certainly not going to be reformed from within".


See also

The Production Code (also known as the Hays Code) was a set of industry guidelines governing the production of American motion pictures. ... This Film Is Not Yet Rated is an independent documentary film about the Motion Picture Association of Americas rating system and its effect on American culture, directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie Schmidt. ... Richard Heffner, formerly a University professor of Communication and Public Policy at Rutgers University, has been the host for the past half century of The Open Mind (television show), now a half hour interview show. ... British Board of Film Classification logo The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is the organisation responsible for film and some video game classification and censorship within the United Kingdom. ... The Office of Film and Literature Classification is a statutory censorship and classification body which provides day to day administrative support for the Classification Board which classified films, video games and publications in Australia, and the Classification Review Board which reviews films, computer games and publications when a valid application... The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC, Māori: ) is the government agency in New Zealand that is responsible for classification of all films, videos, publications, and some video games in New Zealand. ... The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (FSK, Voluntary Self Regulation of the Movie Industry) is a German motion picture rating system organisation run by the Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft (SPIO, Head Organisation of the Movie Industry) seated in Wiesbaden. ... Motion picture ratings in Canada are mostly a provincial responsibility, and each province has its own legislation regarding exhibition and admission. ... The ESRBs logo. ... The Marvel Rating System is a system for rating the content of comic books, with regard to appropriateness for different age groups. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into articles entitled List of television rating systems, TV Parental Guidelines, Media content rating in country and Television content rating in country. ... For other uses, see Censor. ... Parental guidance is an established rating system for movies, computer games and music recordings. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... An edited movie or edited film is a film that has been edited from the original theatrical release. ... This is a list of films rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of Americas Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). ... The Film Advisory Board, Inc. ... The Office for Film and Broadcasting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops maintains a motion picture rating system . ... The ChildCare Action Project (also known as CAP or CAPAlert) is a Fundamentalist Christian entertainment media analysis service devoted to reviewing the content of films and assessing whether the films are appropriate for Christian children. ...

References

  1. ^ Bowles, Scott (2007-04-10). Debating the MPAA's mission. USA Today.
  2. ^ U.S. Supreme Court GINSBERG v. NEW YORK, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). United States Supreme Court (1968-04-22).
  3. ^ U.S. Supreme Court INTERSTATE CIRCUIT v. DALLAS, 390 U.S. 676 (1968). United States Supreme Court (1968-04-22).
  4. ^ a b Siskel, Gene. "The Movies", Chicago Tribune, 1970-01-28, p. B5. 
  5. ^ a b Beck, Joan. "Children's Film Fare Skimpy", Chicago Tribune, 1970-02-24, p. B3. 
  6. ^ United Press International. "New 'PG' Film Rating Clarifies Picture Type", Chicago Tribune, 1972-02-03, p. W14. 
  7. ^ Gremlins, bloody hearts, big changes. CNN.com (AP) (2004-08-24). Archived from the original on 2004-12-10.
  8. ^ The Flamingo Kid (1984) - Trivia
  9. ^ Dreamscape (1984) - Trivia
  10. ^ The MPAA Rating Systems
  11. ^ Focus won't sweat NC-17 for 'Lust'
  12. ^ BD Horror News - MPAA Creating 'Hard-R', A More PC Version of NC-17
  13. ^ MPAA Wants New Rating For 'Hard R' - Cinematical
  14. ^ SCREEN IT! PARENTAL REVIEW: GUNNER PALACE. screenit.com (2005-03-11). Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (2003-11-16). Movie Answer Man. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  16. ^ FILM RATING BOARD TO CONSIDER SMOKING AS A FACTOR (PDF). MPAA (2007-05-10). Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  17. ^ Kirby Dick (Director). (2006-01-25) This Film Is Not Yet Rated [Film].
  18. ^ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from Wookieepedia
  19. ^ Byrne, Bridget (2004-09-20). "Sky Captain" Takes Flight. E! Online. Archived from the original on 2004-09-22. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  20. ^ Medved, Michael (2000-07-11). R-Rated Movies Not A Good Investment For Hollywood. Texas A&M. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  21. ^ Sailer, Steve (2002-03-22). Analysis: R-rated films hurt box office. UPI. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  22. ^ Pinto, Barbara (2004-06-01). 'R-Cards' Let Teens See Racy Movies: Some in Industry Say Cards Defeat Purpose of Ratings. ABC News. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
  23. ^ Paulson, Amanda. "Under 17 not admitted without R-card", Christian Science Monitor, 2004-05-24. Retrieved on 2007-07-26. 
  24. ^ R rating stuns 'Saints' makers. Deseret News. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
  25. ^ Baggaley, Thomas. LDS Cinema Gets Better and Gets a Bum Rating. Retrieved on 2008-03-15.
  26. ^ Harvard University: "Study Finds "Ratings Creep": Movie Ratings Categories Contain More Violence, Sex, Profanity than Decade Ago."
  27. ^ Farber, Stephen (1972). The Movie Ratings Game. Public Affairs Press. ISBN 0-8183-0181-3. 

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