Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Adoption of PG-13 rating

In 1984, explicit violence and gore in the films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Poltergeist and Gremlins caused an uproar among parents over their PG rating. Their complaints led Hollywood figure Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom and producer of Gremlins, to suggest a new rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti for movies that have too much adult content to be rated PG, but not quite enough to be rated R. Spielberg’s suggestion was for an intermediate rating of PG-13 or PG-14. On conferring with cinema owners, Valenti and the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating on July 1, 1984, indicating that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Spielberg films were never re-rated.

The first film distributed with a PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (1984); Dreamscape and The Woman in Red were released on the same day the following week. The Flamingo Kid (1984) was the first film to receive the rating, but was not released until December 1984.

The ratings used from 1984 to 1986 were:

  • Rated G: General Audiences – All Ages Admitted.
  • Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not be Suitable for Children.
  • Rated PG-13: Parents Are Strongly Cautioned to Give Special Guidance for Attendance of Children Under 13 – Some Material may be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.
  • Rated R: Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.
  • Rated X: No One Under 17 Admitted.

In 1986, the PG-13 rating’s wording was changed to: Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.

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