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Movie Curses And Ratings

By Edited Jan 21, 2016 8 15
Movie Ratings (22400)

If someone asked you what movie you think dropped the most F-bombs, the films that come to mind might be any Tarantino film, Scarface, or the more recent South Park. None of those answers would be correct. The movie Scarface was in theaters in 1983 and while at the time, its 207 F-bombs were considered excessive, times have changed. According to Wikipedia, some very obscure films are at the top of the film curse list. The film that takes home the prize for the most four letter "F" words, used the curse 470 times in a film which lasted 128 minutes! That means the word was used about three times each minute.

MPAA Ratings

Standards today for movies viewed in theaters and on dvd are very different from 1968 when the MPAA rating system was developed. To avoid governmental regulation, the system was voluntarily adopted by studios and theater chains in the U.S.. The motivation was to provide moviegoers with a way of determining which films might be objectionable or offensive and which films would be acceptable for their children. A film that received an "R" rating in 1968, may only receive a PG rating today. As social attitudes continue to evolve, no doubt, so will the language allowed in films.

Contrary to what many people think, the rating system is not law and films are not required to follow it. But filmmakers aren't likely to get a film distributed to U.S. theater chains without a MPAA rating. Other countries have their own formula for rating films. Naturally, what concerns filmmakers is the kind of rating they get. They want to attract the largest possible audience, so the type of rating attached to their production is paramount to its success. You might be surprised to learn that during filming, use of the "F" word is sometimes monitored by producers. There is an actual number, which if exceeded, will put the movie into a different rating category. Knowing how many times curse words occur during filming gives the creators the chance to control their ultimate rating. Creative "F" word substitutes are like gold for movie-makers.

Who Rates Films?

So who has this job of evaluating film content and counting curse words? You won't find this position posted at your local unemployment office. The rating board located in Los Angeles, is comprised of eight to thirteen full time members who come from different walks of life. The one thing they have in common is parental experience. Each individual rates a film then members come together to compare notes and the group agrees on a rating. If a producer is unhappy with the rating his film receives, he may appeal the decision. He may also choose to re-edit to get a different rating.

MPAA Ratings

There are currently 5 rating categories. For more details visit http://www.mpaa.org/ .

G - General Audience: Minimal violence. No nudity, sexual content, drug use or strong language. While this is not necessarily a childrens' film, it is considered acceptable for viewing by young children.

PG - Parental Guidance Suggested: May contain some mild profanity, violence, or brief nudity but no drug use.

PG13 - May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13: Parents may not want their child exposed to the violence, profanity or sexual content in this film. It may contain a single use of a "sexually derived word" when used as an expletive, not in sexual content.

R - Restricted: Parent Or Adult Guardian Must Accompany Children Under 17. In some states the age is 18. May contain harsh profanity, intense violence, explicit sexual content, and extensive drug use.

NC-17 - No One 17 And Under Admitted: In some states the age is 18. This rating does not imply obscenity, but adult content in this film is more intense than in an R rated films. Originally called X, this rating is applied to films considered inappropriate for children.


Jul 22, 2010 2:21pm
interesting fact about who determines the ratings. (the rating board)
Jul 22, 2010 6:18pm
Excellent article on movie curses and ratings.
Jul 22, 2010 10:47pm
Thank you for sharing your knowledge about movie curses and ratings with me. I learned a lot from you in this well written article.
Jul 23, 2010 7:19am
wow very good one. never knew who exactly did all those ratings!
Jul 23, 2010 3:54pm
Great information about our movie rating system!
Jul 23, 2010 6:06pm
Hey divaonline; There have been many times when I thought a PG-13 rated movie should've been rated R! Terrific article, thanks!
Jul 24, 2010 2:01pm
Wonderfully informative article about movies and films ratings from a knowledgeable source. Who sets the ratings on what you watch on DVD. Watched "What Just Happened" last night with Robert De Niro, very entertaining film about this same subject, MPAA, very good post.
Aug 12, 2010 10:20pm
Another great article! You know, I beliee the ratings have changed over time. When my husband and I watch a PG film from the 1980's with our teenager, we sometimes get red in the face! I thjink these movies would be an "R" now!
Sep 18, 2010 8:51am
great article on ratings!
Sep 18, 2010 8:54am
Congrats on your feature for this well written article. I'm not much of a movie fan these days with so much violence and swearing - I'd rather write!
Sep 18, 2010 4:19pm
WOW! divaonline, you are on a roll!! Congratulations on ANOTHER fantastic article featured!! :0)
Sep 18, 2010 7:14pm
I don't know how this is happening. I swear, I didn't pay anyone off! :) Thanks for your generous comments.
Oct 16, 2010 4:10am
Cursed feels like a series of curveballs designed to confuse the audience into thinking they're watching anything other than bad dialogue.
Oct 26, 2010 2:30am
Nice article. In favorites! :)
Oct 26, 2010 12:14pm
This is a very interesting article and you wonder why would it take that many F words to express an idea or oneself in general. Well written article.
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