July 14, 2017
Video Essay

Watch: The Most Disturbing PG Moments in Movie History

Before there was a PG-13 rating, you might have thought twice before taking your kid to the movies.

For the first 90 years of American cinema, the MPAA had only two ratings: PG and R. This meant that unwitting parents often brought their children to salacious and violently graphic movies. In 1984, the parental outrage came to a fever pitch over two "inappropriate" blockbusters: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins. Steven Spielberg, perhaps feeling guilty that Jaws was rated PG, finally proposed the idea of an intermediate rating. The PG-13 rating was first attached John Milius’ Red Dawn, released later that year.

A new video from Kevin Maher via Screen Crush compiles the most traumatic PG-rated moments, including blood, guts, explosions, and horrifying monsters from Time Bandits, Poltergeist, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Planet of the Apes, and more. 

Today, the MPAA classifies a PG-13 film as containing the following (as opposed to a PG film):

  • Any drug use
  • More than brief nudity (usually not sexually-oriented)
  • Depictions of violence that are neither realistic nor frequent
  • Single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words (more than one stipulates an "R" rating)

For more on the topic, here's a brief history of sex and violence in American movies, six ways to avoid an NC-17 rating, and a broader history of Hollywood censorship.      

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2 Comments

Actually, from 1968-1970 the rating system was G, M (for mature audiences), R, and X. There was no PG rating. GP was created to replace the M rating in 1970 to help with parental confusion, and GP was changed to PG in 1972 and lasted until what you pointed out above happened.

July 14, 2017 at 3:18PM

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Michael Schindelheim
director, writer, producer, actor
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It was Kevin Maher of "Kevin Geeks Out" fame what put this together. ScreenCrush just featured it.

July 14, 2017 at 10:50PM

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Bill Scurry
Director/Shooter/Editor
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