The US ratings board – the Motion Picture Association of America – has jut handed down an “R” rating to new comedy Year One.
The filmmakers, including Judd Apatow and director Harold Ramis, had been campaigning for a PG-13 in order to grab a wider audience. But the MPAA decided that because of “some sexual content and language,” the R rating had to stay on the film in its current form.
Apatow and Ramis now face a choice – stick with the given certificate or edit the film. Here’s how some other filmmakers reacted to decisions handed down over the years.
The film: Midnight Cowboy (1969)
The rating: X
The story: Cowboy, directed by John Schlesinger, was the first ever studio film to be slapped with an X rating (now known as an NC-17), which had mostly been reserved for porn movies. It meant most cinemas refused to carry the film and no one younger than 17 could get in at all.
To be fair to the MPAA, some of the board were prepared to go with an R rating (those under 17 can get in with an adult), but the boss of United Artists decided to apply the X himself.
Still, Schlesinger and co had the last laugh – not only did the movie go on to win both Best Director and Best Picture at the Oscars, but he was able to re-submit it a year after its first release – with no changes, mind – and grab an R.
Did it affect the box office? Didn’t seem to. Despite the early X and limited screens at first, people were drawn to the controversy and the quality of the movie itself.
The verdict: Draw! Everybody won.
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