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Old 02-12-2018, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
3,854 posts, read 4,258,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Well it has the cult following now, but why is it that theaters were willing to show Showgirls back when it came out, when they have a policy not to show NC-17 movies. Did the distributor convince the theaters that even though the movie is NC-17, that they have to show it cause it's so deliciously bad and people will love it?
My guess is that when Showgirls came out in 1995, NC-17 was still fairly new. The MPAA was still really trying to make it work and I think theaters weren't quite as inclined to turn the movies down. Showgirls was made specifically to get an NC-17 rating. Stories tell of the director actually adding sex scenes back into the movie to ensure he got that rating. As time has gone on, I think more and more theaters and media outlets have become more adverse to the rating. Showgirls did manage to get into 1300 theaters when it opened. And the writer, Joe Eszterhas, practically got himself exiled because he took out an add telling teenagers to get fake IDs and go see this movie. I think all of this, plus Showgirls being a major bomb at the box office, brought on the idea to theaters that NC-17 was more hassle than its worth. Perhaps Showgirls is actually what killed that rating? Just a theory.

 
Old 02-12-2018, 03:11 PM
 
2,969 posts, read 970,099 times
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I remember reading a comment on a movie site way back saying that Showgirls is what killed the rating but I though that was probably just a theory and not supported. However, killed it for whom though? If this is true, most moviegoers of today's generation don't even know what Showgirls is. So I thought that enough time had past that they could show NC-17 movies again or at least try, and no one important is going to bring up showgirls, if it happened.

Plus of all the movies that are rated NC-17 why would they pick such a bad joke of a movie like Showgirls as the one to promote the rating?
 
Old 02-12-2018, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
I remember reading a comment on a movie site way back saying that Showgirls is what killed the rating but I though that was probably just a theory and not supported. However, killed it for whom though? If this is true, most moviegoers of today's generation don't even know what Showgirls is. So I thought that enough time had past that they could show NC-17 movies again or at least try, and no one important is going to bring up showgirls, if it happened.

Plus of all the movies that are rated NC-17 why would they pick such a bad joke of a movie like Showgirls as the one to promote the rating?
You don't understand the warped humor of people in the U.S. - especially on the two coasts. I present Hollywood California, I present Washington D.C.. The physical locations for their action is fine, but the crazy bad actors comprising the casts of characters in those places make "Showgirls" seem like "Citizen Kane" in comparison.
 
Old 02-13-2018, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
3,854 posts, read 4,258,472 times
Reputation: 3959
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
I remember reading a comment on a movie site way back saying that Showgirls is what killed the rating but I though that was probably just a theory and not supported. However, killed it for whom though? If this is true, most moviegoers of today's generation don't even know what Showgirls is. So I thought that enough time had past that they could show NC-17 movies again or at least try, and no one important is going to bring up showgirls, if it happened.

Plus of all the movies that are rated NC-17 why would they pick such a bad joke of a movie like Showgirls as the one to promote the rating?
Killed it for movie theaters. When the movie bombed, even after all the promotion and after really driving home that it's NC-17, the theaters started to feel that NC-17 wasn't worth the hassle and theaters started deciding they wouldn't run NC-17 movies anymore. It took a way a big core audience as kids couldn't see it, even with their parents, and many people just still associated NC-17 with X and porn, something that I think still exists to this day.
 
Old 02-25-2018, 09:04 PM
 
1,852 posts, read 323,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I'll give the short version:

NC-17 is the child of the old X rating. For about a decade, there were a few films rated X that weren't porno. Most of those eventually got lesser ratings and the "X" became an anathema, since it was so closely connected in the public mind to porno.

The United States is a country where sexual material was historically repressed, especially in the major east coast cities with Catholic censorship and the remnants of Puritan prudery. However, graphic violence was not seen as damaging, perhaps because of the boosting of a strong military and the "violence is a normal part of maintaining order" ethic.

Canada has been largely the opposite, where sexual expression was not repressed, and violence was. In growing up in Vermont, it was fascinating to watch the censorship on television, where a bare breast or two would be shown on the Montreal (and Toronto?) stations - channels 6 and 12. They would clip out the gratuitous violence. The same movie, shown on U.S. television (channels 3, 5, and 8) would have the violence but not the breasts. I suspect the French influence was a driving factor, as obviously Quebec would also have Catholic censorship in some fashion.

Anyway...

NC-17 became a rating where film makers tried to be more free but STILL submitted their films to the MPAA. A failed R was given an NC-17, film that the censors (that is really what they are) couldn't understand got an NC-17. Some film makers just threw hands into the air and never bothered to submit their films, getting a "This film is unrated" appellation.

Meanwhile, back in tiny-brain land, communities seeking to rout out porno theatres and uphold close-minded values did exactly what the ratings board swore would never happen - they used the ratings in their legal battle. A theatre could not show any film that didn't have an R or lighter rating. Hence, the video store was born, where the porno was housed in a back room, and either shown in booths or rented out. Being less obvious, that pleased the local morality police.

Those laws limited distribution of NC-17 and un-rated films, and many times the combination of low draw and potential hassles had bookers shelving them in favor of other available product.

Always remember that the movie business is about making money, not being enlightening or educational.

R-ratings themselves can be problematic, especially in multiplexes where crossovers are possible, and the laws are specific about children seeing certain parts of the anatomy. Those laws typically followed the old age of emancipation (18 years old) as opposed to the rating guideline - (17 years old). It was a pain in the A**, as managers and cashiers were forced into evaluating a film based on local codes and then treating some films as a soft R and some as a hard R based on content.

A response to that was the inclusion of a new rating "PG-13," which was a step up from the original "PG" With that, managers were instructed to treat all "R" films as a hard "R."

"R" was "accompanied by parent or guardian." What constituted a guardian was in constant dispute. Was an uncle? Was an older brother in his twenties? Was a single guardian of someone over 18 enough for an entire group? Disputes at a box office are not fun and slow the line.

With the hard "R" the definition got limited to the actual parent (who had to STAY and not just drop and run) or a school group. School group? Huh? When the local home for unwed mothers or alternative boarding school came to the theatre as a group, we were pretty sure the unwed mothers had already seen "R" rated material in real life, and the teachers were legal guardians.
That is a nice explanation (not sarcasm).
 
Old 04-04-2018, 03:49 PM
 
2,969 posts, read 970,099 times
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But the movie Midnight Cowboy got an X rating and that movie won best picture and is considered a classic to this day.

So why is that Midnight Cowboy's success with the X rating is long forgotten, but a movie like Showgirls, is apparently long remembered, when most people conclude that Midnight Cowboy is the better movie? Why not use the better movie as a template for the X or NC-17 rating than Showgirls?
 
Old 04-04-2018, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,306 posts, read 3,479,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
But the movie Midnight Cowboy got an X rating and that movie won best picture and is considered a classic to this day.
Midnight Cowboy got that X-rating back in the 1970s (the decade Harry Chickpea was referring to in his comment "For about a decade, there were a few films rated X that weren't porno"). It wouldn't come close to an NC-17 rating today. So it's not a very persuasive example of why theaters should embrace content that legitimately WOULD deserve an NC-17 rating today.

Just as the old G-rating isn't today's G-rating, the 1970s X-rating isn't today's NC-17 rating. Currently PG (kids can see it), PG-13 (younger teens can see it) and R (older teens/adults can see it) seems to cover all the needed bases. Why should a studio make an NC-17 film when the same film can be edited slightly to get an R-rating and avoid any issues?
 
Old 04-04-2018, 04:36 PM
 
2,969 posts, read 970,099 times
Reputation: 931
But not every movie can slightly be edited to an R rating. I remember an interview with John Waters in This Film Is Not Yet Rated and his movie, A Dirty Shame, got an NC-17 rating, and he asked the ratings board what he could cut, and they told him he would have to cut everything had to be cut to avoid an NC-17.

So I feel that for some movies, you cannot cut them down and the theaters should just accept the rating.
 
Old 04-04-2018, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,306 posts, read 3,479,933 times
Reputation: 14967
^^^Why should theaters show a film they don't think their patrons wish to see, or that will place an excessive policing burden on them? (How is the typical multiplex going to keep underage kids from slipping into the NC-17 films?)

The reality is that some films are simply not commercially viable for large-scale theatrical distribution, and need to find their audience in other ways. Not every film makes it at the multiplex. Art house venues and cable/streaming services are probably better distribution choices for films that are true NC-17s (just as they are for foreign language films).
 
Old 04-04-2018, 07:07 PM
 
2,969 posts, read 970,099 times
Reputation: 931
Well the multiplex keeps kids out of R rated films, so what difference does it make for NC-17?
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