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Old 01-31-2018, 09:45 PM
 
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I'm not an American so I am only going by what I read, but I do not understand why theaters in the US will not show NC-17 rated movies. I mean in Britain for example, they have the 18 certificate which is aimed for adults.

And in Canada where I live, they have 18A and R. R is higher here, but the movies are still shown in theaters.

And in the US, children can still get into R rated movies as long as they go with an adult, but the problem with that is, is that the MPAA then forces filmmakers to cut down their movies to get a "children's R", rather than a more proper adult R, where you don't have to compromise the material as much.

Or they could just take the NC-17 rating positively and allow NC-17 movies in theaters and just be grown ups about it. And I'm really surprised cause of all the violence and smut to come out of America (this is not judging at all), I don't get why they are so prudish on an NC-17 rating therefore.

But what is it really?

 
Old 02-01-2018, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Maine
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I don't remember the last time I saw an NC-17 release. Any time a movie gets that rating, the studio has the director make cuts to get it back to R.

The MPAA rating system makes no sense at all. I ignore it.
 
Old 02-01-2018, 09:33 AM
 
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Well that's what I mean, no theaters want to them, and it's kind of immature of them I think.
 
Old 02-01-2018, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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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.
 
Old 02-01-2018, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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^^^The above post is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Always remember that the movie business is about making money, not being enlightening or educational.
And NC-17 is the only rating that absolutely requires movie theaters to turn away potential paying customers. (R does not, as any kid with half a brain can figure out a way to have an over-18 'guardian' go with him/her to see the film.)

Less lucrative for theaters + (unfair) association with porn in the minds of many moviegoers means no love for the NC-17 rating in the US.
 
Old 02-01-2018, 05:21 PM
 
2,924 posts, read 964,578 times
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But why would porn be on moviegoers minds though? Lots of NC-17 movies do not have porn in them.
 
Old 02-01-2018, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,297 posts, read 3,474,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
But why would porn be on moviegoers minds though? Lots of NC-17 movies do not have porn in them.
Because to Americans NC-17 = X, and X = porn. Blame the late 70s for that (as I recall, the MPAA neglected to copyright the X rating, so when porn films were advertised in the 70s as XXX-rated, there was nothing they could do about it - and the link between the X-rating and porn was born, and persists to this day).

"Adult entertainment" in the US in the popular mind translates into "involves alcohol, gambling, or sex." And since movie theaters aren't casinos, only one of those categories is relevant...
 
Old 02-01-2018, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Elysium
5,804 posts, read 3,087,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Because to Americans NC-17 = X, and X = porn. Blame the late 70s for that (as I recall, the MPAA neglected to copyright the X rating, so when porn films were advertised in the 70s as XXX-rated, there was nothing they could do about it - and the link between the X-rating and porn was born, and persists to this day).

"Adult entertainment" in the US in the popular mind translates into "involves alcohol, gambling, or sex." And since movie theaters aren't casinos, only one of those categories is relevant...
I agree I remember Siskel and Ebert at the time NC-17 was introduced it was an attempt to break the link between "adult" movies and movies showing actors actually having sex. Only just as newspapers which refused advertising for X rated movies, although few actually rated X movies existed they were actually refusing advertising for unrated XXX movies, they refused to advertise NC-17 movies
 
Old 02-01-2018, 08:32 PM
 
2,924 posts, read 964,578 times
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But this whole NC-17 = X thing goes back to the 70s and 80s, it seems. Isn't the generation unfamiliar with that concept and America can move on from that now?
 
Old 02-01-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Elysium
5,804 posts, read 3,087,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
But this whole NC-17 = X thing goes back to the 70s and 80s, it seems. Isn't the generation unfamiliar with that concept and America can move on from that now?
Newspapers facing advertiser boycotts because of taking an ad for an adults only product is probably a thing of the past. But I guess there still is fear that nobody would screen your product if you do submit it for a rating and it gets a NC-17 rating.
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