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View Full Version : What's the deal with Airplane! having a PG rating but having breastal nudity?


xvxdarkknightxvx
04-28-2003, 09:42 PM
Yeah...

joshmaker
04-28-2003, 09:45 PM
Airplane is awsome?

noodler
04-28-2003, 09:52 PM
Years ago the rating system was different. The PG-13 rating was non-existing as was AFAIK the R rating. There was pretty much the G, PG, and X. The PG was roughly equivalent to today's R rating. In those days (ok, I wasn't actually alive in those days, but I pick up these things after working at a video store of a year) Parental Guidence was a bit more serious than it is now. Thus, many PG rated movies from the 70s and early 80s contain material that would now be considered unsuitable for such a rating.

xvxdarkknightxvx
04-28-2003, 09:52 PM
Well, I mean, that's a given. What kind of people did they show this movie to that it was given PG? Was it a bunch of 17 year old males?

xvxdarkknightxvx
04-28-2003, 09:55 PM
Ohhh...thanks for the answer. I guess I can now sleep at nights.

A spin-off question... how come someone doesn't reevaluate the ratings on all those older movies?

Achernar
04-28-2003, 10:04 PM
At the time that Airplane! was made, 1980, there were G, PG, R, and X ratings in the MPAA system. Since that time, PG-13 has been added and X has been replaced with NC-17.

I don't remember the film that well, but wasn't the nudity very brief and non-sexual in nature? There's not some simple rule that bare breasts = R rating. A lot of language, too, will warrant a different rating depending on whether it's used in a sexual context.

AWB
04-28-2003, 10:26 PM
It's the same as with the Planet of the Apes movies. Most of them were rated G, even though the first two had some gruesome (but with no Hollywood blood) depictions: fellow astronaut had crude brain surgury, guard got impaled on spiked gate, gunfire aplenty. And the third had Zera killing her baby's doppelganger. I don't think those would be even PG today.

Mr. Frink
04-28-2003, 10:47 PM
There was definitely an "R" rating back in the seventies. And there were even non-pornographic "X"-rated movies then too. The "X" rating didn't have the same stigma as it does today; in fact an "X"-rated movie was even nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award! Then the porn industry grabbed the "X" rating and slapped it over all their products, forever ruining the usefulness of it as a rating for legitimate films.

But back to your question...like Achernar said, there's no "rule" that says "bare breasts"="R" rating....it has to do with it's context. It's basically a value judgement from the people who happen to be rating the movie at the time.

PhuQan G Nyus
04-28-2003, 10:53 PM
the only "breasts" I remember in that movie were on an infalatable doll. That alone would explain there not being an R rating for it. Cartoons and drawings and similar depictions are not subject to the same kind of ratings as the actual display of the human body. Also if the "exposure" was not sexual in nature or violent, then the rating may not apply.
For instance showing a birth on television is not illegal or rated as other shows might be even though they show the vagina and breasts, because it is in a setting that is not intended to stimulate arousal or shown solely for that purpose.

Dahnlor
04-28-2003, 11:07 PM
Airplane! did in fact have actual real bare breasts, but as described above it was on screen for about one second and not within a sexual context. Today that movie probably would have earned a PG-13, but even back then it was too tame to earn an R.

Bryan Ekers
04-28-2003, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by AWB
And the third had Zera killing her baby's doppelganger. I don't think those would be even PG today.

I thought the baby double was killed by the crazy anti-ape fanatic Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden).

Otto
04-28-2003, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by xvxdarkknightxvx
A spin-off question... how come someone doesn't reevaluate the ratings on all those older movies? I don't know how widespread the practice is but films are or can be re-rated. An example being Midnight Cowboy (http://mpaa.org/movieratings/search/index.htm). As noted it was originally rated X but was re-rated R in 1971. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (http://mpaa.org/movieratings/about/index.htm) producers and distributors can appeal ratings decisions but I find no mention as to whether there is a "statute of limitations" as to how long after the initial rating the decision can be appealed. A filmmaker can also resubmit edited films for re-rating.

I didn't see anything on the MPAA site about how movies made prior to the institution of the ratings system are handled for theatrical distribution but they are rated according to the guidelines for TV ratings when broadcast. Since the ratings system is completely voluntary and has no legal effect in and of itself most people showing films from pre-ratings days probably don't care that much about it.

I remember the boobie shot in Airplane! as being included in a panicky passenger scene. They were real human breasts, not a doll or cartoon.

censored
04-29-2003, 12:02 AM
Titanic had boobs and was PG-13.

Agback
04-29-2003, 01:17 AM
Dragonslayer had a nude scene with Caitlin Clarke's breasts and pretty much all of Peter MacNichol: it was PG-13 and made by Disney. It was also quite snide about Christianity.

The world was a different place in 1981.

Regards,


Agback

pkbites
04-29-2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by Achernar
X has been replaced with NC-17.



I don't believe this is exactly the case. Films that are rated "NC-17" still are reviewed by the MPAA. It's the MPAA that assigns that particular rating.
"X" is a rating that film companies can assign to films themselves, without any review by the MPAA. If you go into a porn shop all the films will be rated X, not NC-17.

Just a slight hijack......Did you know Siskell and Ebert reviewed the X rated film Debbie Does Dallas? They really did! Tough gig, tough gig!;)

Achernar
04-29-2003, 01:26 AM
Well, I mean, it used to be that X was an MPAA rating as well. They stopped using it because it carried a pornographic connotation, and they wanted to avoid confusion.

Justin_Bailey
04-29-2003, 05:25 AM
pkbites is correct. X does not equal NC-17.

All of the ratings are trademarks of the MPAA. You can't use them without explicit permission. X was the exception. It was roughly equivalent to movies being released Unrated today. If you didn't want a movie reviewed by the MPAA you slapped an X on it. But an X was also like the NC-17 in that the MPAA could give a movie an X.

Achernar
04-29-2003, 05:45 AM
Here's what I was basing my claim on: (http://mpaa.org/movieratings/about/content2.htm)On September 27, 1990... we changed the name of the X category to NC-17:NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED. The X rating over the years appeared to have taken on a surly meaning in the minds of many people, a meaning that was never intended when we created the system. Therefore, we chose to reaffirm the original intent of the design we installed on November 1, 1968, in which this "adults only" category explicitly describes a movie that most parents would want to have barred to viewing by their children.

Justin_Bailey
04-29-2003, 05:54 AM
Right, that's what I was saying too. But the difference between X and the rest is that only the MPAA can give out the rest. X could be placed on any movie without MPAA review. When the porn industry snapped up the X the MPAA didn't want their rating only associated with hardcore sex so they created the NC-17, which is copyright like the rest and can only be given by the MPAA.

X = today's Unrated

Achernar
04-29-2003, 06:14 AM
The difference between pre-1990 X and today's Unrated is that the MPAA actually assigned X to films that they thought were beyond R. Today, if a movie is beyond R they assign it NC-17. So maybe pre-1990 X = today's Unrated + today's NC-17.

NoGoodNamesLeft
04-29-2003, 08:22 AM
Useless trivia= Midnight Cowboy is the only X-Rated film to win an Oscar™.

Apart from the breasts, I think there is a lot of 'underlying' humor that would nore likely have given 'Airplane!' a tougher rating: The pilot trying to pick-up on the 9 year-old boy, a few dope references, a few bitch-slaps, the flight attendant 'inflating' the auto-pilot that implied oral sex, and a whole bunch more I can't remember right now.

CalMeacham
04-29-2003, 09:17 AM
Before there was a "PG" rating there was a "GP" rating. It replaced the former "M" rating -- people must have thought that M = Mature + X, or something.

Anyway, too many people apparently thought "GP" meant "general Patronage". The movie The Hawaiians (the virtually forgotten sequel to Hawaii) featured a breast-baring scene in a Japanese Hot Tub. The movie was rated GP. Some comedienne (Joan Rivers, I think) said that "GP" stood for "Get Popcorn", because that's what she told her daughter to do when scenes like this came up. Clearly Bare Breasts is not equivalewnt to "R".

Cliffy
04-29-2003, 10:22 AM
Nowadays bare breasts will get a PG-13 (or even an R, as the ratings have gotten more puritannical over the years), but in the late 70's and early 80's many films with non-sexual boob shots were PG -- since there was no intermediate step between PG and R at the time, and by the late 70's very few non-cartoons were being given G ratings, the rule seemed to be that two seconds of breasts outside the bedroom was not enough to make a generally viewable film into a movie for adults, which is what the R rating connoted. Now that the PG-13 rating has been established, there is a place for films with some adult subject matter that are still not adult movies.

--Cliffy

psiekier
04-29-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by PhuQan G Nyus
the only "breasts" I remember in that movie were on an infalatable doll. That alone would explain there not being an R rating for it. HERESY!

How can you not remember Ursula "Uschi" Digard's boobs being in that movie, PhuQan G Nyus?!?

She was a bunny! :D

Friday
04-29-2003, 03:09 PM
I thought it was Kitten Natividad, not Uschi Digard. Do you have a cite?

bayonet1976
04-29-2003, 03:27 PM
It was definitely Kitten Nitividad, Uschi may have been a little past her prime by the time Airplane! came out.

Mr. Miskatonic
04-29-2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Justin_Bailey
Right, that's what I was saying too. But the difference between X and the rest is that only the MPAA can give out the rest. X could be placed on any movie without MPAA review. When the porn industry snapped up the X the MPAA didn't want their rating only associated with hardcore sex so they created the NC-17, which is copyright like the rest and can only be given by the MPAA.

X = today's Unrated

Well, the copyright, as well as the fact that its real hard to make "NC-17NC-17NC-17 Girls!!!" seem like it should be sexually exciting.

Morbo
04-29-2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Agback
Dragonslayer had a nude scene with Caitlin Clarke's breasts and pretty much all of Peter MacNichol: it was PG-13 and made by Disney. It was also quite snide about Christianity.

The world was a different place in 1981.

Regards,


Agback

Slight nitpick: Dragonslayer was PG. PG-13 did not get introduced until 1984, due primarily to the voilence in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The first movie released with a PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (http://us.imdb.com/Trivia?0087985).

That same year, Sixteen Candles featured a brief nudity scene and did not receive the new PG-13 rating.

RD
04-29-2003, 05:02 PM
Nudity is not considered erotic, per se.

That's why there are lots of bare-breasted statues in Washington, even in front of the Supreme Court, Treasury, and Congressional buildings.

Moe
04-29-2003, 05:25 PM
Not exactly on topic (perhaps not even remotely), but I always thought it strange that Beetlejuice was a given a PG rating despite the line "Nice fuckin' model!".

I think I'd always assumed that even a single utterance of the word would automatically place it beyong the realm of PG.

xvxdarkknightxvx
04-29-2003, 05:29 PM
RD: While it may nto have been totally erotic, the breasts in question were undulating. I remember they didn't show her face...just neck and below. But yeah, they were jiggling up and down.

And Cliffy: I always thought Titanic got PG-13 because there wasn't much else wrong with the movie, and the breast scenes were done in an artistic rather than sexual manner. I'm pretty sure they allow butt nudity in PG-13 but rarely allow breasts. I can't recall another movie recently that had breasts that was rated PG-13. Can anyone think of one?

Padeye
04-29-2003, 06:13 PM
You may be confusing the pneumatic Kitten NAtividad's scene in Airplane with the boobs against the shower door glass in Kentucky Fried Movie during the Catholic School Girls In Trouble bit.

I never forget a tit.

Padeye
04-29-2003, 06:14 PM
Forgot to say it was Uschi Digart in KFM

scotandrsn
04-29-2003, 06:18 PM
"breastal"?

Incubus
04-29-2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by xvxdarkknightxvx
RD: While it may nto have been totally erotic, the breasts in question were undulating. I remember they didn't show her face...just neck and below. But yeah, they were jiggling up and down.

And Cliffy: I always thought Titanic got PG-13 because there wasn't much else wrong with the movie, and the breast scenes were done in an artistic rather than sexual manner. I'm pretty sure they allow butt nudity in PG-13 but rarely allow breasts. I can't recall another movie recently that had breasts that was rated PG-13. Can anyone think of one?

The Fifth Element had bare breasts in several scenes and was given a PG-13 rating.

syncrolecyne
04-29-2003, 09:09 PM
I think Jack Nicholson said years ago "If you kiss a breast its an "X", if you chop one off, it's an "R".

occ
04-29-2003, 09:38 PM
FWIW, the "PG" rating was very popular in the 1980s. A huge number of popular films were rated as such, and many of these had large amounts of profanity, some violence, and perhaps a tiny bit of nudity. The rating seemed to dry up come the early 1990s, and nowadays there are so few PG-rated movies released that the rating almost seems defunct. What seems to have happened, though, is that stuff that used to get PG now gets a PG-13, and PG was gradually morphed into a tamer rating.

MentalGuy
04-29-2003, 09:50 PM
I think Airplane! must have been re-rated or something. (Where did you see this rating darkknight). I have a very strong memory of it being rated R when I originally saw it. I realize I could have a faulty memory, but I have always thought it was an R-Rated movie.

Achernar
04-30-2003, 02:34 AM
It's PG according to mpaa.org. Possibly somebody misinformed you.

mr-monday
04-30-2003, 08:51 AM
What rating is Logan's Run the the US? That contains bare breasts and is shown in the middle of the day here in the UK.

I don't know, what's so corrupting about naked breasts anyway..

Justin_Bailey
04-30-2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Incubus
The Fifth Element had bare breasts in several scenes and was given a PG-13 rating.

While Leloo does walk around naked for a good portion of the movie you never see her breasts.


Originally posted by syncrolecyne
I think Jack Nicholson said years ago "If you kiss a breast its an "X", if you chop one off, it's an "R".

Actually the almighty Bruce Campbell said that.

bayonet1976
04-30-2003, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by Justin_Bailey
While Leloo does walk around naked for a good portion of the movie you never see her breasts.

Yeah you do. For a very short time, when she's just been recreated and is lying down in the chamber, right before she's reanimated.

mipiace
04-30-2003, 12:22 PM
This is probably not a popular opinion but I don't get why breasts rate any kind of additionaly rating anyway. They are just breasts! I don't have a problem with my kids seeing topless females. We used to see as much or more at the beach when we lived in Europe anyway. But I don't want to turn this into a great debate.

Marine_One
04-30-2003, 01:25 PM
Surely everyone remembers the Jello jiggling and then....

Sauron
04-30-2003, 01:59 PM
To throw oil into the roiled waters here ...

I recall the producer of "How to Beat the High Cost of Living" complaining bitterly about his movie getting an "R" rating from the MPAA. Apparently, the only thing in it that would justify such a rating was the brief exposure of a pair of breasts in a non-sexual moment, and such things had been seen in "PG" movies on a regular basis at the time.

The only thing that made these breasts different was that they belonged to Jane Curtin, of Saturday Night Live fame. (This was in the heyday of the original SNL shows.)

I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Otto
04-30-2003, 02:37 PM
The obvious answer is that Jane Curtin isn't sexy, but that's just mean. IIRC she doesn't actually flash for the camera. She's doing a strip to distract people from the Money Ball and gets down to bra, then yells something like "who wants to see 1985?" (there was a year-by-year theme to the strip). She takes off the bra but is only shown from the back.

xvxdarkknightxvx
04-30-2003, 02:49 PM
MentalGuy: Yeah...the MPAA says PG, and it also says so on my DVD =].

I remember reading about how the makers of South Park kept getting NC-17 as the rating for South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. The reasons always revlved around certain jokes that the panel decided were too vulgar. What the makers decided to do was change each joke to a slightly worse/more vulgar joke and see what happened. Well, since the panel changes every time a movie gets reviewed, the different panels kept approving the vulgarer version of the joke but dissapproved of other jokes. So the process of changing each joke to a more vulgar version kept repeating itself until finally some panel gave it an R and the movie was released.

xvxdarkknightxvx
04-30-2003, 02:55 PM
Oh, also, I just remembered that scene from The Abyss where the leading lady and that guy from Pollock are trapped in a submersible. There's only enough air for one of them, so she decided to let Pollock guy have it. So he swims her to the main craft while she hopes her body will "pass out" but not die. Anyway, he gets her on the ship, and in order to save her, he rips her shirt open and does CPR. I'm not sure, but I think I saw her boobs in that. The movie had a PG-13 rating. Just another example...

Chronos
04-30-2003, 03:33 PM
Quoth scottandrsn:"breastal"?No kidding. Everyone knows that the proper term is "boobilicious".

Otto
04-30-2003, 03:40 PM
There's a scene in Student Bodies (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0083133) where someone purporting to be a producer of the film breaks in to the action and says "In order for a film to receive and R rating, it must contain either full-frontal nudity, excessive violence or a graphic description of the sex act. Since this film contains none of these things, allow me to take a moment to say 'fuck you'."

Largely meaningless to the present discussion but seeing that scene as an early-teen person I thought it was hilarious.

Sauron
04-30-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Otto
The obvious answer is that Jane Curtin isn't sexy, but that's just mean. IIRC she doesn't actually flash for the camera. She's doing a strip to distract people from the Money Ball and gets down to bra, then yells something like "who wants to see 1985?" (there was a year-by-year theme to the strip). She takes off the bra but is only shown from the back.

Well, then it'd be pretty stupid for the movie to have received its "R" rating.

My recollection is that she did flash the camera, for less than a second, and the movie was slapped with an "R." That's what the producer was complaining about. He then cut the scene to remove her "breastal nudity" and got the PG rating he was looking for.

I seem to recall him comparing it to "Kramer vs. Kramer", which also had a very mild nude scene but which received a PG rating instead of an R. I could be wrong on that, though.

Achernar
04-30-2003, 06:03 PM
A striptease is a sexual context. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (for instance) is not a sexual context. That's the difference. What was the nude scene in Kramer vs. Kramer about?

Max Torque
04-30-2003, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by xvxdarkknightxvx
I remember reading about how the makers of South Park kept getting NC-17 as the rating for South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. The reasons always revlved around certain jokes that the panel decided were too vulgar. What the makers decided to do was change each joke to a slightly worse/more vulgar joke and see what happened. Well, since the panel changes every time a movie gets reviewed, the different panels kept approving the vulgarer version of the joke but dissapproved of other jokes. So the process of changing each joke to a more vulgar version kept repeating itself until finally some panel gave it an R and the movie was released.

Were you perchance thinking of this article (http://moviemaker.com/issues/41/mpaa.html) or a similar one? From the article:
Said Matt Stone, "The MPAA has no set rules. Things change from movie to movie. It makes no sense. In going through the notes we saw that they had no standards, so we decided these people are stupid and we'd just try to get it past them. If there was something they said couldn't stay in [South Park], we'd make it 10 times worse and five times as long. And they'd come back and say, 'OK, that's better.'"
The entire article is well worth reading; it highlights some of the difficulties independent filmmakers have encountered in getting their films rated by the MPAA.

Otto
04-30-2003, 06:47 PM
The KvK nude scene involved the son going to pee in the middle of the night and meeting Dad's naked squeeze on her way to the bathroom. the nudity itself was non-sexual but obviously sprang from a sexual situation.

xvxdarkknightxvx
05-01-2003, 12:02 AM
That's the one, Max =].

Bryan Ekers
05-01-2003, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Otto
There's a scene in Student Bodies (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0083133) where someone purporting to be a producer of the film breaks in to the action and says "In order for a film to receive and R rating, it must contain either full-frontal nudity, excessive violence or a graphic description of the sex act. Since this film contains none of these things, allow me to take a moment to say 'fuck you'."


Sometimes this is taken into account and the word is removed. There is a scene in Galaxy Quest (a much under-rated film) in which Sigourney Weaver clearly mouths the words "Well, fuck that!" but it's been dubbed "Well, screw that!"

I'm not sure if dodging the R-rating helped the box office, which was a respectable $54 million. Maybe if they'd gone all out with Weaver nude and grimmer violence and rougher language, they might have done okay among the "R" movies, but that seems counter to the inherent silliness of the Trekkie-spoofing plot.

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