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John Drew

First "Grown Up" film you saw as a kid (in 2 parts)

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I'm inclined to say that even if PG-13 had been available in 1975, Jaws should have received an R.

I dunno. I saw it first during early adolescence (12 or 13 years old). That seems to me to be the right age for JAWS.

12 or 13-year-olds can watch R-rated films. So can 7-year-olds or even 3-year-olds, for that matter. It's a messed-up system.

Sure. But if we are ignoring all the weird particulars of the MPAA system and are looking at the ratings system in terms of the original intent behind it (to broadly identify a film's age-appropriateness), then PG-13 strikes me as being a good fit for JAWS.

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I'm inclined to say that even if PG-13 had been available in 1975, Jaws should have received an R.

Considering MPAA's current guidelines towards gore and drugs, I think if Jaws were released today, it would absolutely receive an R.

In the '70's, considering that many films notably more adult than Jaws (such as Barry Lyndon, Kramer vs. Kramer, Cabaret, and All the President's Men) were all rated PG, I think the PG rating originally had a more adult audience in mind. PG-13 did make PG more of a family rating as well as introducing new guidelines for R.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

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In 1975, I would have been seven at the oldest. Could it possibly have been a later year? Did it get a rerelease?

Jaws got a brief re-release in 1979 (strange, you'd think it would have been '78 as a lead in to Jaws 2). That was when my parents finally allowed me to see it in a theater. I would have been 13 at the time.

Edited by John Drew

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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In 1975, I would have been seven at the oldest. Could it possibly have been a later year? Did it get a rerelease?

Jaws got a brief re-release in 1978, before the release of Jaws 2. That was when my parents finally allowed me to see it in a theater. I would have been 12 at the time.

That makes sense. I can believe I was nine going on ten. I was having a hard time with going on seven.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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In 1975, I would have been seven at the oldest. Could it possibly have been a later year? Did it get a rerelease?

Jaws got a brief re-release in 1978, before the release of Jaws 2. That was when my parents finally allowed me to see it in a theater. I would have been 12 at the time.

That makes sense. I can believe I was nine going on ten. I was having a hard time with going on seven.

Revised my earlier post. It was re-released in '79.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Even at seven, or however old I was, I could see that the shark was fake, but it was still gruesome, and I had a definite sense that I was inappropriately young for that (I was astonished several years ago to discover that it was only rated PG).

Jaws is one of the reasons the PG-13 rating was created.

If that's true, it was a remote factor. The tipping point was nine years later with Temple of Doom and Gremlins, both 1984. Wikipedia also cites Poltergeist (1982) and, stretching a bit IMO, Clash of the Titans (1981). The first film to actually receive the PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (1984).

I'm inclined to say that even if PG-13 had been available in 1975, Jaws should have received an R.

One of the strangest ratings of a movie that I attended occurred in 1979. George Romero's Dawn of the Dead was screening at our local mall shoebox theater (same place where I finally saw the previously mentioned Jaws, FWIW). Romero released the film without a rating, because the MPAA was going to slap it with an X. I believe it was left to either local municipalities, or maybe even the theater itself, to police who could see the film. So there was this strange rating/restriction sticker placed on all the posters, and at the box office window that basically said Dawn of the Dead was considered a PG film because of its minimal sex and language content, but no one under 17 would be admitted (not even with an accompanying parent) because of the graphic violence.

As with a lot of theaters today, this policing didn't really have any bones. A friends mom took us to see it. She left after 15 minutes, while we made it till the end.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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SDG wrote:

: I'm inclined to say that even if PG-13 had been available in 1975, Jaws should have received an R.

Interestingly, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho -- which was originally "approved" in 1960, several years before the ratings system was invented -- was rated M in 1968 (this was before "M" was changed to "PG"), but it was *then* re-rated R in 1984. I have always speculated that Universal submitted the film for a re-rating partly because the M rating was increasingly archaic, but also partly because of the invention of the PG-13 rating. At any rate, I wonder if they were surprised to get an R rating in the end, given that the film had been approved for all all audiences twice before.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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See, I read this topic to mean the first "grown-up" movie seen, as defined by some level of talky, non-action-based complexity that would be tagged as "boring" by kids, typically. Along those lines, Raiders, Jaws and Dawn o'the Dead are non-responsive. ;)


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See, I read this topic to mean the first "grown-up" movie seen, as defined by some level of talky, non-action-based complexity that would be tagged as "boring" by kids, typically. Along those lines, Raiders, Jaws and Dawn o'the Dead are non-responsive. wink.png

To me, movies like Raiders and Jurassic Park are somewhat edgy family fare, but Jaws is very different from Raiders and even from Jurassic Park, for two reasons.

First, while it's not exactly a talky, complex drama, it does have significantly higher levels of talky, non-action-based complexity: character development, quiet conversations, adult emotions, narrative realism, etc. Chief Brody isn't a cardboard cutout like Indy or Alan Grant, to start with. Even if the action and suspense easily hold a kid's attention, Jaws has a ratio of excitement to "boring parts" that marks it as more mature fare.

Second, the violence and gore is much more shocking and much less escapist-thrilling than anything in Raiders or Jurassic Park. When Quint goes down the shark's gullet, it's horrifying; when the T-rex gobbles up the lawyer, it's a punchline, not all that different from the doghouse hanging from the T-rex's mouth in the second film.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I get you, and I esteem Jaws really, really highly. Maybe Jaws led to the summer-movie paradigm we suffer under today, but even if that's the case, it's such a great film. (aside: if it didn't make the horror movies list, it should have) My point is, though, that very few individuals at nine years old with XY chromosomes would have had to be talked into seeing Jaws, and the ones who would have resisted would have done so largely because they feared the potential for nightmare fuel, and not because they feared having to see the chief have a polysyllabic conversation with his wife.


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I'm inclined to say that even if PG-13 had been available in 1975, Jaws should have received an R.

I dunno. I saw it first during early adolescence (12 or 13 years old). That seems to me to be the right age for JAWS.

12 or 13-year-olds can watch R-rated films. So can 7-year-olds or even 3-year-olds, for that matter. It's a messed-up system.

Living in Britain, this is something I've never really understood - here, we have simple age-ratings, and if you're under the age you aren't allowed in, regardless of adult accompaniment. The only fudge here is the 12A, created in response to an absolute storm of protest when Spiderman received a 12 and left all the kiddies desolate. It's now the go-to rating for comic-book films.

I just find it strange, because we get plenty of 18 ratings here with nary a complaint, and yet there's such a kerfuffle in America whenever something's slapped with the NC17.

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Gosh. Can't believe I just remembered this. Right after Jaws 2 came out-- a film I had not seen, but I had bought and read and reread the Marvel magazine-sized adaptation-- I started writing a story called Jaws 3. It begins, as you might imagine, with Brody going to chase another shark, and his wife protesting. The enraged Mrs. Brody tells the Chief he can take all this dangerous living and "shove it up a shark's butt." Brody asks, "Does a shark have a butt?" The Mrs. counters, "Then shove it up yours!" She then "turned on her heel" and left the room.

My dad thought that was hilarious, I remember, and when one of his friends came over to visit, he made me retrieve my spiral bound notebook from my room.


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I get you, and I esteem Jaws really, really highly. Maybe Jaws led to the summer-movie paradigm we suffer under today, but even if that's the case, it's such a great film. (aside: if it didn't make the horror movies list, it should have) My point is, though, that very few individuals at nine years old with XY chromosomes would have had to be talked into seeing Jaws, and the ones who would have resisted would have done so largely because they feared the potential for nightmare fuel, and not because they feared having to see the chief have a polysyllabic conversation with his wife.

Well, sure. Then again, how would they know about the polysyllabic conversation until they saw the film? To those who know, say, Jurassic Park, they'd probably expect something like that, and find it to be very different from their expectations.

I took the category to refer less to "movies you wouldn't have wanted to see at nine" than "movies not catering to family audiences; movies that challenged you with greater sophistication or maturity than the family fare you were familiar with." In my own biography, I think both Jaws and Chariots of Fire warrant mention.

P.S. Hilarious story, Russ.

Living in Britain, this is something I've never really understood - here, we have simple age-ratings, and if you're under the age you aren't allowed in, regardless of adult accompaniment. The only fudge here is the 12A, created in response to an absolute storm of protest when Spiderman received a 12 and left all the kiddies desolate. It's now the go-to rating for comic-book films.

I just find it strange, because we get plenty of 18 ratings here with nary a complaint, and yet there's such a kerfuffle in America whenever something's slapped with the NC17.

Yeah. That's how it should be. The US system is so screwed up. So many R-rated films should be "no kids, period."

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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