Clearly, this represents something of a brave new world in mainstream cinema — and, some would argue, a depraved one. While the rating reasons may not provide information about all of the types of content that parents might observe in films, they do provide information about some of the content and specifically about the content that the raters considered the most significant with respect to assigning the overall rating. We performed a review of the literature up through March 1, to identify any prior research that related motion picture ratings, content, and economic performance. Main Outcome Measures Description of movie ratings, correlation of content with rating, and statistical results. This goal becomes less surprising when we realise how prevalent incorrect thinking was in early cinema. But imagination cannot be legislated, even if representation can be controlled.
Since the MPAA rating reasons do not follow any standard format, we coded each of the reasons with the classifications listed in Table 1. Age-based ratings alone do not provide good information about the depiction of violence, sex, profanity, and other content, and the criteria for rating movies became less stringent over the last decade. Whether a film becomes more obscene the more swear words it contains is arguable: We found significantly higher rated content in movies as a function of time, suggesting that the MPAA applied less stringency in its age-based ratings over time for the period of Parents and physicians should be aware that movies with the same rating can differ significantly in the amount and types of potentially objectionable content. Comparing the content-based scores for different movie ratings, we find large variability exists in the types of content that receive different MPAA ratings, and good correlation between the content-based scores assigned by Kids-in-Mind and Screen It! A hundred years ago, by contrast, film censors viewed comedy not as a mitigating context but an aggravating one. Our search of the literature did not reveal any academic studies that correlated all movie ratings with content or any recent studies that correlated ratings with film gross sales or budgets. The Hays Code was generally more vague, and thus more flexible, in its prohibitions. But at no time do you give the impression that she would even consider sleeping with Ken Willard unless they were properly sanctified. A backlash was inevitable, and as television made inroads into cinema audiences, film-makers began disregarding the censors, who were never legally empowered: We also identified the animated films by searching their descriptions for indications of animation. The MPAA rating reasons provide important information about content, but they do not identify all types of content found in films and they may particularly miss the depiction of substances. More important than numbers is context: This study contributes quantitative information about these relationships and hypotheses. The MPAA provides voluntary age-based ratings and nonstandardized, descriptive rating reasons intended to inform consumers about the reason s a film received its age-based rating. Their depictions of interracial violence are controversial but they would never have found mainstream distribution if either film had failed to condemn slavery from start to finish. Broadly speaking, profanity has evolved from 19th-century prohibitions against blaspheming, through 20th-century preoccupations with sexuality and bodily functions, into 21st-century fears about hate speech and incitement to violence. From its inception, cinema has provoked fears about debasement and corruption of its audiences, especially in terms of the way language is used. In , the Hays Code was formally disbanded and replaced by the MPAA, the modern classification system, which implemented similar categories to the BBFC, primarily targeted at defending children and accepting that adults no longer needed to be protected from realistically violent films. Now our notions of profanity tend to circulate around bodily functions and relationships. Landmark literary trials permitted the publication of profanity and obscenity for the first time. A film called Glorifying the American Girl glorifies her with full-colour full-frontal nudity, while many films between and featured homosexuality and lesbianism not always negatively , prostitution, incest, sadomasochistic sex, various kinds of drug use they were especially fond of cocaine , and even satanic cults. The MPAA rating reasons correlate with higher scores assigned to content-based ratings, and the number of reasons indicated increases with the age-based rating category. The MPAA provides no specific criteria for its assignments of ratings or rating reasons; instead, it apparently leaves their assignment entirely to the judgment of its independent board of raters who view the films. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Finally, we obtained information on gross revenues and movie budgets from the IMDbPro.
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