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Young Consenting Adults: Is the PG Movie Dead?

Stashed in: Hollywood, Indiana Jones

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good, old-school PG movies are no more.

PG-13 is the new PG.

If Spielberg’s Jaws “invented” the modern blockbuster, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins, produced by Spielberg, warped blockbuster standards into their present state. After audiences discovered that Joe Dante’s horror comedy wasn’t the next E.T. and that Temple of Doomdisplayed what many considered R-worthy violence — nothing gets parent groups more riled up than a high priest removing a man’s heart with his bare hands — Spielberg personally rang Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, to suggest an amendment to the rating scale. Despite reservations,1 Valenti caved to the blockbuster maestro, establishing the PG-13 rating on July 1, 1984. John Milius’s kids-fight-Communists drama Red Dawn became the first film to earn the rating, opening just one month after Gremlins.

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