MPAA ratings are confusing, to be nice, and downright stupid to be not-so-nice. If you think this is a new thing, then you’d be wrong. Before the PG-13 rating was created, there were a lot of PG movies that would literally be rated R today. Nevertheless, the discrepancies haven’t stopped the Motion Picture Association of America from coming up with some pretty head-scratching labels. Here are the six that stand out as the worst offenders.
5. The Valachi Papers
Charles Bronson starred in this adaptation of the Peter Maas true crime novel. Within its 125-minute runtime, this addition to our inappropriate PG movies list contains a makeout scene between two female prostitutes, a mob-orchestrated castration, and a decidedly un-family friendly mafia storyline. If The Valachi Papers had been made and released today, parents would be irate.
4. Vanishing Point
Barry Newman stars as Kowalski, a rebellious ex-cop, who sets off on a mission to deliver a 1970 Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco overnight. With a bottle of uppers and a refusal to stop for anything — even cops — he ignites a high-speed chase across desert country and takes a nation along with him via the musings of DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little). With the drug use, the reckless driving, the disdain for authority, and a fiery conclusion, it would probably be better suited to the PG-13 rating (had it existed in ’71 when the movie was released). Throw in the naked biker girl, and you’ve got a definite R. Consequently, the MPAA has since reclassified to the appropriate rating.
Jaws may have been the first summer blockbuster, but it had enough slasher movie suspense and graphic gore to warrant something more alarming. To this day, it remains one of the most inappropriate PG movies ever with the MPAA having failed to reclassify once the PG-13 came along. Even with the in-between, however, you could make a good case that Jaws deserves an R rating based on some of the death scenes and the exploding shark.
2. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Okay, I get that it’s Indiana Jones and that the movie was designed for kids of all ages, but the melting faces at the end really push this one past the PG rating. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it deserves the R, but it should definitely get a PG-13 based on the ending and the whiskey duel alone. Nazis don’t belong in a PG movie either.
Grizzly is better known as “Jaws with Claws” or the first official ripoff of Steven Spielberg’s killer shark movie. “Ripoff” is kind of a harsh word, though, considering how much fun it is. Amazingly enough, it received a PG rating, which has not since been reclassified even though there is a scene where a little boy has his leg torn off. Hard. Core.
So there you have it — our picks for the five most inappropriate PG movies of all time. Which ones would you include on the list? Share in our comments section below.
And for more movie fun, make sure you check out these 6 Edge-Of-Your-Seat Thrillers You Probably Forgot About.