United States of America
In the United States, the
MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)
controls the classification of all films and trailers. Separate classifications
apply to television programming however, more information about this can be
found at TVGuidelines.org.
In 1968, the voluntary ratings
system was introduced, and with this, the birth of 4 classifications: G, M, R
and X. All of these were trademarked, except for the X. Under this system,
anybody not submitting their film for rating, could apply for the X rating, or
any other symbol as long as it wasn't one of the MPAA's trademarked icons.
None of these initial
categories were legally restricted, this was in the view that parents should be
able to accompany their children to any movie they desire, without the MPAA, the
government, or any other groups interfering with their rights. However, NATO (National
Association of Theater Owners, Inc.) insisted that an Adults Only classification
was introduced, in fear that legal action could be taken towards them under
local or state law.
are 5 major classifications:
G stands for General Audiences (All ages permitted). Nothing in theme,
language, sex, nudity etc which would be inappropriate for a young child in
the eyes of a parent. The G rating does not however signify that it is a
children's film. Some of the language used my not be what is used in an
everyday conversation, but they are common expressions.
PG: This stands for Parental Guidance Suggested (Some Material May
Not Be Suitable For Children). Parents are advised to look into the film
before they let their child attend, as some of the content may not be suitable
for young children.
PG-13: Parents are
strongly cautioned when it comes to allowing under 13's viewing films under
the PG-13 category, as some material may be inappropriate for children under
13 years old. In the eyes of the MPAA, films rated PG-13 are beyond PG when it
comes to language, sex, nudity etc, but not quite R classified. The lowest
classification for any film with drug use, is PG-13. If nudity is sexual in
context, or violence is frequent, generally the film will be raised to the R
R: For Restricted. Those under 17 years of age are not permitted
to see any film under this classification without an accompanying parent /
adult guardian. It may include course violence
NC-17: Nobody under 17
years of age will be permitted into a cinema to watch films under this
two categories, are not classifications as such:
UR: These films are
unrated, and are presented uncut and intact.
NR: NR is to show that
a film has not yet been rated.
Pictures Association of America (MPAA)