Watch the Most Traumatic Moments in PG-Rated Movies
July 1 marks an important anniversary in the history of movies: The day the Motion Picture Association of America introduced the PG-13 rating. Prior to the PG-13, there was no rating for films that fell in the gray area between PG (movies where parental guidance was merely suggested) and R (movies that required adult supervision for admittance to the theater).
In the early 1980s, filmmakers began pushing the boundaries of PG, inserting more and more adult content into children’s films. Eventually, criticism grew loud enough to inspire the MPAA to take up a suggestion by director Steven Spielberg and create the intermediary PG-13, cautioning parents even more strongly for viewers below the age of 13. Here’s a video from HLN about the introduction of the PG-13 rating.
That period from just before the introduction of the PG-13, mostly the late ’70s through the early ’80s, is a fascinating time in the American film history. Not to mention a truly disturbing one. Many ScreenCrush staffers are old enough to remember watching these movies in theaters and particularly on cable channels like HBO, and being disturbed, horrified, or outright traumatized by them. In the video essay above, we collect some of the most shocking moments that appeared in PG movies (and, in one unbelievable case we swear is real) a G-rated movie before PG-13 existed.