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May 29, 2007

Mackenna's Gold

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J. Lee Thompson - 1969
Columbia Pictures Region 1 DVD

I finally got around to see This Film has not Been Rated a couple of days ago. One of the interesting points mentioned by Kirby Dick was that the MPAA ratings board did not consider how films were rated in the past when rating current films. With the release of Dick's film, and some changes with Dan Glickman in charge, MPAA precedent is allowed into rating appeals. I am hoping filmmakers can force the MPAA to reconsider the M rating. In the evolution from M to GP to PG, a rating that more or less said, "this movie is not for children, but OK for teens and adults" has become a rating that now says, "this is a family film with a couple of naughty words".

In looking at the M rating for movies, what is interesting is to see that there is no consistent re-rating for the home video release which the studios have allowed for their films. A Man called Horse was rerated R, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid gets a PG, while Hang 'Em High gets a PG-13. Consider an older film, Psycho, which was released for general audiences back in the pre-rating year of 1960. In 1968 Psycho was given an M rating, but in 1984, rated again for home video, Psycho got an R. Given how arbitary the ratings appear, no wonder the MPAA makes filmmakers, to put it bluntly, psycho.

I don't know if any filmmakers, or anyone from the MPAA ever bothers to visit this site. But to put things in clearer historical perspective, I am including these screen grabs from Mackenna's Gold. There may be some more alarmed by the thought of a film with Omar Sharif as a Mexican bandit, and Julie Newmar as an Apache. This scene at an oasis is a reminder that there was a time when mainstream films celebrated their newly given freedom.

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Posted by peter at May 29, 2007 06:20 PM

Comments

Julie Newmar as an Apache?!? Swimming naked?!?

To think I'd been ignoring this for the last 38 years! This baby just shot to the top of my queue.

Posted by: Flickhead at May 30, 2007 12:11 PM

I rented it from Netflix, but it's pan-and-scan with no option for widescreen. Did you see it widescreen? Are there two editions of this?

Posted by: Flickhead at June 3, 2007 07:21 AM

There must be two versions, because the DVD is saw, as verified by the screengrabs, was the widescreen film, courtesy of the Miami-Dade library system.

Posted by: Peter Nellhaus at June 3, 2007 10:46 AM