Won’t Someone Please Think of the ‘Tweens? The PG-13 at 30.

Amrish Puri rips out the heart of mainstream cinema in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
To wrap up The Dissolve‘s Movie of the Week examination of Joe Dante’s Gremlins, Keith Phipps asked me to write a reflection on the PG-13, the lukewarm rating introduced in the summer of 1984 in response to the outcry that greeted the PG-rated Gremlins’ violence and darkness, as well as that of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, released two weeks earlier. I was honored to oblige.

A surprising, random fact of which I was unaware: Gremlins, a horror comedy and the fourth-highest grossing film of 1984, was released the very same day as that year’s second-biggest hit, Ivan Reitman’s horror comedy Ghostbusters. That would never happen now, and yet apparently it didn’t hurt either of those films back then. Neither of them could out-earn Beverly Hills Cop, however. The fact an R-rated action comedy was the biggest hit of the year is another reminder of how much Hollywood has changed in a generation-and-a-half.

Amrish Puri rips out the heart of mainstream cinema in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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