Red Dawn Is Released As First Ever PG -13 Movie - 8/10/1984

US History |

One of the most exciting PG-13 movies of the summer was just released. Suicide Squad is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the past decade, and though it’s succumbed to mixed-reviews people are genuinely excited about the prospect of a revived DC Universe. Films like Suicide Squad wouldn’t be possible without Red Dawn, the first ever PG 13 movie that was released on this day in history. 

The movie rating system has been controversial and debated since its inception. People felt like there needed to be something between PG and R, and the lack of content in the between made it hard for movie theaters to make money. What was being offered to people under these ratings wasn’t cutting it at the box offices.

Kids would go see PG movies and that would be fine, but young adults (those who were not old enough to enter the 18 and up R rated movies couldn’t find their place. They weren’t attending PG films because they were bored, and the rate of people sneaking into R rated events was staggering.

In order to combat this issue, and give film-makers license to tailor their content to a wider range of audiences. So, in order to satisfy people and make more money in the process, the ratings system opened itself up to another option called PG-13 which suggested parental guidance but gave people the license to attend at all ages. It’s basically a get out of jail free card for people to make more interesting and pushing audiences to explore different themes without as explicit content.

Red Dawn was marketed as a blockbuster hit starring Patrick Swayze. The MPAA created the new category in July of 1984, with Red Dawn becoming the first movie to qualify for the classification.

The MPAA was founded in 1922 in order to create order to the motion picture rating system. As content was becoming more violent, sexual and controversial, people felt it necessary to control the audiences that would be immediately exposed to it. The MPAA issued the first PG-13 rating to a film called The Flamingo Kid, but Red Dawn beat them to the box office making that film the first one to be rated with the new classification. 

The film follows a small group of teenagers who set out to protect their hometown in Colorado after it is invaded by Communist fighters from Cuba and Russia. The film had a variety of stars including Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, Harry Dean Stanton and C. Thomas Howell. This was an early film in the careers of both Swayze, Grey and Charlie Sheen who all went on to iconic and decorated film careers. 

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Nancy Reyes

Senior Writer

One of our top senior writers, Nancy came to us wanting to break away from the politics that comes with major news corporations. She leads our team of historical writers in creating the best engaging content out there that keeps our readers coming back for more. She is an enthusiast of all things medieval and has been a member of her renaissance fair group for 15 years. She received her degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California and hopes to one day travel the world.