NC-17 – taboo no longer

With the release of Shame, the American film industry will hopefully realise that NC-17 films, for adults (*gasp*), are nothing to be scared of. Here’s our rundown of some of the best NC-17 movies of the last few decades… 1. Showgirls – utterly impossible to cut. It’s now available in a special edition box set […]

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With the release of Shame, the American film industry will hopefully realise that NC-17 films, for adults (*gasp*), are nothing to be scared of. Here’s our rundown of some of the best NC-17 movies of the last few decades…

1. Showgirls – utterly impossible to cut. It’s now available in a special edition box set with shot glasses, a blindfold, poster, cards and the unrated version

2. American Psycho – originally classified as NC-17, it was recut to get that priceless R rating

3. Blue Valentine – the power of the Weinstein got this movie reclassified to an R, without cuts. Over here it was simply a 15…

4. Clerks – reclassified to an R for its explicit language. American cinema had some trouble with the idea of 37 dicks…

5. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - Greenaway’s films have always been a censor’s challenge and this one, with its nudity, violence and shit-eating, was no different…

6. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut – after being returned from the MPAA no less than 5 times with an NC-17 rating, heavyweight producer Scott Rudin stepped in to bat for Paramount and got the film passed without incident as an R.

7. Requiem for a Dream – what a merry dance this one went on: released ‘unrated’ (which most cinemas won’t show), in the US as an 18 in the UK and had the sex scene snipped to an R for its DVD release.

8. Pink Flamingos - John Waters remembers the taboo breaking comedy kindly. Now considered a classic, it was showing at NYC’s trendy Angelika cinema, next door to a sensitive foreign film. A friend of Waters was at the latter screening and, during a poignant moment, could clearly hear Divine shouting from the next screen over ‘Somebody’s sent me a bowel movement!’

9. Natural Born Killers - Oliver Stone’s contract stated that his films had to be R rated so, after being refused one, he had to cut 4 minutes. Of course, the DVD had the unrated version and somehow society survived.

10. Beyond The Valley of the Dolls – a truly bizarre film, nothing like its predecessor. It was classified X, which only made director Russ Meyer run to add more nudity and sex. Unfortunately, Fox wouldn’t let him, because they wanted a quick release. It was later reclassified as NC-17, 20 years after it was made.

 

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