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January 26, 2011

A Few Effing Cuts for a PG-13 Rating?

Weinstein considers dropping profanities from 'King's Speech' to reach wider audience


According to The Los Angeles Times, Harvey Weinstein, producer and distributor for The King's Speech, is considering making a few edits to the film to knock it down from an R rating to PG-13 or even PG.

The story notes that Weinstein "aims to rope in more movie-going commoners who normally wouldn’t go near a historical drama about a British king. The plans involve a potentially risky decision: re-editing the movie to excise coarse language and secure a lower rating that will open The King’s Speech to a broader audience."

Weinstein apparently noted the success of the movie in Great Britain, where a 12-and-over rating has helped it to top the box office chart for the last three weekends. "The British numbers are huge because the rating lets families see the movie together,” said Weinstein. “Tom and I are trying to find a unique way to do this that keeps his vision of the movie.”

The film was rated R because of a brief string of f-bombs spoken by King George VI (played by Colin Firth) during a speech therapy session with Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). It's played mostly for humor in the film, and is for the most part inoffensive.


I thought it was surprising the film got an R rating in the first place. The one scene with the swearing was not at all offensive, as the words were not spoken in real anger or to cut anyone down. I thought the point of them--that George was finally able to let down his guard and be a little less 'regal'--could not have been made as effectively without them.

I'm glad that they will be able to reach a larger audience, but I hope that they will still release the unedited version on DVD.

I have no idea what an inoffensive string of f-bombs could possibly be.

I'm in the class of people who would want to see a movie about a British monarch -especially with it staring Colin Firth, but the R rating is what's keeping me away from the theater. I'm very picky about R rated movies and I wait until they come out on DVD so I can more easily ignore or fast forward through the parts I don't want to see. So if he releases a PG-13 version I will so be there! :)

Wow! So what's a few swear words...really? If we can't decipher between what's moral and what's not, it's no wonder the "unchurched" sometimes struggle to see the difference between their world and that of the professing Christ followers.

How enlightening. All these years I somehow thought the f-bomb was an offensive word. How silly of me!

My wife has not been in a movie theater for years but said she would be interested in seeing this one. But when I checked it out on the WEB and learned why it was rated "R" we both nixed it. From the sound of the comments there are mixed reactions. But we don't want the language reverberating in our minds. When God saved me when I was a 21-year-old sailor the first miracle He performed in my life was taking away the filthy language I spoke so glibly.

More evidence how the MPAA ratings system is too limiting and doesn't express what needs to be known about a film.

One might consider referencing their films not by R, PG-13, PG but in more refined categories that review sites like kids-in-mind.com uses. I use the site weekly and think it is a far better scale.

That said I've never understood the necessity to use coarse language to communicate humor or some other emotion. Sort of the same for needless s3x scenes.

I'm the same Leslie that commented before -I did end up seeing the King's Speech and thought that overall it was excellent. The first scene with the string of curse words did not bother me, nor the couple of other times when they are used. Without the language this would easily be a PG movie.

@Dave Shaver - I would say that if language was something you had trouble, then I applaud you for taking a stand and I believe you do need to wait for the lower rated version, but if you can get a hold of a tv guardian (borrow or buy one) then I believe you should so see this movie when it comes out on DVD. I believe your wife will enjoy it - it takes discernment in knowing what your weaknesses are. I'll watch R rated movies, but after watching Monster's Ball nearly 10 years ago and being disgusted I started paying attention to why the MPAA rates movies R. If it says Rated R for Sexuality or Sensuality in the first three slots that means there's a major ick scene - - conversely if the MPAA rating says R for Nudity and it doesn't mention sexuality or sensuality then that means its *just* nudity, like the image of the pregnant woman in Children of Men or in movies like Amistad and Shindler's List. The MPAA has gotten really good at explaining why the rate movies the way they rate them. Its just we have to pay attention to them!