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The Naked Truth: "Showgirls" and the Fate of the X/NC-17 Rating

Kevin S. Sandler
Cinema Journal
Vol. 40, No. 3 (Spring, 2001), pp. 69-93
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1350195
Page Count: 25
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The Naked Truth: "Showgirls" and the Fate of the X/NC-17 Rating
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Abstract

In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) replaced the X rating with the NC-17 category--No Children 17 and under Admitted. The new designation took effect immediately and was copyrighted so that adult filmmakers--who appropriated the X for pornography in 1968--could no longer unilaterally apply it to their films. MGM/UA's "Henry & June" became the first major studio film to receive the outermost rating since 1979. The NC-17's immediate inheritance of the veneer of the X rating, and the subsequent box-office failure of "Showgirls" (1995), reaffirmed the economic liability of the rating system's adults-only category.

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