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Million Dollar Movie

The first rated “R” movie I ever saw in the theater was Neighbors, a not-so-funny John Belushi/Dan Ackroyd comedy. Came around the time of my parent’s separation. The high school daughter of my dad’s best friend took my brother, sister and me. When it was over, I asked her what it meant to pork someone and she refused to tell me, said I’d find out soon enough (which was the opposite of finding out soon enough as far as I was concerned).

A few months later, I saw Shoot the Moon, a relentlessly grim movie about divorce. I was obsessed with seeing it and begged the adults I knew to take me. Finally, I got my cousin Deborah to bring me to see it. It was a heavy movie for an eleven-year-old–it’s a heavy movie for a grown up–but life was heavy at that moment. And much of it rang true–the emotional violence, the sadness, the confusion and messiness of it all.

So? What was your first rated “R” movie? Were your parents uptight or liberal when it came to such things? Whadda ya hear, whadda ya say?


1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:01 am

Sadly, my first R movie in the theater was the long-forgotten Shelley Long/Bette Midler comedy Outrageous Fortune. Why that was R, but Back To School, which I saw the previous year and had a gratuitous female toplessness was PG-13, I can't remember. I suppose there was more cursing or something. Either way: lame.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:10 am

Yes, but a good cameo from George Carlin in that one. Plus, Phillip Bosco and Peter Coyote!

3 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:14 am

The first one was Animal House. I was 12, and I couldn't believe my parents were taking me to it. They knew Belushi from SNL, so I guess they figured it was ok. I remember feeling very grown up, heading out with my parents on a Saturday night. My parents were liberal about comedies, but I remember they wouldn't let me go to The Exorcist, which I think was briefly re-released when I was borderline old-enough to see it. They also didn't let me see A Clockwork Orange, which I think also had been briefly re-released around the same time.
Another early R-rated experience for me I'll never forget was Angie Dickenson in Dressed to Kill (more like Undressed to Thrill as the 14 year old me recalls.

4 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:16 am

I think it was 'The Graduate'... which may have been the first movie ever rated R?

[1] Lame it is... but we know the the sight of a naked female human breast perverts the minds of children. I mean, remember the Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction'? Remember that Moms across the country were freakin' over this horrid event?.

Yup.... it's fine for the kiddies to see people dismembered with a chain saw... or have Stallone blow up and slaughter dozens at a time.... no big deal... but a female breast? HIDE THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:18 am

[3] My folks were very liberal and Mom had no real issues with me seeing a little skin. I think Dad liked me to get a thrill, so the parents took me to a number of R movies. However, somehow, sitting right next to Mom, I found it hard to enjoy a great pair of tits the way I should have.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:19 am

The MPAA instituted the ratings system on November 1st, 1968. Three days later, "The Split" with Jim Brown and Gene Hackman became the first rated R movie.

Midnight Cowboy won Best Picture with an X rating...

7 RIYank   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:19 am

Mine was "Mean Streets". I was too young for it, and for years I remembered it as a boring movie with not much plot.
My friend Gabby took me to it with her dad, who was (and is) a film maker. I don't remember my parents having any real problem with it, though I think my mom rolled her eyes.

8 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:23 am

"Shoot the Moon" has perhaps the most perfectly gut-wrenching yet simple ending in movie history. Its an image that has stayed with me for years.

Its a movie that deserves its own "MDM" write-up.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:31 am

I'm in the same boat as [5], lots of early exposure, so I don't remember which was the first R movie I saw. But the full frontal in Revenge of the Nerds was the first I remember seeing and feeling very lucky about. May have even been w/o the folks on that one.

10 rbj   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:32 am

First movie I saw with a nekkid female breast was Barry Lyndon, from the date it seems I was ten at the time. The scene where a woman was lying in a tub with her breasts exposed. Mom tried covering my eyes. The next movie I remember, jeez, forget the title, I want to say it's A Divorced Woman with Diane Keaton, but that's not right, doesn't match either the title or actress on imdb.com (and not a Woody Allen movie nor Looking for Mr. Goodbar, this one preceded it) had a sex scene which she again tried to shield my tender eyes. After that though she gave up the attempt.

11 monkeypants   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:36 am

[0] Hm. "Liberal" v. "uptight."

That's an interesting way to frame the question.

[4] it’s fine for the kiddies to see people dismembered with a chain saw…

I'm pretty sure these movies are rated R as well.

12 TheGreenMan   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:38 am

My folks were uptight as all hell, so any R-rated features I wanted to see were done on the sly.

I'm not 100% positive, but I think my first R-rated film in the theater was "An American Werewolf in London". My older sister and her boyfriend took me. I may have snuck into "Hollywood Knights" (with Tony Danza!!!) the year before, but it's a bit fuzzy.

13 rbj   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:39 am

[10] An Unmarried Woman. Once we got out of the theater, my mom remarked "I didn't realize it was an R rated movie." Quite harrumphed about it. The thing is, PG movies like Logan's Run, IIRC, or Zardoz, would show a little skin as well. I guess the dividing line was brief toplessness vs. engaging in sex.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:40 am

9) "Pan down, I want bush."

15 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:42 am

First ever R-rated movie in the theater was, I think, Cliffhanger with Sly Stallone. My dad's philosophy was that as long as it was gratuitous profanity and violence he was in the clear with my mom, just no full frontal.

and Neighbors is a depressing movie. You can pretty much watch Belushi falling apart at the seams over the course of 2 hours. He was a complete mess during filming, feuding with the director constantly, it's just really sad.

16 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:44 am

I think Airplane! was the first time I saw naked breasts on the screen.

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:48 am

If I recall the late 70s early 80s correctly, it was much easier to sneak into R-rated comedies than it was to get into heavier fare. The ushers looked the other way when you tried to waltz into something like Porkys. You just had to play it cool, go in with not more than 1 friend, piggy backing with a random family. It was sort've like the drinking age. 18 meant 16. With R-rated flicks, 17 meant, like, 14, as long as you looked like you could handle it.

18 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:49 am

my first encounter with screen boobage was either Revenge of the Nerds or Linda Hamilton in The Terminator. I saw them both uncut for the first time around the time I was 8, but on VHS.

In the theater it was probably some random Seagal or Van Damme movie. Under Siege maybe.

as you can tell my parents kept a real tight rein on what I watched.

19 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 14, 2010 10:57 am

[11] Possibly. Sometimes, very violent movies are rated just PG-13 or even PG. Batman Begins, for example. Wasn't Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (a PG IIRC) one of the movies that prompted the creation of PG-13 back in the 80s?

My first R-rated movie was Terminator 2: Judgment Day. My dad's cousin brought my brother, me, and a couple of my second cousins. My parents didn't care, but I never really cared to see many R-rated movies as a kid either.

I'm pretty sure "Wild Things" was the first time I saw nudity on the big screen. Talk about your unexpected surprises!

20 Just Fair   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:24 am

I think Friday the 13th party IV was it for me. My folks pawned me off on their friends while they went on vaction. Sneaking down the steps to catch glimpses of Porky's while my dad cracked up is also burned in my mind. Although that was at home and not in the theater. : )

21 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:34 am

I remember somehow getting in to see the movie Joe when I was 13 or 14. It starred Peter Boyle as a bigoted hard hat hippie hater, and was a heavy handed morality play of rich v working class and establishment v counter-culture. There were scenes of drugging, sex, and gun violence, and this movie was had long term effects on my tender psyche. One scene I recall was that Peter Boyle would not take his socks off while hooking up with a hippie siren. I also remember a young hot Susan Sarandon who played the daughter of the rich guy who Peter Boyle and he were looking for. It ended quite tragically.

22 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:36 am

21) Classic!

23 rbj   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:37 am

[19] Yup. Big controversy in the day. No boobage or cussing, but some of the scenes were intense, PG meant family friendly, but R was a hard cutoff on ticket sales. I didn't think it was all that violent, just that some scenes were well done enough to frighten some kids. But Alien had intense enough scenes such that I had to walk out a couple of times.

Then again, there was a Disney movie in the early 1970s (probably wasn't even ten yet) that was about a pack of coyotes or wolves and some ranchers who were killing them. Given that I've always been a canine-ophile, I was bawling during that movie.

24 ms october   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:38 am

[0] haha, how long did it take you to find out what pork someone meant?

mine was revenge of the nerds. my brother and i had a filed day with that movie.

my dad was fairly liberal with letting us watch movies because he wanted to see r rated movies. however, though my day curses up a storm he wasn't a fan of excessive movie cursing. my mom was slightly more uptight, but this was one of those times when having an immigrant parent who didn't understand some of the american nonsense allowed my brother and i to have my mom rent movies from the movie store that we really had no business seeing.

25 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 14, 2010 11:50 am

I also saw Bonnie and Clyde sometime around 14. This film was forever in the theaters, and became the blockbuster years after it was first released. I don't know if it was rated R, but there were some very adult scenes.

in the beginning of the film, the image of a young Faye Dunaway walking down a stairway with sunlight behind her showing every curve in her body through sheer clothing stayed with me for years.

26 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 12:10 pm

24) Well, I knew it was dirty, especially the way Cathy Moriarty said it. But I thought it was something more kinky and outlandish than just bonin'. LOL

27 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 14, 2010 12:12 pm

And...about that time, A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs were released. Seriously adult films with sex, violence, and debasement that every 14 year old at the time had to see. Somehow we all got in to the theaters to see it, and at the time the "generation gap" prevented any discussions about these films with your parents.

28 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 12:17 pm

God, Straw Dogs...grueling.

29 ms october   ~  Jun 14, 2010 12:17 pm

[26] :}

30 WestCoastYank   ~  Jun 14, 2010 1:01 pm

I was 11 and my cousin took me to see National Lampoons Vacation. I think half of the inneundos went over my head.

31 bp1   ~  Jun 14, 2010 1:01 pm

After I read this, I was sure - positively sure - that Jaws was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. My sister took me to see it when we were kids up in the Adirondacks. I was twelve, she was "of age". On the walk home we were dead quiet until she roared and came at my like a shark and I shrieked like someone cut my arm off. 32 years later I remember that vividly. I had dreams about the movie all night long, especially the part where the head comes out of the hole in the boat with the dangling eyeball. It took awhile before I felt comfortable jumping into the dark water of the lake.

I just googled and it was only PG? Wow.

No idea what my first R movie was, but no movie ever left such an impression as Jaws. Maybe first R rated was Friday the 13th, the original, which I watched across the street at my friends house. I remember sprinting home as fast as my legs would carry me, looking around wildly in all directions. Certainly saw some boobage in that movie.

[14] Ha! I remember that. Too freakin funny. Yeah - and who doesn't?!?

32 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 14, 2010 1:18 pm

31) Booger had it going on...he knew what time it was. So did Wormser.

33 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 14, 2010 1:34 pm
34 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 14, 2010 1:47 pm

[33] Ribs! Bacon! Who needs candy?

35 Hank Waddles   ~  Jun 14, 2010 3:39 pm

It's interesting that while my parents were very liberal politically, they were terribly uptight when it came to my movie watching. They simply couldn't understand how other parents would allow their children to watch R rated films, and they even restricted a lot of the television we watched -- seemingly innocuous shows like Three's Company and Charlie's Angels were deemed sexist (and, of course, they were) and declared off limits.

Even so, they somehow broke down and took me to see Trading Places when I was about thirteen or so -- and they had even seen it themselves ahead of time to preview it. Nothing terrible, just a lot of language, some drug use, and just a bit of nudity ("Been waitin' for you Billy Ray..."), but I'm still surprized they allowed it. A bit later my dad took us to see National Lampoon's Vacation, but these were clearly one-time exceptions to the rule. Even in high school I'd to have to give them the name of a PG film to cover for the R film I had actually seen the night before.

The interesting thing is that out here in California we never needed an adult to take us to a R rated film. You could just buy a ticket for something else, then sneak into the picture you wanted to see, probably because even thirty years ago all the theaters out here were multiplexes.

36 Raf   ~  Jun 14, 2010 4:32 pm

We didn't go to the theaters much to see movies, between cable and video rentals, my family got their movie fix. Chances are, my first r-rated flick that I managed to sneak watching was probably "Bachelor Party."

I seem to remember there being a lot of sex comedies on HBO or Showtime at the time (early-mid 80's)

37 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 15, 2010 12:55 am

Darn! Maybe this thread is dead and you're all in bed, but I love this topic. My old man would take me to any movie that he wanted to see. He never took me to a kids movies, Mom did that. So I saw Serpico when I was 7 (the rape scene rattled me, but I understood what corruption was) and I believe I saw Day of The Jackal around the same time (the Jackal murders a girl with a kiss after making love to her. That freaked me out) , and The Night They Raided Minsky's when I was about 5. I remember when they flashed the boobs in that film, I became very interested in the floor of the theater. For some reason I couldn't watch it.

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