The 5 Dumbest Film Ratings Controversies In Movie History


American Psycho Couldn’t Show Women’s Faces During Sex

The NC-17 rating is a basically a death sentence for a mainstream film. In theory, it only means that theaters are encouraged (not even forced) to keep kids out, but in practice it means most theaters won’t screen the film at all. Still, if any film was going to get that death sentence, American Psycho definitely deserved it, what with all the graphic ax murder. Initially, it did. But not for the violence. The MPAA instead drew the line at the scene wherein Patrick Bateman hires two sex workers for a little “Su-Su-Sussudio.” It was a bit too sexy for the MPAA — at least 1.5 times as sexy as two-way sex — so the filmmakers had to cut the scene down to bring it down to R-level. This meant a lot of shots tightly zoomed in on Christian Bale while showing as little of the women as possible.

This also meant cutting out the women’s faces, which irritated the director for artistic, if not moral, reasons. As scripted and filmed, the women were supposed to look really bored, while Bateman cheers himself on in the mirror. He thinks he’s a sex god, but their faces tell us he’s not. The filmmakers did their best with what they had, but if you’ve ever seen this GIF posted online unironically, you’ll know not everyone got the message.

Lionsgate FilmsAlso, maybe keep a healthy distance from anyone who idolizes a psychotic narcissist.

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