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How ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' Traumatized A Whole Generation And Changed Movie Ratings

Updated 25 Sep 2019 3.3k views13 items

When Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hit theaters in May 1984, the opening song and dance number should've braced audiences to expect something a bit different from the blockbuster sequel. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, the superstar creative duo behind 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, wanted to take their adventurer on a more harrowing trip this time around.

Of course, concerned parents across the country got a little more than they bargained for, as the film's exceedingly dark, macabre content sparked widespread debate on the effectiveness of the Motion Picture Association of America's rating system. The debate about the film's PG rating, coupled with more controversy from the release of Gremlins a month later, directly led to the creation of the PG-13 rating, which irrevocably changed the film industry. Red Dawn, the high-schoolers-fighting-communists action film released in August 1984, would become the first PG-13 movie ever released. While Gremlins and Red Dawn have their place in film history, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom holds a special place in the hearts of many '80s kids as the first film that truly traumatized them.

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