We’re the King and Queen of the Box Office!


It’s hard to believe that James Cameron’s Titanic was released 18 years ago.

I really enjoyed it. The larrikin Jack – the preppy Rose, the unlikely, but inevitable meeting and romance. All set against the grand backdrop of the maiden (and…spoiler alert, sinking) of the Titanic.

For the most part, it’s your standard boy meets girl movie. Whilst there is mild language, drinking and cigarette use there is nothing really controversial about it…..except for that one scene (well two – the sex scene in the back of the car certainly counts in this category, however we’ll focus on the other one).

Rose asks Jack to draw a portrait of her and, to his apparent surprise, she disrobes and is wearing nothing but a necklace. Shots expose her buttocks and breasts as Jack begins to draw. The scene ends with Rose’s young face being superimposed against her older face, as she, as the narrator, continues her story.

For some people I spoke to, this singular scene was enough to stop them allowing their kids (and themselves) to watch the movie. For others the fast forward button may have got a workout at that stage of the movie (oops, I guess you all know I watched the movie..!!).

For me, the scene was somewhat gratuitous – the movie would have been OK without a shot of breasts and bum. But I’m sure everyone has an opinion as to the artistic or moral element to this particular scene.

Below are the IMDB listed worldwide classifications for Titanic. In Italy and Quebec, for example, it is essentially rated G – no restriction. In Singapore, no one under the age of 16 can enter the theatre.

Argentina:13 / Australia:M / Belgium:KT / Brazil:12 (also 3D version) / Brazil:Livre (edited TV version) / Canada:PG (Alberta/Ontario) / Canada:14A (British Columbia) / Canada:PA (Manitoba) / Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) / Canada:G (Quebec) / Chile:TE / Finland:K-12 / France:U / Germany:12 (w) / Greece:K-13 / Hong Kong:IIA / Iceland:12 / Iceland:10 (2012 re-rating) / India:UA / Ireland:12 / Israel:PG / Italy:T / Japan:G (3D version) / Malaysia:P13 / Mexico:A / Netherlands:12 / Norway:15 (original rating) / Norway:11 (re-rating) (2012) / Peru:PT / Philippines:PG-13 / Portugal:M/12 / Russia:12+ (theatrical rating) / Singapore:NC-16 / Singapore:PG (cut) / Singapore:PG13 (edited 3D version) / South Korea:15 / Spain:13 / Sweden:11 / Switzerland:12 (canton of the Grisons) / UK:12 / USA:PG-13

Irrespective of your or my opinion about Titanic, I was listening to a radio interview the other day that was discussing television and movie standards. And it raised a few interesting points. Given the diversity of the country of origin, showing, timeslot and a million other variables, I cannot verify all the information that was presented and how that might be applicable outside Australia, but here is a snapshot:

  1. One caller suggested that depended upon the timeslot it is OK to show a deceased person naked, but not a live person naked
  2. That, again depended upon the timeslot, it is OK to show a body being dismembered, but not two people having consensual sex.

I’m not arguing here to have sex all over our TV’s. There does appear, though, to be a situation where violence, even very graphic violence, is seen as OK, but even “low level” sex scenes are not.

Allow me to digress – albeit slightly. We recently travelled to the USA and had the opportunity of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and the Art Institute in Chicago. My wife and I had been to both before but this time we had our kids. Both collections are magnificent. They contain pieces of art that show full frontal nudity, both male and female. This fact did not even enter my mind, either before, during or after the visit.

female nude male nude

I don’t want this to get into a discussion about what is and what isn’t pornography. I really don’t think that discussion produces any real benefit as each has their own opinion and standard. But in the end, there were paintings, and sculptures of the naked human form. There appears to be something different between watching Rose in the Titanic lying back being drawn naked, and the actually looking at the drawing that results from that. Digression over…

I did a bit of research on Classification Boards across the world. Such boards, if they exist at all, are very different. Some are government appointed (Australia), others are Industry Based (USA). Some countries have legislation that relates to the enforcement of classifications, others no not. Some countries have “harm to the child” as being the overriding philosophical reason to classify content, others have “standards of community decency” as theirs.

There is so much variation in the way movies are classified, what is acceptable in a particular jurisdiction and the influence of private and even industry bodies (usually concerned with money) in the process.

It seems that some have taken the 1986 council by Ezra T Benson to young men regarding R-Rated movies and extrapolated it across countries and cultures. Even here in Australia I have heard people holding firm to the fact that we do not believe in watching R Rated movies. Forget the fact that, 1. The council ETB gave was to young men. 2. It has not been repeated by other GA’s, 3. R Rated movies are equivalent to MA15+ in Australia (R Rated is for 18+ only – a separate and higher classification – almost the same as NC17).

I have also heard so many members strictly enforce their children’s viewing of movies strictly and solely on a movies’ rating. I admire people for wanting to protect their children and what they see, however to rely so heavily on a rating that might have been given by someone affiliated with the making of the movie, with a vested interest, or who operates under criteria that has little to do with LDS standards of morality, seems narrow. The faith that they place in a rating given to a movie is THE ultimate and ONLY factor in allowing or disallowing their children to watch a movie.

So, did you let your kids watch Titanic??


  1. What weighting to you give the rating of a movie in relation to deciding who in your family might watch it?
  2. I’m really interested to hear from any European saints. What is your perception of the rating standards in your countries. Is sex and nudity not so much of an issue? What about violence?
  3. Do you subscribe to the notion that there is “one” standard here. Ie. If you don’t let your kids watch it, you shouldn’t watch it either.