10

According to the MPAA's ratings guidelines, scenes containing nudity do not automatically qualify a movie for an R or NC-17 rating.

Under the guidelines for PG, it says (note: all emphasis in these quotes is mine):

There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence of brief nudity.

For PG-13, the guidelines state:

A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities, or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category.

[...]

More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented.

The R rating is where the "nature" of the nudity becomes a factor:

may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements.

So there is clearly a distinction in the MPAA system between "sexual" and "non-sexual" nudity, but there are no real guidelines on what those terms mean. Certainly topless women are not implicitly "sexual", or the guideline would make no sense. As an example, the movie Sheena was rated PG, but contains several brief topless and rear nudity. (Note that Sheena was assigned its rating before the addition of PG-13 in mid-1984).

What's less clear is if full frontal nudity would always qualify as "sexual" in nature, and if female vs. male nudity is a factor. (I know the MPAA now has a descriptor specifically for male nudity, but I don't know if it affects the rating.)

Has the MPAA ever assigned PG or PG-13 rating to a movie that included scenes of full frontal nudity?

  • In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), I recall a scene where several fully naked, morbidly obese women are strolling around the palace of the Grand Turk. I don't recall if pubic hair was seen but I recall no attempts at hiding the "naughty bits" via props, camera framing, or the position of the actors. (My memory might be a bit hazy, though; that was 28 years ago!) – BrettFromLA Apr 6 '16 at 22:00
  • From memory, yes: In The Woman In Red. Also, I think Titanic and The 5th Element come close. But I'm not going to research this any time soon... I hope you can understand. ;) – Walt Apr 6 '16 at 22:17
  • @Walt You can always browse in Private/Incognito mode... then it won't stay in your search history :P – Catija Apr 6 '16 at 22:26
  • @Catija That's not the issue, though... EDIT: Holy crap, Hair was PG?! I'm 99% sure people bare all there. – Walt Apr 6 '16 at 22:33
  • @Walt I was trying to make a joke... clearly I have failed... I shall cry in the corner in shame. – Catija Apr 6 '16 at 22:34
10

I could not find any strictly PG movies, but there have been a very few PG-13 rated moved with obvious full frontal female nudity.

The most famous of these is almost certainly Titanic, rated PG-13. During the famous drawing scene, Kate Winslet is fully nude; though Dicaprio's sketchbook managed to hide the most intimate bits for most of the scene, there's enough actor and camera movement to clearly see that Winslet's not wearing any modesty garments.

More blatant full-frontal nudity is present in The Woman in Red, also rated PG-13, Kelly Le Brock has a nude scene with Gene Wilder; near the end, as she jumps out of bed, the sheets slide out of the way and she is fully briefly full nude.

The common theme here appears to be that the full frontal nudity was extremely brief, and almost accidental -- I suspect if it weren't for DVD players you might not even have noticed it. Since the brief nudity appears incidental to the scene, and there's no focus or attention called to it, much less being used in a sexual manner, the MPAA was apparently willing to let them pass.

  • 1
    Note that Woman In Red came out only a month after PG-13 was introduced. That may have been a factor. – Walt Apr 6 '16 at 23:02
4

The 1971 film Walkabout was initially rated R due its extensive nude scene. This was reduced to PG on appeal.

Logan's Run also received a PG rating after the removal of the extensive "love shop" orgy scene. Several other scenes of nudity made it into the film unscathed.

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    It should be noted that "PG" was an entirely different animal in the 1970's. PG-13 didn't exist, and G was more permissive, so a 70's PG is closer to a modern PG-13 than to a modern PG. It could be argued that the 70's system made more sense than the modern system (where the line between G and PG seems to be more marketing-driven than content-based), but that's where we are today. – Kevin Feb 25 '18 at 19:33
2

Two more examples are Sheena (1984) was MPAA rated at PG and has full frontal nudity, and Revenge of the Nerds (1984) was also rated as PG and has full frontal nudity.

0

If you have seen the 1966 film "The Blue Max", you will probably remember actress Ursula Andress appeared with a towel between her neck and her chest. I was very nervous that the movie would be an inappropriate film for teenagers and guys who loved War movies.

It happened once again on the 1966 Spy-fi Comedy film, "Modesty Blaise" with Monica Vitti.

-3

Sixteen Candles (1984) is rated PG, and contains a brief scene of nudity.

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    Not full frontal (obscured), which is what the question is asking. Just breasts in a shower. – Meat Trademark Apr 7 '16 at 19:33

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