I'm surprised that Oliver! (1968) was rated G. It doesn't look like a G rated movie. It contains some strong violence and quite a bit of Drinking. It looks more like a PG film. So why was it rated G? What was the MPAA's justification when they rated this Movie G? This movie would never be rated G by today's standards.

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    For what it's worth, Basil The Great Mouse Detective (1986) featured drinking and the concept of having had one's drinks "drugged" and yet it only got a U. Or do you think "Oliver!"'s case is significant because of the era (the 60s)?
    – Pharap
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 13:58
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    @Pharap and also a bit about brothels, albeit it probably went over most young viewer's heads. It quite upset my mother when my younger sister would sing “Baby, I just want to be good to you” in the middle of a department store, but I didn't understand at the time. Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 21:37
  • @can-ned_food Good point, I'd almost forgotten that part. I'm kind of unsurprised though, I'm fairly certain there's more films and tv shows aimed at children/families with 'subtle' sexual references or implied sex than there are without.
    – Pharap
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


There was no "PG" in 1968, in either the US or UK.

US had G [General] or M [Mature] & no-one in their right mind would edit a family musical to get an M rating, so presumably they were well within the guidelines for the time.

In the UK in 1968 the options were U [Universal] or A [Adult] & as it was a British film, these would have been the specific guidelines it was probably made to.

A didn't even stand for 'advisory' until 1970, so the distinctions were far more broad. PG was introduced in 1972, US & 1982 UK.

Refs -
Wikipedia - Motion Picture Association of America film rating system &
British Board of Film Classification - History of the age ratings symbols

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    I think there's the general idea that families are intelligent and won't simply take a rating at face value and send their children off. For crying out loud we have coffee cups with warning labels because people are now stupid.
    – Nelson
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 19:14
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    @Nelson to be fair, we have warning labels on coffee because a certain large arrogant corporation served coffee literally a handful of degrees shy of boiling and despite numerous complaints and reports of injuries. It's common sense to expect coffee to be hot, but its also common sense not to expect it to be boiling. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 2:42
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    @JBentley you can do whatever you want at home (although a thermometer reading might surprise you). Starbucks serves it between 145~155F (as do most shops unless you request extra hot). Well shy of boiling. McDonalds was serving it at 190F. Despite your glib comment I doubt you'd be willing to pour it straight from the kettle into your mouth. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 3:28
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    @Nelson what Jared Smith was pointing out was that there's more to the McDonald's coffee story than what you make it out to be. I too used to use it to point out erosion of personal responsibility. I've since changed my opinion after reading the facts of the case.
    – jcm
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 11:43
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    @JBentley That McDonald's had repeatedly received violations for maintaining their coffee at near boiling temperatures. And while common sense tells you that coffee is hot, I highly doubt most people would expect to be so hot it will result in being hospitalized for 8 days, skin grafts, and being disabled for 2 years if they spill it on themselves. Also the plaintiff in that case originally asked for only $20K, enough to cover her medical expenses and a few thousand to compensate her daughter for the time she took off work to care for her. McDonalds offered $800.00 and refused to negotiate
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:51

Because there was no PG when Oliver! was released. As per the Wikipedia article:

The ratings used from 1968 to 1970 were: †1 †2

Rated G: Suggested for General Audiences

Rated M: Suggested for Mature Audiences – parental discretion advised

Rated R: Restricted – persons under 16 not admitted, unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian.

Rated X: Persons Under 16 Not Admitted

While the film might be on the stronger side of a G, it probably wasn't harsh enough to warrant an M rating.

†1: Kennedy, Matthew (2014). Roadshow!: The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s. OUP USA. p. 183. ISBN 9780199925674.
†2: Life Magazine. May 30, 1969. p. 55.

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