August 10

This Day in History

Hollywood

Aug 10, 1984:

Red Dawn, first PG-13 movie, is released

On this day in 1984, the action thriller Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, opens in theaters as the first movie to be released with a PG-13 rating. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which oversees the movie rating system, had announced the new PG-13 category in July of that same year.

Founded in 1922 as a trade group for the American film industry, the MPAA introduced its first-ever movie rating system in November 1968. The system came in response to groups who wanted better guidelines for parents to determine whether or not a movie’s content and themes were child-appropriate. The initial rating categories were G (appropriate for audiences of all ages), M (for mature audiences, but all ages admitted), R (anyone under 16 not admitted without an accompanying adult) and X (no one under 17 admitted). The M category was eventually changed to PG (parental guidance suggested) and on July 1, 1984, the PG-13 category was added to indicate film content with a “higher level of intensity” than PG, according to the MPAA. Starting in 1990, the X rating was changed to NC-17 (anyone 17 and under not admitted) because it was believed that “X” had come to connote hardcore pornography.

The MPAA’s ratings board reportedly issued the first PG-13 rating to The Flamingo Kid, which starred Matt Dillon; however, Red Dawn opened in theaters first. Red Dawn told the story of a group of teenagers who band together to protect their small Colorado town after it is invaded by Communist paratroopers from Russia and Cuba. Along with Patrick Swayze, the film co-starred C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and Harry Dean Stanton. Red Dawn was one of Swayze’s early films, along with The Outsiders (1983), a teen drama that featured the actor as part of a roster of up-and-coming young stars, including Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise and Diane Lane. Swayze’s real breakout performance came in 1987’s Dirty Dancing, also co-starring Grey. In 1990, he co-starred in another big hit, Ghost, with Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

What Happened on Your Birthday?

Pick a Date

Shop HISTORY