Information about movie age ratings, MPAA history, and other related topics.
A lot of the information on this topic is scattered throughout the internet, difficult to find, and sometimes historically inaccurate, so I wanted to compile some resources and information for anyone else interested in this aspect of film history!
what is the MPAA?
The MPAA (or the Motion Picture Association of America) is a trade association and self-regulatory organization founded in 1922 that has assigned ratings to films based on content since 1968 -- today, the ratings used are G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. The MPAA holds no legal power to enforce the use of their ratings, only the monopolistic cooperation from major film producers and distributors. The MPAA was founded as the MPPDA (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America), changed its name to the MPAA in 1945, and changed its name again to the MPA (Motion Picture Association) in 2019. For simplicity, "MPAA" will be used for the organization as a whole, while MPPDA and MPA will only be used when referred to the organization pre-1945 or post-2019, respectively.