When I read this morning's news that the Weinstein Company is appealing the adults-only NC-17 rating given its upcoming 'Blue Valentine,' I felt like it was 1990 all over again. Early in that year, the Weinsteins, who had been fighting the MPAA's skull-and-crossbones "X" rating for years, hired controversial lawyer William Kunstler to sue the MPAA over its refusal to change the X rating given to Peter Greenaway's 'The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover.'

Reporting on that story as both a columnist and the Movie Editor at the Los Angeles Times, I found myself talking to Kunstler not about such heady clients as the Chicago Seven, Catonsville Nine and "Black Panther Party, but whether children under 17 should be prohibited by the MPAA from viewing a movie whose crucial dramatic scene is a dinner at which a mobster is forced to eat the baked flesh (the penis, to be precise) of a man he's just murdered.
Midnight Cowboy Movie Poster
Midnight Cowboy
R1969
In Theaters on May 25, 1969

Convinced of his irresistible appeal to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and... Read More

Henry & June Movie Poster
Henry & June
NC-171990
In Theaters on March 14, 2004

A literary love triangle is explored in this film, which was the first to earn an NC-17 rating. While... Read More

Blue Valentine Movie Poster
Blue Valentine
R2010
Based on 42 critics

Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) live a quiet life in a modest neighborhood. To the... Read More

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover Movie Poster
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
R1989
In Theaters on 1989

When churlish mobster Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) acquires an upscale French restaurant in London,... Read More

categories Hot Topic, Columns