‘Jaws’ Gets Stricter Ratings: Here’s Why

by Kati Michelle

When it comes to cult classic films, “Jaws” is a no-brainer. It’s just another timeless hit from famed Hollywood director/producer/screenwriter Steven Spielberg. The 1975 flick was based on the 1974 novel of the same name written by Peter Benchley and went on to earn the title of the highest-grossing film until the release of “Star Wars” in 1977. Heck, you might even remember it as a family classic. One that you can view with any generation from your littles to your grandparents. Well, the censors have something to say about that.

“Jaws” is among a handful of movies whose ratings are now being reconsidered. This comes just after news of several Christmas classics also facing backlash. So, what gives? Well, here’s what we know:

Why Censors Think the Ratings Need to Change in Order to ‘Keep Up With Modern Times’

Since its 1975 release, “Jaws” has always been coded as PG. This rating means that parental guidance is advised for young children. With the new rating, however, “Jaws” will now be deemed 12A instead. As you can probably guess, that means the film is not advised for anyone under the age of 12. It also suggests parental supervision. So, why is this change taking place?

Censors whose job it is to keep ratings updated believe that “threat and injury” in some scenes may be too much for younger children to handle. They say this is necessary to “keep in step with the direction in which society is moving.”

Classifications are only changed when a film distributor submits their project for a new release, according to the British Board of Film Classification. Then, the BBFC applies its most updated guidelines and potentially updates the rating.

Other films that are affected include “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” Even “Ghostbusters” took home a new rating after its “sexual content” was reconsidered.

Fun Facts About ‘Jaws’ Including the Origin of the Shark’s Name

The new rating might be a bummer to some, but it doesn’t take away from the great legacy of the Spielberg classic. So with that being said, here’s some “Jaws” trivia that might just float your boat.

According to the “TODAY Show,” the animatronic great white had a name. Bruce! The name comes from Steven Spielberg’s personal attorney, Bruce Ramer.

Another notable figure from the set is Carl Gottlieb.

Carl Gottlieb was a screenwriter on the project but also played newspaper editor Harry Meadows in the movie. He detailed the whole experience in his own best-selling book called “The Jaws Log” including how secretive the project was leading up to its premiere. Apparently, they even had guards for the animatronic sharks to fend off reporters looking for spoilers.