By Jackson Murphy
If you are like me (and, if so, we’re in the minority), you stay to the end of the credits of every movie you see. Not only does this practice mean you occasionally get rewarded with a bonus scene (aka “Easter Egg”) that the moviegoers who leave early miss, but there are also traditional features in the closing credits that all diehard film fans should want to check out. One of those is the seal from the Motion Picture Association of America, with a corresponding number that goes with it, signifying that this film has been submitted to the MPAA for an official rating. But, if you’re part of the millions of movie fans who don’t stick around and haven’t been paying attention, you’ve missed an exciting milestone: the MPAA’s 50,000th movie.
I first started going to movie theaters 12 and a half years ago. My first film was “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” in May 2003. After doing a little research, I’ve learned that it was MPAA #39,825. Since that day I’ve been watching that number steadily increase, heading toward the 50,000 mark. As 2015 began, we were in the early/mid-49,000 range. Over the last few months the final countdown began: “Bridge of Spies” (No. 49967), “Our Brand Is Crisis” (No. 49992) and “Steve Jobs” (No. 49998). [Note: those three films were not released theatrically in that order.]
And now it’s official! The MPAA has reviewed and handed-out seal #50,000, to the indie “Chloe & Theo”, starring Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”- No. 49529, “Black Mass”- No. 49620) and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino. The dramedy was just released on DVD.
The association hasn’t made a big deal about this publicly (in fact, the MPAA declined a request for an interview for this story). But after years of rating controversies (including a few recent ones from Weinstein Co. releases), this should be deemed one of their prouder achievements. The organization has served the movie industry and the public for 93 years as the official and (mostly) reliable source for film ratings, so (to me) this milestone is worth celebrating.
Do yourself a favor – the next time you go to a movie stay until the end of the credits and check-out the MPAA seal number. Sometimes, after a really bad film, it’s the most interesting part of the night.
Jackson Murphy (a.k.a. Lights-Camera-Jackson) has been a film critic/entertainment reporter on TV and radio since the age of 7 1/2. He currently appears weekly on WFLY radio (Albany, NY) and his reviews appear in The Record (Troy, NY) newspaper.
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