Presented By
Harrison Ford in a scene from the film 'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom', 1984
Paramount Pictures / Getty Images

Movie-going teenagers of the United States, say “thank you” to Indiana Jones.

Before 1984, the line between movies for kids and movies for grown-ups was an all-or-nothing proposition. Everyone under the age of 16 was lumped together, kept from rated-R showings unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. And then came Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The bloody blockbuster released that May was rated PG, much to the consternation of many parents. When Gremlins followed in June, it became clear that a movie might be neither adults-only nor kid-friendly–and the rating system needed a solution.

As TIME’s Richard Zoglin reported that June, the Hollywood establishment heard the complaints:

It was on this day, July 1, in 1984, that Valenti announced that PG-13 was a go. The first PG-13 movie, Red Dawn, arrived in theaters that August.

Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: Gremlins in the Ratings System

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Lily Rothman at

You May Also Like