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The Cat's Meow



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

It's 1924 and William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann) and his mistress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst) are throwing a birthday party for Thomas Ince (Cary Elwes), a once-influential Hollywood producer, on Hearst's yacht. Jealousy and deception color the mood before the yacht even sets sail, resulting in a murder which is quickly and masterfully covered-up. Also with Eddie Izzard, Cary Elwes and Joanna Lumley. [1:52]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A man and woman kiss and lie back on a bed caressing each other (her skirt slides up and we see her bare thighs). A bare-chested man and a woman who's on top of him kiss while in bed, and we hear moaning through a wall suggesting that they are having sex. Two women kiss and caress a man lying on a bed. A man and young woman play an erotic round of charades: they touch each other's chests, stand very close to each other and eventually kiss. An older man and young woman kiss several times. A man and woman kiss and the woman is wearing a slip that reveals some cleavage and stocking-covered thighs. A woman opens her door to a man and we see her bare shoulders and back -- she is presumably nude. Women wear dresses that reveal bare shoulders and backs. A young woman kisses a man on the cheek. A woman's skirt slips up and we see part of her bare thigh and a stocking top. There are several references to a man having fathered a child with a 16-year-old girl. There is some sexual innuendo: a young woman talks about having had "a little fling," a woman says "does he know how to use it?," a woman asks a man "is it true about jazz men and their instruments?," a woman says "he's much smaller than you'd like him to be," people talk about their extra-marital affairs, and a woman says "if I had slept with you sooner." A man writes a love letter to a young woman and we hear passages from it which refer to kisses that they shared.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man is shot in the back of the head and we see a spot of blood as he lies on the ground. A man shoots at and hits a seagull and we see the bird dive into the ocean. We see a basin filled with blood-tinged water, we see some blood on a bandage on a man's head and some blood on a piece of paper. A woman hits a man in the face and on the shoulder. A man is shot in the stomach with a cannon ball and falls back onto a mattress (it's for entertainment). A man yells at another man, and a man and woman argue. A woman trips and falls. A man ransacks a room in a rage, leaving it in a shambles.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 mouthed F-word, 1 sexual reference, 3 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 18 mild obscenities, 9 religious profanities, 23 religious exclamations, 1 derogatory term for a Japanese person. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Murder, jealousy, failure, infidelity, lust, the media, the 1920's movie industry, morality, discretion, cremation, deception.

MESSAGE - The rich and the famous are masters at hiding the truth.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol -- 1924 was during Prohibition -- smoking cigarettes and doing drugs.)

Special Keywords: S5 - V3 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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