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Cradle Will Rock



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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: R

A "mostly true story" of events surrounding the production of the pro-labor stage play "The Cradle Will Rock," sponsored by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Federal Theatre Project, and the communism scare that brought the program to an end. With Hank Azaria, Ruben Blades, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Cary Elwes, Philip Baker Hall, Cherry Jones, Angus MacFadyen, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Jamey Sheridan, John Turturro, Emily Watson, Bob Balaban, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Paul Giamatti, Barnard Hughes, Barbara Sukowa, John Carpenter, Gretchen Mol, Harris Yulin, Gil Robbins, Corina Katt and Chris McKinney. [2:12]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A little sexual innuendo and a kiss. Twice, a couple rolls on the floor and kisses passionately (in one scene, he is in boxers and she is topless; we see her breasts when she stands up, though she's at quite a distance from the camera). We see a couple in bed (presumably post-coitus; she is wearing a slip and he is in boxers and an undershirt). We see a topless woman and two nude women (one woman's full front is visible and the other woman is lying on her side with her legs and a shadow covering her genital area) modeling for a painting. We see part of a woman's bare breast in a painting.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Police officers break up a rally by kicking and hitting several people with clubs, a man is dragged out of a building, a man hits the back of another's head and a man slaps another's hand. A stage prop falls during a rehearsal; we briefly see a man with a bandage being wrapped on his hand, but no one else seems to have been injured. Some yelling.

PROFANITY 6 - About 10 F-words, a couple of anatomical references, a few scatological references, many mild obscenities and several insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - 1930s, Federal Theatre Project, stage productions, communism, fascism, the Depression, Mussolini, unions, art, big business, congressional hearings, fear, courage.

MESSAGE - People fear and often try to destroy what they don't understand or don't like.

Special Keywords: S8 - V2 - P6 - MPAAR

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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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