Research Check-in 1: The 1960s


After a couple of setbacks, I have started research in earnest on the R-rated movies I have selected for this project, beginning with the 1960s. As film rating under the MPAA did not start until 1968, there were not that many movies to choose from for this decade. However, the films that were available did not disappoint (with one exception, to be explained later on). I found that most of the movies were easily accessible through iTunes, and the actual process of gathering the data was easier than expected. The project got off to a smooth start with these four movies, and I am excited for the rest.

My favorite movie of the bunch was definitely Rosemary’s Baby, a classic horror film set in New York City. A young woman is unknowingly impregnated by Satan, and a creepy slow-building thriller ensues. As for explicit adult content, the movie was surprisingly tame, but the few instances of blood and nudity made their point effectively. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted horror movie regardless of release date.

My least favorite movie of the group was definitely The Split, but that was to be expected. The Split was included in this research project because it was the first ever R-rated movie, not because it was critically acclaimed or overwhelmingly successful in the box office. The plot was quite boring and the acting left a lot to be desired, and in the end it was just a mediocre heist movie. I was glad to move on from this film when it was finally over.

In total, the 60s were pretty tame in their R-rated movies, and I expect the amount of adult content to increase into the 70s and beyond. One interesting exception, though, was The Wild Bunch, a Western from 1969. As you can see in the table below, the movie was flush with instances of violence and blood, as much of the movie centered around cowboys shooting one another. I attribute this excess of adult content more to the genre of movie rather than the period in which it was made, though, and The Wild Bunch was more of an outlier than the standard for R-rated movies in the 1960s.


Citations for Movie Posters

By Source, Fair use,

By Source, Fair use,

By Source, Fair use,