VOTD: A Brief History of Profanity in Movies

Profanity in Movies

Unless you’re worried about your kids picking some nasty words, or you’re easily offended, there’s a good chance you don’t really care about profanity in movies. In fact, as time has gone on, it seems audiences are less and less shocked, or at the very least care less, about hearing profanity in their entertainment. Just watch an episode of television from today and compare it to the language allowed on the air 20 years ago.

However, there was a time when the Motion Picture Association of America banned the use of profanity in movies, and any use of swear words was met with a fine. Thankfully, that ended in 1968, and you can find out more about the history of profanity in movies in this quick video below. In case you haven’t already guessed, the audio is NSFW.

Here’s A Brief History of Swearing in Movies from Movie Munchies:

After the lift on profanity in film, dialogue began to throw out words that had never been uttered on film before. It’s fascinating to learn which movies were the first to toss around words like “bullshit” and other words previously deemed inappropriate for film. However, I was surprised to see that the first use of “fuck” in a movie was in animation before the MPAA put a ban on swearing in movies.

For better or worse, nowadays we have filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese who use profanity rather liberally and effectively. Frnakly, I’m glad we don’t have restrictions on profanity on film anymore. Could you imagine a world in which we never heard Samuel L. Jackson say the word “motherfucker”? Neither could I.

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