VOTD: How Indiana Jones Merchandise Helped Create The PG-13 Rating

Most cinephiles know that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the movie that finally broke the camel's back when it came to having movies that were either PG, suggesting parental guidance for younger viewers, or R, movies that were intended for audiences 17 and older. The Indiana Jones sequel (which is actually a prequel) caught flack for being too violent and gruesome for the PG rating to fly, but Steven Spielberg wasn't prepared to lose the younger crowds by slapping movies like that with an R-rating, and part of the reason for that was because Temple of Doom had the director bit by the merchandising bug.

Find out more about the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom PG rating situation below.

Though it's George Lucas who catches flack for falling into the trap of making movies motivated by the selling of merchandise, Steven Spielberg was not immune to having his movies appeal to a younger audience by way of action figures, trading cards and more. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was one of those movies that had a slew of junk sold that tied into the movie, but once kids and audiences started seeing it, Spielberg faced a lot of backlash for just how terrifying it was for young audiences.

Rather than lose all those hungry eyes looking for adventure and excitement, Spielberg petitioned Jack Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, to consider creating a new rating between PG and R, and the rest is history. The PG-13 rating would go on to serve as a warning to parents that a movie was not necessarily family friendly, but also wasn't chock full of profanity and nudity. It allows studios to make money off younger audiences while still letting some of them see questionably appropriate material. Isn't America, grand?