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Should producer convert R-rated 'The King's Speech' into family fare?

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Ms. Bartha’s one dilemma, she says, is presented by her son. Can she see the movie with him? The movie is rated R, which means, says the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), it “may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously.”

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Now, in an apparent attempt to avoid such dilemmas by potential moviegoers and reach a wider audience, “Speech” producer Harvey Weinstein is reported to be planning to re-edit the film. The movie received an R rating due to two or three short but important scenes in which the king swears repeatedly in an effort to correct his stammer.

“The British numbers are huge because the rating lets families see the movie together,” Weinstein is quoted as saying in the British newspaper The Guardian. Director “Tom [Hooper] and I are trying to find a unique way to do this that keeps his vision of the movie.”

Weinstein, whose “Shakespeare in Love” won Best Picture in 1998, is considered to have top-tier marketing and movie instincts. But several critics say the idea of altering this movie is ill-advised. Some are criticizing the MPAA’s rating system for not being nuanced enough. The MPAA responds that its system is merely a guide for parents, nothing more.

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