Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Jack Valenti, Creator Of The MPAA, Has Died

This is a strange one. Harry and I have both spent our fair share of column inches hectoring Jack Valenti about one decision or another for as long as there’s been an AICN. It’s impossible to be passionate about filmmaking without having an opinion about Valenti. I would argue that he casts as big a shadow across the modern era of filmmaking as any studio head... and probably more than most studio heads. He was a man whose job put him at odds with politicians as often as film fans. He was a gifted lobbyist, for all that implies. He worked Washington with genuine aplomb, and that made him an incredible ally to the studios and to filmmaking in general. But he was the only game in town, and that gave him the power to change films, to use his so-called parental guidance system to censor and even reshape movies. News of his death earlier today at the age of 85 wasn’t a complete shock. He had a stroke in March, presumably when he realized they were giving GRINDHOUSE an “R” complete with Quentin’s melting penis. He was hospitalized for a while, and I’d heard he was not recovering. There’s no doubt that his death marks the end of an era, though. Valenti helped make sense of a post-Hayes code motion picture landscape, and even though I disagree with much of his methodology, I respect him for much of what he did on behalf of the industry. The ratings side of things is just one small part of the work Valenti did, something that is frequently forgotten when his name is invoked. He was a political animal long before he became involved with the film industry. His path to the White House was one of circumstance and bloodshed. He was a consultant in Texas whose work for the Democratic Party managed to get him a seat in a parade with the President. Specifically, he was in one of the cars in the motorcade in Dallas the day that JFK was shot. And because he had dealt with Vice-President LBJ before, Valenti was one of the people invited onto Air Force One out of Dallas. He became one of LBJ’s most trusted aides during that flight. That job led to his appointment in the mid-60s as the president of the MPAA. He was approached by the heads of the studios directly. They were feeling political pressure, social pressure, and they knew that if they were going to keep up with the public in terms of cultural revolution, they would need to have Washington on their side. Valenti was brought in to smooth the way, to be the permanent advocate, the guy who would argue Hollywood’s case. The creation of the CARA and the current letter-based ratings system was a direct reaction to the kinds of pressure that Valenti believed were being brought to bear on Hollywood. It’s hard to believe it’s been less than 40 years that we’ve had that system in place. It’s so much a part of the way we think about films now. I’m not going to pretend tonight that we always said the best things about Valenti, or the kindest things. But even so, our thoughts and prayers go out to Valenti’s friends and families tonight. There will never be anyone like him again, and whatever changes we do or don’t see in the ratings system in the future, Valenti defined a particular time in the history of film.


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • April 26, 2007, 11:48 p.m. CST

    My first...

    by Ravetin

    ...first.

  • April 26, 2007, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by Purgatori

    Him and Bobbie Boris Pickett the same day. Well, I have to say I'm sadder about Pickett.

  • April 26, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    second

    by RobMota

    Uncertified Evil Genius

  • April 26, 2007, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I guess not

    by RobMota

    Uncertified Evil Genius

  • April 26, 2007, 11:56 p.m. CST

    goodbye old chum

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    now make god rock

  • April 26, 2007, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Does that mean the MPAA can go away now?

    by Turd Furgeson

    Fucking republican douchebags! Now hopefully Rob Zombie will drop dead then we can all be happy little hobbits!

  • April 27, 2007, midnight CST

    decent obit

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    but too much about YOU.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:05 a.m. CST

    The MPAA is a Joke

    by OGREISHERE

    All because of him.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:22 a.m. CST

    In 10 years, no one will remember him

    by Det. John Kimble

    I'm being generous. I give him one Oscar memorial slideshow before he's consigned to the dustbin of history.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Will the MPAA now include a medium to channel Valenti?

    by srh1son

    I saw "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" a few weeks ago, and I am very angry that studios and theatre owners allow this type of censorship to occur. The anonymous people that "rate" those movies are theatre owners, studio execs, and clergy(!). Supposedly the priest and minister can't vote, but can advise. Very troubling that religous bodies are involved in this process. Also annoying that when appealing a ratings decision (to get a "R" instead of "NC-17"), directors can't cite examples from other films as precedent.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Wrong douchebag denomination

    by rgatz

    MPAA was founded by a Democratic administration. The music rating system was a Tripper Gore crusade. The RIAA ambitions to foul digital music systems began... that's right in the Clinton administration. Or do you just randomly spout "republican doughbags"?

  • April 27, 2007, 12:29 a.m. CST

    I pranked him on CNBC

    by Some Dude

    Way back in the early 90s, I was caught up in the Bababooey phone prank "craze." I got Valenti on some no-ratings CNBC show. I think I asked him if he wanted Howard Stern's balls in his mouth. His look of confusion was priceless.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Hopefully unfairness in the MPAA will die with him

    by allyousay

    yup.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Death is never a good thing...

    by JimmyLoneWolf

    I'm with all of you in criticizing valenti's legacy...I think the guy was a disgrace in his later years, particularly when he erroneously claimed most NC-17 ratings were given out for violence...they may have been, but they were also quickly replaced with an R once minor changes were made. <p> I think a nice way to commemorate jack valenti's life would be for theater owners and studio chiefs to take a long, hard look at the NC-17 rating and figure out WHY the rating is such a death sentence. Perhaps MORE films need to receive that rating, rather than less. That way, parents groups can be happy that children are not allowed into certain films while the ADULTS who WANT to view those films can see them unburdened by censorship. <p> Contrary to what many believe, I don't think jack valenti was any fan of censorship. He simply didn't want to see adult content marketed to children...its not his fault that theater owners and Blockbuster are so stubbornly obtuse about their "no NC-17" policies, or that American consumers have no idea how much edgier films would be if NC-17 films made money. <p> In any case, he's gone now, and while I have many gripes with his ratings system...even I can concede that it is far and away better than letting CONGRESS decide what we can watch. Jack Valenti, for all his other flaws, prevented that from happening (most likely forever), and for that, if nothing else, we should be grateful to him on this day of his passing. <p> RIP Jack Valenti.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST

    OH THANK GOD!!!!!

    by PAC-MAN

    I have no love for the MPAA

  • April 27, 2007, 12:57 a.m. CST

    actually Mori mate, that was well written...

    by Seph_J

    ...truthful, and respectful. Nice one.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Censorship

    by symon

    I've got no love for the MPAA, either, but I do feel self-censorshp has protected filmmakers from groups like the Catholic League that plagued films of the past. While the MPAA under Valenti was biased and unfair at times (specifically giving Speilberg a free ride while terrorizing direcors of horror films), I think world of movies would very likely have been a scarier place without it. Rest easy, Jack. You sonofabitch.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Who is replacing him?

    by playahatersball

    Satan?

  • April 27, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    The Last of the The Big Three

    by lotusblade

    The loss of Valenti marks the last of the Big Three to die. These men greatly shaped the way Media Entertainment is today. The other two being Lew Wasserman and Sidney Korshak. <p> Of course Lew singlehandedly picked and apointed Valenti as President of the MPAA. Sidney was of course the mob liason er union liason. <p> The biggest thing Valenti did was keep the Government out of the film industry for the most part. You might not like the Ratings system, but it's much better than a system that our Congress and Senate would come up with. Take a look at the current idea for the FCC to "eliminate all violence before 10pm" on TV. <p> We all owe Valenti a pat on the back, even if the system put in place was corrupt.

  • April 27, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    He's Here to Save The Nation.....

    by ChesterDesmond

    ...So stay tuned to this station. Am I the only one who thought Jack's greatest moment came when he explained the ratings system on Freak-a-zoid?

  • April 27, 2007, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Death is never a good thing? Neurotic modern idea.

    by Sepulchrave

    How can something that happen to every person without exception, be either good or bad? It's like saying that air is bad, or being born. the guy was a professional windbag who dealt in false alarm and false moralizing. And now he's gone. Boo hoo.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:03 a.m. CST

    All the haters....

    by ChesterDesmond

    ...Who've never been around a death... You need to realize, that in the end, all that matters is that a man did his best. I think Jack was a good guy who did his best. At times, yes, he was misguided, but who isn't? RIP Mr. Valenti. I'll practice the buddy system.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Oh, and JimmyLoneWolf?

    by ChesterDesmond

    Good call on the whole NC-17 thing. What could have been a fix was turned into a death sentence by people's need for extremes. Sheep need fences to feel comfortable as sheep...NC-17 became a fence.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Dammit.

    by SebastianHaff

    I kind of expected some asshole comments here, but have a little respect, guys. I don't agree with the man's politics (both in film and real life politics, as despite Turd Ferguson's uninformed and idiotic accusation, he was a big ol' Dem) but I turly believe Valenti's heart was in the right place. I think he believed he was doing the right thing, and he fought for that belief like a champ. Good for him. My thoughts are with his family.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:14 a.m. CST

    i doubt....

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    that this TB is gonna be a very civil one...even Mori's review seemed to be written with a grain of salt. i will say that i for one wont be broken up over this and i hope that this brings change. however, hollywood and washington seem to have a neverending supply of geriatrics ready to step in at all times so im not gonna hold my breathe

  • April 27, 2007, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Everyone has been around death

    by Sepulchrave

    Me; three cancers, two suicides and four natural causes. I saw my first body when I was ten. I don't know this guy and I didn't like his work, which was corrupt and stifled a lot of talent. Who says that I hated him. (One thing I do hate; the word 'hater': 'All U haterz R wrong!!'

  • April 27, 2007, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Usually, douchebags live long, prosperous lives...

    by Darth_Gonz

    ....and it's the everyday, normal, run-of-the-mill good folk who die early, unfortunate deaths. It would appear that the circumstances are reversed in this case. So long Jack, you awful totalitarian piece of shit.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:16 a.m. CST

    and remember..

    by Sepulchrave

    he was 85! What, are people supposed to hang about for centuries cluttering up the place? 85 is a damn good run. Definitely time to check out.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Funny, I just watched This Film is Not Yet Rated

    by Jonesey1111

    today. Coincidence? I think so.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:27 a.m. CST

    i see

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    i see the point of him keeping govenment hands out of films and yes, thats ok...however. when it comes to a cultural thing like films, where tastes vary from generation to generation, i think its important that the heads of organizations like the MPAA step down when the time is right, instead of pushing social views from decades past onto modern works

  • April 27, 2007, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Nana na na, nana na na, hey hey hey....

    by tie3456

    GOODBYE!

  • April 27, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST

    I'd rate his death PG at best.

    by thelivingdoll

    Oh come on, illness following a stroke? That's Hallmark crap all the way. Now If he wanted 18 to 34 year olds to care about his death he should've hired Tyler Mane to rip his body parts off one by one in quick cut fashion before crushing his head in with his foot. That just might have earned him an R rated death, but a stroke followed by an illness? Give me a break!

  • April 27, 2007, 1:49 a.m. CST

    livingdoll

    by srh1son

    actually, if he was fucked in the mouth while suffering a stroke, then had his corpse violated in a sexually deviant fashion, then an NC-17 would have followed. Remember, MPAA will let bullets fly and flesh torn asunder, but sex hits at their moral center like nothing else.

  • April 27, 2007, 1:53 a.m. CST

    respecting the dead?

    by srh1son

    It's interesting to me that people don't want any criticism brought up because it's disrespectful to the dead. The people critiquing Valenti's legacy have what they feel is a legitimate greivance. Just because he died doesn't absolve him of his actions. Furthermore, I take this obit as reporting the news and our comments are our responses. If you think this guy was lesser evil (compared to Congress blackballing films), then good for you. But I'm not going to go easy on him or the MPAA just because it's an easier alternative to swallow. Valenti and the MPAA don't want to answer any criticism directly (as "TFINYR" shows). Now, he's dodged it completely by dying. But what he symbolized in life isn't forgotten just because he's gone.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:01 a.m. CST

    It's a funny position to be in...

    by Charlie & Tex

    ...as we had held for years that we were going to spring for a damn good bottle of champagne when leader of the UK's Viewers & Listers Association (now Mediawatch) and royal pain in the arse to free choice Mary Whitehouse turned her toes up. Sure enough, her death came (far too late) in 2001, and a bottle of bubby which would meet James Bond's approval was bought, but when drinking the death of the old cow, it seemed to leave a bitter taste - no fault of any kind of cork contamination. On the other hand, when the news of the death of James Ferman came through on Christmas Day a coulple of years ago, it was like Santa had left an extra present under the tree. He was much like Valenti, in that he was in power for a good couple of decades and pushed his own moral values on to the rest of the country, making the UK the cinematic laughing stock of the free world for things like keeping The Exorcist banned for over 20 years. We dislike any body which feels it has the right to censor dramatic product to protect the public from themselves, and the MPAA's standards are often forced onto the rest of the world when films are trimmed to get a PG-13 and the more adult material left unrestored. John Waters must be buying up a magnum of champagne as we speak.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST

    RIP JACK VALENTI

    by LeviDTinker

    Jack Valenti's handprint ceremony at the chinese theatre back in 2004 was the first handprint ceremony i actually got to be a part of,in terms of being right there front and center in the middle of all the action. one of my favorite memories of that was watching as his 5 year old grandson walked up between Mr Valenti feet and immitating his grandfather placed his thumb print in the cement right below his grandfathers footprints. He even nice enough to introduce me to Kirk Douglas the day of the handprint ceremony. the few times he came to theatre for events since then he allways took the time to come up and say hello to me, and ask how i was. and the man had some great stories to share. did you guys know he was a world war 2 fighter pilot. Rest in peace Jack VALENTI

  • April 27, 2007, 2:28 a.m. CST

    This man was my arch enemy

    by Doc_Strange

    Along with thousands of other movie downloaders, I'm curious to see if anyone takes his place and stupidly tries to kill movie piracy. No disrespect to Valenti personally, this is just business.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:33 a.m. CST

    srh1son

    by thelivingdoll

    Yeah, it's no surprise he went easier on violence when everyone above keeps mentioning how great it was he was a WWII fighter pilot. "We didn't win the war by sodomizing Hitler, we did it with bullets! So long live violence and death in films, just please, no sex!"

  • April 27, 2007, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Sure the man was a Grade-A douchebag...

    by Harry Weinstein

    ...but by modern standards of douchbaggery, Jack was rather low-key, even quaint. Rest in peace.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:42 a.m. CST

    May he burn in H-E-Double-Hockeysticks.

    by V'Shael

    If someone can tell me where he's buried, I'd happily piss on his grave.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Darth_Gonz

    by decastro

    I can't tell if you're joking or not, but either way, your post made me crack up. Not only did Jack Valenti live a very long, extremely prosperous life, but if the situation is "reversed," who are the average run-of-the-mill good folk who didn't die young in this case? And I didn't realize the "good-folk" mortality rate was that high to begin with.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:47 a.m. CST

    agreed Mori

    by Lou C.

    We can criticize the MPAA for a lot of things, but Valenti did help usher in an era where filmmakers were able to put things on screen that would never have been allowed in the past. The problem, I think, was that over time the MPAA developed so much clout that it became something it wasn't intended to be. So while Valenti started by ushering in something good, he allowed it to be manipulated into something bad. He always claimed the MPAA was a guide for parents, but he was smart enough to know it was much more than that. And for those wondering if his death will bring change, a reminder: He retired as head of the MPAA in 2004, and his replacement was a Valenti disciple.

  • April 27, 2007, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Doing my best Marge Simpson growl of disapproval

    by BannedOnTheRun

    Insert insightful comment here about how some of these comments reflect the coarsening of our culture, helped along so adeptly by the motion picture industry itself.

  • April 27, 2007, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Put the MPAA against the wall!

    by Bodenland Unbound

    Hey Mr Valenti, this was written for people like you: We dont need no education. We dont need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teachers, leave those kids alone. Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone! (Pink Floyd's The Wall) So burn in hell, Mr Valenti!

  • April 27, 2007, 3:16 a.m. CST

    But did he do the Monster Mash?

    by Napoleon Park

    Dang, Lou C. above pretty well perfectly covered what I was about to say. The '60s ratings system made mature and adult content in films possible. By creating the GMRX ratings system Valenti by extension coined the phrase "Rated X". The MPAA system made sex and violence in American made commercial films possible... which paved the way for legal porn, sexploitation and slasher flicks, among other goodness. Unfortunately those buggers in the adult film industry hopped on the bandwagon with their self-imposed unofficial "XXX rating" which confused mainstream X rated adult films with porn in the minds of the ignorant. Now most major film theater chains refuse to book X (or NC-17 as they're now known) films, making it nearly impossible to find a movie theater that doesn't have several screaming babies in the audience. But that's not Valenti's fault. *** Rating is not censorship, labeling prevents outright banning.

  • April 27, 2007, 3:16 a.m. CST

    I dont to say anything bad about him

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    But even though he`s dead i just cant say anything good either

  • April 27, 2007, 3:17 a.m. CST

    South Park's Revenge...

    by Henry Fool

    Maybe Trey and Matt can finally make another South Park movie. I have no intention of pretending that I am in mourning for this man. His treatment of film makers has been horrifically arrogant and he's done much to futher the rise of sequel driven, corporate Hollywood.

  • April 27, 2007, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Hey, thanks to him, we can have some sex and violence

    by Doctor_Sin

    Give the man props for that at least.

  • April 27, 2007, 3:22 a.m. CST

    On another note, why was he influential anyway?

    by Doctor_Sin

    I mean, how often are there job openings that read: "Pushy, Influential asshole wanted, GREAT PAY!"? What did he do besides bang LBJ's secretary to earn him such power?

  • April 27, 2007, 3:23 a.m. CST

    "stupidly tries to kill movie piracy"

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Doc_Strange, yeah let's rejoice in the fact it's ok to steal peoples movies that cast, crew and directors work very hard on to make a living. It is after all just business eh. <p>But please don't get me wrong, trying to stop Piracy is an impossible objective right now. But just because you can download shit for free doesn't mean it's right! How would you like less income in your job due to some smart ass with a computer hampering your potential earnings?

  • April 27, 2007, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Funny Story sort of,,,

    by RickSlamu2

    My sister worked for our state senator Max Bacus from Montana for a while in DC. I was in his DC office waiting for her to get out of the bathroom. Sitting down on the coutch. Reading a mag. She allready introdused me to Max once. SO out from the back who should come walking out but Max and Valenti. Smileing. Hand shakeing. Back patting. I nearly fell off my coutch! (Mind you i have the same oppinion of the man most of you seam to;NEGATIVE!!!) Max escorts Jack to the office door with a big smile and goodbye. He turms around and i pipe up and say "THat was Jack Valenti wasn"t it?" Max says "What?" I Say "Jack Valenti, The MPAA Cheif, Right?' Max said "Oh yeha, right." I looked back out the door Jack Valenti just went throught and said " Un-huh" as if to say what are you doing letting some one like that INTO THIS OFFICE? Poor Max lost his smile and it was if he couldn't walk away fast enuff!! Probally thinking "OH shit I just lost another vote!"

  • April 27, 2007, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Very Happy To Hear This News

    by cdp

    I hope his stroke hurt like hell. Every film fan around the world is celebrating tonight. Rot In Hell Censor

  • April 27, 2007, 3:58 a.m. CST

    I thought that Captivity billboard caused the stroke...

    by tonagan

    Oh sorry, that was Mori.

  • April 27, 2007, 4:01 a.m. CST

    it's a good thing Heaven only has a PG-13 rating:

    by newc0253

    or so i've been told.

  • April 27, 2007, 4:30 a.m. CST

    I´m going to Hell

    by CuervoJones

    I hope he goes to Heaven.

  • April 27, 2007, 4:49 a.m. CST

    interesting life

    by theycallmemrglass

    Thanks for the History lesson, Moriarty. Interesting. As for Valentini's death - that was an honourable tribute for someone, Moriarty and the rest of us film fans generally dislike. It is healthy to oppose those who have achieved something which we disagree on but to oppose and fight with respect. Honour is a valuable asset. Well done Moriarty for a well written piece. OK now that he is gone - lets rip those certifaction apart and bring on the Grindhouse!

  • April 27, 2007, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Imagine a movie was made that contained the following

    by emeraldboy

    scene. A young mother has just given birth. suddenly terrorists or criminals shoot up the hospital. and one of the criminals fires a bullet which pierces the babys skull, kills the mother or mothers. and the camera pulls back and you see a giant blood bath/massacre in the labour ward and later the whole hospital. Now imagine, there's no MPAA, no rules, and no guidelines. The above scene is featured in mainstream movie directed by say Eli Roth. The film gets released uncut. I am sure that some of you all would be very happy that movie containing such a scene has been released into cinemas and I know that must dont really give a flying fuck about lobby groups be it parental or otherwise. I hate censorship as much as the next person and I regard the banning of Life of brian as the worst case of censorship in irish history. A more recent one was bad santa, which so appalled the parents of Ireland that It was pulled from Irish cinemas within two days. The there is the UK childs play debate. a young todler jamie bulger was beatem to death in liverpoool and childs play the movie was banned along with many other movies dubbed Video Nasties by the UK tabloid press as was David Cronenbergs crash. Valentis MPaa would have happened anyway, not that I agree with some of there ratings. But in the end, parents in sufficient number or other groups would have forced polticians, to set up something which prevents us seeing the above scene in the way director intended. and the only filmmakers capable of making the movie are sir Micheal Winner or Eli Roth.

  • April 27, 2007, 5:24 a.m. CST

    He was old

    by Razorback

    There is nothing sad about old people dying.

  • April 27, 2007, 5:32 a.m. CST

    This proves emeraldboy needs a white text in black box!

    by Talkbacker with no name

    "A young mother has just given birth. suddenly terrorists or criminals shoot up the hospital. and one of the criminals fires a bullet which pierces the babys skull, kills the mother or mothers. and the camera pulls back and you see a giant blood bath/massacre in the labour ward and later the whole hospital." Far out! That would be amazing! <p>"banning of Life of brian as the worst case of censorship in irish history. A more recent one was bad santa" hehe genius!

  • April 27, 2007, 5:35 a.m. CST

    hahaha

    by Talkbacker with no name

    "and the only filmmakers capable of making the movie are sir Micheal Winner or Eli Roth." ...If you were trying to be funny this wouldn't be funny at all. God, what I wouldn't give to sit down and video a chat with you, EB!

  • April 27, 2007, 5:48 a.m. CST

    If you think the Mpaa is bad...

    by emeraldboy

    Go see rocky to dublin. some of the greatest works of literary fiction ever were banned in Ireland. Even rocky road itself was banned for 35 years from both cinemas and tv. and Peter lennon was denounced from the pulpits of now dead catholic ireland as a communist, lennon exiled himself to paris where ended up working for the Guardian.

  • April 27, 2007, 5:52 a.m. CST

    TOO SOON!!!

    by Pageiv

    If you ever heard him talkabout LBJ talking to him sitting on the crapper you'd laugh your head off.

  • April 27, 2007, 5:59 a.m. CST

    But Boyzone and westlife...

    by Talkbacker with no name

    are allowed to make and release records. Oh the shame of it, EB. The shame!

  • April 27, 2007, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Good riddance.

    by Dwarf Sidious

    Valenti was a force for small-mindedness and bland pap. The timidity, secrecy, and will to self-censor represented by the MPAA ratings system was and is un-American. He was also one of the reasons that movies took so long to go digital. He was Part Of The Problem.

  • April 27, 2007, 7:10 a.m. CST

    talkbacker

    by emeraldboy

    i know and i hear ya. by the way do you live in the UK? the only reason ask is: where you waiting with baited breath for Grindhouse to open on the first of june? bad news, then its been bumped.

  • April 27, 2007, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Funny

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Bob Clark, that cheap "I'll direct anything for a paycheck!" hack who hadnt directed a watchable film in two decades and sunk so far as to direct Baby fucking Geniuses dies and AICN goes into sackcloth and ashes. Jack Valenti, who (along with many many others) saved this business that was dying in the late 1960s gets shit upon.

  • April 27, 2007, 7:20 a.m. CST

    emeraldboy

    by Talkbacker with no name

    yes I do. What!? fucking bastards! ...well at least they won't split the double bill in half at least.

  • April 27, 2007, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Nice piece, Mori

    by Teamwak

    Did some good, did some bad. <p> Like all of us, really. <p>Emeraldboy, thought you were describing a scene from Hard Boiled then :)

  • April 27, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Emeraldboy

    by Lost Prophet

    OK from the top. I like your film idea, and would watch that, but Crash was never banned. Child's Play 3 was pulled (but not 1, 2, Bride of Chucky or Spawn of Chucky)using the "Video Nasties Act"- which was the Thatcher government trying to blame crime on a few cheesy gorefests that sadly caught a lot of good films as well (most have been released now)- 10 years too late.<p>Most UK bannings are actually never banned, a good example being A Clockwork Orange. However, we do still have the most piss-takingly repressed censor in the civilised world. <p>Laughably Reservoir Dogs got banned on video in Britain- I remember when I was about 15 it received a second limited cinema release and I lied to my mum to get her to buy me a ticket (as i couldn't get past the git in the ticket office and it wasn't on somewhere I could sneak in to)she was cross with me for days. <p>I don't understand why NC17 is a death sentence in America. For me, and a lot of my friends, an 18 certificate is a good thing as it generally cuts out an awful lot of the horrible idiot adult taking toddler to the omen shit that Americans put up with. So you would think that an NC17 should have the same effect.<p>RIP censor, and fuck you too.

  • April 27, 2007, 7:58 a.m. CST

    no. just no. this man deserves no respect.

    by lilgorgor

    his death does not change the fact that he was a complete motherfucker. reading this is like reading a yeltsin obituary from the mainstream media. complete bullshit. good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • April 27, 2007, 8:02 a.m. CST

    "Freakazoid"

    by Anna Valerious

    My favorite Valenti moment was when he showed up on this show. "You have nice cheeks."

  • April 27, 2007, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Valenti is Dead-Good Riddance!

    by solobear

    I'm not even going to pretend to feel sorry for this prick. His heavy handed assholish ability to control Hollywood should not be missed or mourned by anyone. This jerk should have stayed in Washington politics and kept his greasy hands out of the filmmaking community. Sayonara, Sucker!

  • April 27, 2007, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Goodnight funnyman!

    by trafficguy2000

    You will be missed by all! Uhhh....

  • April 27, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...what to rate this thread?

    by Darkman

    PG (Petty gits) or R (retarded)? Decisions, decisions. <br><br> It's the fucking Aaron Spelling talkback all over again. So you didn't like what Jack Valenti did. Even so, the man's fucking dead, and one cannot deny the impact (for good or ill) he's had on the film industry. Some fucking respect is all that's needed. <br><br> Let's see...three f-bombs. I guess this thread is rated R (retarded).

  • April 27, 2007, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Ironically, the MPAA rated my Valenti tribute an NC-17

    by SpyGuy

    So instead I'll just have to express my happiness that one more blight against the art of film is officially off the planet. Now, time to get rid of the rest of the MPAA...

  • April 27, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Without Valenti, the government would have regulated

    by Razorback

    It is better to have the MPAA creating ratings systems than having the FCC regulating content.

  • April 27, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST

    To quote the Rolling stones.....

    by emeraldboy

    I cant always get what you want!

  • April 27, 2007, 8:47 a.m. CST

    SHOW RESPECT????

    by solobear

    Hey Darkman, When I served in the military I was forced on many occassions to show respect to people who deserved none. I no longer feel the ned to do that. The asfuck that was Jack Valenti deserves no respect and as such he wil get none from me, or from anyone else who truly gives a damn about filmmaking. Think that one over, you corporate lapdog.

  • April 27, 2007, 8:53 a.m. CST

    No one under 17 will be admitted to his funeral

    by moondoggy2u

    Its rated RIP.

  • April 27, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    don't you mean

    by Lost Prophet

    to misquote the rolling stones? <p>are you on drugs?

  • April 27, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST

    it all depends on what you have done in life....

    by emeraldboy

    all people are divisive, in that they have their followers and their detractors. Haughey is one such name that comes to mind. You either love him or loathe him. you either do something with your life or nothing at all. Valenti did something with his. Will we remember Harry knowles, esteemed media Mogul in a decade from now. I doubt it.

  • April 27, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    that is the biggest load of crap I have read in ages.

    by Lost Prophet

    And I post regularly on AICN.<P>We should praise Valenti for doing something with his life? Even if that thing was fucking dreadful- who remembers Trevelyan (only reason I remember the name is that I saw a documentary on The Devils a few weeks ago)?, or whoever the british censor was before him? don't talk shit.

  • April 27, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Good riddance

    by IJUSTLIKEMOVIES

    I'm sure other people cared about him, but we've really missed out on quite a bit of cock in the theatres during his reign as censorship kingpin.

  • April 27, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Valenti's funeral will be rated PG-13, unless

    by LaneMyersClassic

    there's an open casket, in which case it will get a hard "R" - C'mon people lighten up! Dying is a part of living. You just start over again, anyway. What's the big D?

  • April 27, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Valenti doesn't know that he's dead...

    by LaneMyersClassic

    and right now he couldn't give a rat's ass about anything said here!

  • April 27, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST

    This is just terrible!

    by torontoxic

    I really wanted to kill that old prick. Stupid natural causes. Why God? Why!?!

  • April 27, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Dinner invitation

    by SympatheticDevil

    We will be feasting on Mr. Valenti's soul at 6 pm IST in the banquet hall near the gateway between the fifth and sixth circles of hell. Dress is business casual. Antacids will be provided. The Sympathetic Devil

  • April 27, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Death is always a bummer...

    by Godardwhowhatnow

    Even if it took away a self-appointed content czar and all-around enemy of free speech. I agree with being sensitive around friends and family of a loved one after he or she passes, but let's not look at a person's legacy through rose-colored glasses just because they bit the dust. It seems disingenuous to me, is all.

  • April 27, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    My god, did Valenti do something illegal?

    by MonteCristo

    I know you think because he offered parental guidelines for movies and made some movies (that most likely deserved it) highly rated enough so that none of you prepubescent violence junkies and movie nerds could see them in mainstream theaters...Is that enough to talk about the man after he's dead? I'm glad Valenti did some of the things he did. Without them, parents wouldn't have an easy way to find out what was suitable for children. Hell, everybody criticizes the FCC. In a few years, the shit they put on television will be worse than what's on the big screen. So, I guess I'm the only person who feels like congratulating the man for keeping certain movies highly rated. At the end of the day, the movies we love the most...the movies that stay in our memory...those are the movies we want to show to our children, not "Grindhouse", "Oldboy", and "Ichi the Killer". What the fuck's wrong with you people?

  • April 27, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Surprised no one's mentioned DMCA yet...

    by Kusoyaro

    We have him partially to thank for it. Good motherfucking riddance.

  • April 27, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    The Gov has accountability (in theory)...

    by Billyeveryteen

    The MPAA does not.<p>Good riddence, to bad rubbish.

  • April 27, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Nothing illegal...

    by Valmont12

    I think the problem isn't that Valenti was "keeping certain movies highly rated." I don't think anyone here would argue that ratings have some value, especially to parents. The problem is the arbitrary way that movies are rated. Why do some movies get a PG-13 that are arguably "worse" for children than some R movies? We don't know, because the MPAA won't tell us. We don't know the standards that are being applied and the criteria upon which ratings decisions are made. As a parent, that should bother you most--how can you trust the ratings when they are given without justification or explanation?

  • April 27, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Lost Prophet

    by Talkbacker with no name

    You won't be able to have a debate with EB. I used to be like you, you know. I feel so much better now that I just go with and enjoy his mad ramblings. <P>It's 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', EB. hehe gold, comedy gold!

  • April 27, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Didn't you see 'This film has not yet been rated'

    by Sepulchrave

    The system that Valenti presided over is totally corrupt and gives not one fucking shot about brutality; depictions of sex or the human body not being mutilated by gunfire, on the other hand, are fucking taboo. Guidelines my ass.

  • April 27, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST

    It has to be worth a try, as I can't stand it anymore

    by Lost Prophet

    His semi-literate drivel, direct quotes from that shitrag- Empire, utter inability to follow a line of thinking, and inability to cite the title (for fuck's sake) of a very famous song (how the fuck does "I can't always get what you want" make sense?)are hampering my ability to skive at work.

  • April 27, 2007, 11:11 a.m. CST

    hahaha

    by Talkbacker with no name

    I know! he's brilliant eh. <p>Maybe he was sent my god into cyberspace to punish us for our internet surfing sins? <p>My god it's The Emerald Surfer!

  • April 27, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    I swear I have been good

    by Lost Prophet

    no porn at work, legitimately finishing work on time, seriously I am a very low grade sinner <p>if it is punishment then why do I seem to be the only person bothered by it.

  • April 27, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Oh Trust me, you are not

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Blarney-Man is Emerald Boy's arch nemesis. <p>Take a trip over to the "Harry Says It Would Be Criminal To Not See HOT FUZZ Immediately!!!" Talkback.

  • April 27, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST

    a bootleg of his obituary was out in China last week

    by Spandau Belly

    And it even had the word "hell" in it.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but the violence portrayed isn't real.

    by MonteCristo

    Nudity is.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:31 p.m. CST

    In his memory, I will download one less movie torrent

    by Doctor_Sin

    I can pass on Happy Feet until later.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:32 p.m. CST

    All this talk about saving the children ...

    by zengamer

    Is just stupid. If you don't know better than to take your kid to a slasher flick, a porno, a South Park movie, or anything starring Adam Sandler, you're just a bad parent.

  • April 27, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Who cares, MonteCristo?

    by Some Dude

    The nudity is real. So what?

  • April 27, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    If the violence isn't real because they use fake guns

    by zengamer

    Then is the nudity real when they have fake breasts?

  • April 27, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    I believe Carlin said is best....

    by Dr Gregory House

    "Fuck the children"

  • April 27, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks for running the article

    by palimpsest

    Valenti was wrong, though consistently wrong. Maybe that kind of single-mindedness deserves at least respect, if not approval. His legacy, the MPAA, is overripe for a fundamental review. Maybe Valenti's death will cunt another tie that was preventing that happenning.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Not Losing Any Sleep Over This

    by DefyThis

    Valenti was one of the most disingenous dinosaurs the industry had at the controls over the years. Famous (and insipid) quotes: DVDs are indestructable (therefore you don't need a backup, something Dan Glickman contradicted recently), and the VCR being to movies what Jack the Ripper was to women alone at night. It's unfortunate that his mark will remain on the industry long after his death. Between is seemingly incomprehensible ratings system and his war against consumers, Valenti did far more harm than good for the biz.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Man, the other Turd

    by Turd Furgusen

    is really giving me a bad name.<p> Like him or not, Valenti was a smooth operator.<p> Nice obit Mr. Moriarty.<p> We can disagree with Valenti's take on ratings, but you should still respect the man in his passing.

  • April 27, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Valenti oversaw the murder of art in film.

    by s00p3rm4n

    That's all I have to say.

  • April 27, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Good riddance...

    by Stuntcock Mike

    ...rhymes with clit sorrent

  • April 27, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST

    "Fuck the children"

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Carlin is a genius.

  • April 27, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST

    No laser pens or cell phones at the funeral

    by guerillakarma

    or crying babies.

  • April 27, 2007, 5:20 p.m. CST

    sorry but hell yeah

    by flipster

    see ya prick!

  • April 27, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by sith-vol

    Well thats as respectful as I can be....the man was an ass.

  • April 27, 2007, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Fuck all censors, let "parents" do the work

    by pdennett316

    If a parent wants to be sure their child is not being corrupted, then they should have more than a passing interest in their childs life. Whats all this shit about making it easier for them? At the expense of everyone else's freedom to watch what they want without being treated like a fucking kid? Fuck that. Material intended for adults should not be censored in ANY way, purely on the off chance that some kid MAY see what's going on. Fuck all that cutting it down to get an 'R' shit - the industry should do what it can to remove the stigma of NC-17/18 rated movies. In the UK the stigma is not so bad, but the US situation sounds pretty fucked up. Back to the parents - take some fucking control of your idiot kids and involve yourselves in their lives rather than using movies and tv to babysit the little bastards, that way we'll all be happy. Well, you'd be miserable, but it's your own fucking fault for breeding, isn't it?

  • April 27, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by DarthDooku

    Rest in peace, Mr. Valenti.

  • April 27, 2007, 9:46 p.m. CST

    So i take it you want the old production code to return

    by Jimmy Jazz

    ? Becuase that is your choice. Puritanical America will not have a free for all. The MPAA may have been far from perfect, but better Jack Valenti and his ratings system than some new Joe Breen breathing down the necks of the filmakers.

  • April 27, 2007, 10:21 p.m. CST

    He is, after all, the jackass who said that--

    by Bob Cryptonight

    --"video tapes are the cancer in the belly of the film industry!" What a jerk. God bless his loved ones left behind...but he still was a jerk.

  • April 28, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST

    I hope Valenti burns in hell

    by The Decider

    Thank you.

  • April 29, 2007, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Ding Dong...

    by stickmangrit

    the witch is dead. which old witch? the wicked witch! ding dong the wicked witch is dead!!!

  • April 29, 2007, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Clergy and the Government have no place in Film

    by DallasGoodbar

    Clearly Valenti was not liked by many because he presided over a corrupt entity with special interests. So why waste time griping over old shit and let's bomb the fuck out of the MPAA. And if we have any ammo left let's dismantle the RIAA and the FCC.