NEW YORK, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Miramax Films announced today that the Company plans to appeal the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) "R" rating for the upcoming release about American soldiers liberating 500 POW's during WWII, The Great Raid. An "R" rating from the MPAA restricts access to the film to audiences under the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The MPAA has given the film an "R" rating based on "strong war violence and brief language". The Great Raid is set in the Philippines in 1945 and tells the true story of the 6th Ranger Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt) who undertakes a daring rescue mission against all odds, liberating over 500 American prisoners-of-war from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the most audacious rescue ever.
"There have been a number of war films with comparable levels of violence that were given a 'PG-13' rating including such films as Hotel Rwanda, Master and Commander and Pearl Harbor," said Harvey Weinstein. "The Great Raid tells the true story of what happened to our soldiers, many of whom were still teenagers, who were sent overseas during World War II. The violence is not there to shock the audience, rather, it's to show them an accurate depiction of what happened, and is by no means excessive."
"The Great Raid is based on actual historical events and presents a thought-provoking and educational portrait of the most dangerous and chaotic war rescue of all time," states director John Dahl. "The only way to capitalize on the historical importance of the film is to make it accessible to young people, which will only be successful if the MPAA allows us to reach them."
Bill Breuer, author of "The Great Raid on Cabanatuan" and a decorated combat veteran agrees: "The hallowed traits of courage, honor, and devotion to duty as reflected in The Great Raid will be an inspiration to countless Americans of today's generation. The minimal violence should make it possible for all age groups to view the heroics in this amazing story."
"Every American should know the story of the greatest known rescue mission to ever occur, especially during a time when the United States is engaged in a war," says producer Marty Katz. "This is true not only for our veterans and those currently in active duty, but for all future generations of Americans who will fight for our country."
Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers continues: "The men of Bataan, and the Rangers who rescued them, should be remembered by everyone -- but especially by future generations. If this important movie can perform one essential public service, it will be to inspire and illuminate an American youth that has generally shown (let's be frank) an appalling ignorance of history."
ABOUT THE GREAT RAID
From director John Dahl comes the gritty and stirring reality-based story of one of the most spectacular rescue missions ever to take place in American history: "the great raid on Cabanatuan," the daring exploit that would liberate more than 500 U.S. Prisoners of War in the face of overwhelming odds. A gripping depiction of human resilience, the film brings to life the personal courage and audacious heroism that allowed a small but stoic band of World War II soldiers to attempt the impossible in the hopes of freeing their captured brothers.
Once a tale shared across the United States, the long-lost story of THE GREAT RAID has been recreated with meticulous authenticity to pay testimony to the many different people, from U.S. commanders to Filipino soldiers to women aid workers to the POWs themselves, who played a part in turning this time of intense hardship and unrelenting danger into a moment of inspiration.
The Great Raid is directed by John Dahl, produced by Marty Katz and Lawrence Bender and is based on the books The Great Raid on Cabanatuan by acclaimed military historian Willaim B. Breuer and Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides. The screenplay is by Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro. The film stars Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Marton Csokas and Joseph Fiennes, alongside an international ensemble cast that includes a broad range of up-and-coming American, Filipino, Asian, and Australian actors.
ABOUT MIRAMAX FILMS
Miramax Films, founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, has released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films of the past decade, including fourteen Best Picture nominations over a span of the past twelve years: Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Hours, In the Bedroom, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Shakespeare In Love, Life Is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella), Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, Il Postino (The Postman), Pulp Fiction, The Piano and The Crying Game. The outstanding quality of Miramax's films is represented in the company's success in the annual Academy Awards race. In its history, Miramax has received 229 Academy Award nominations and has won 54 Academy Awards.
Miramax recently received a total of 15 overall Golden Globe nominations, the most for any studio, including Best Picture nominations for The Aviator and Finding Neverland, and a Best Foreign Language Film nomination for The Chorus.
Source: Miramax Films