It's hard to walk through the aisles of my local video store without seeing dozens of "unrated" versions of movies. While I think the ratings system can be unfair and oddly slanted towards violent movies over anything with sexual content, the Oregonian brings up a good point about the lack of theatrical versions of movies:
When I asked the store manager where the PG-13, guaranteed-in-stock version was, she said she didn't have it. She explained that the store doesn't stock PG-13 versions when the unrated release is available.
I said she was misleading customers by advertising a PG-13 film in that case. Upon my request, she did change the reader board to reflect the truth.
Unrated versions of films -- sometimes called "uncut" or "director's cut" -- include scenes that movie producers deleted from the theatrical releases to receive milder ratings. In essence, the unrated versions of PG-13 movies are like R-rated entertainment, while unrated versions of R films are like NC-17.
While we regulate what theaters can show, where is the accountability at the video store?
I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie about the movie ratings system, This Movie is Unrated.