The Movie Database Support

There have been various film rating/certification systems over the years in the U.S. and other countries. TMDB only defines codes for the current ratings. This leaves a ton of older films with certifications which can not be represented by TMDB.

Solution: Add additional certification (tags) to represent the union of all certifications. If an ordering is required, then one can be cobbled together. For the U.S. I suggest adding the tags: "Approved" (Hays) (I have also seen "Passed" used) "M" (mature) "SMA" (Suggested for Mature Audiences, but rarely used) "GP" (more or less replaced "M") "PG-13" (more or less replaced "M") "X" (more or less replaced by "NC-17").

A pretty good summary of the ratings used in the US over time can be found at: It does not address the earlier rating of "Approved" (or "Passed"), used to indicate that a film was compliant with the "Hays"(pre-1968 code). Note that in addition to Film ratings, there are TV ratings. I tend to ignore TV ratings, however there are some "made for TV" films which have no other ratings. At the moment I think that adding support for TV ratings to regular films should be addressed later, but not forgotten. Further, note that there can be different cuts of a film with different ratings. An example of different cuts of a film may include an X/NC-17 un-cut version, an R version (for theatrical or DVD). This is already handled by different releases. Presumably, a film with both a film and TV rating would have separate release entries for each.

I live in the world of old movies, all the way back to 1929 or so. But you only have to go back to the 60's before you start seeing a large number of "unrated" movies in TMDB because there is no support for the assigned ratings. I have seen some "Approved" movies being given a "G" rating in TMDB, but they are not the same.

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Hi @fbacher,

This is actually a moderately involved feature. It's one thing to restrict a certification list based on a year range, but expecting users to actually enter the data properly is a whole other problem. Right now, certifications are only filtered by country but with this change they need to filtered by country and date, which means date becomes a required field before certification can be filled out. It's all do-able of course, I'm simply pointing out that it's not as simple as just adding some new certifications to the dropdown.

It also greatly complicates the logic of searching for, and filtering data. v5 of TMDb introduces the ability to filter data by certification for example, and without showing all certifications from all the years (which would be a long and ugly experience for the user) the data becomes a mess pretty fast. For searching purposes we'd almost need a way to map old to new, or something.

I've created a ticket to think about this here. There's a few years worth of work sitting in my backlog right now though, so I am not sure where this will land on the priority list. At least it's being tracked now.

I wasn't expecting certifications being filtered by date. I assumed that the person entering the data would just look up the certification for a film and just enter what they found. A date check would add some validation, but I don't see it as adding much. of course you probably have more experience in this area.

Filtering will be a bit interesting. I suspect that for filter ranges ("G"-"PG-13") you will need to map older certifications to new ones ("Approved" can mean "G" or "PG" (due to violence), or even "PG-13" during the pre-code years)).

Oh well, you will come up with something. Researching the different certifications will be time consuming. I need to do the same for a "random trailers" plugin that I am working on for Kodi.

Thanks for all of your work. TMDB is great.


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