Moll Flanders

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

Loosely based on an 18th century literary classic by Daniel Defoe, MOLL FLANDERS stars Robin Wright in the film's title role. Moll's story is told through flashbacks as her young daughter, Flora, is read her mother's memoirs by Moll's loyal friend, Hibble (Morgan Freeman). Flora, abandoned as a baby, dreams of being reunited with Moll. Born in London's infamous Newgate prison, Moll goes to live with a family, but jealousy arises when young men pay more attention to Moll than the daughters. From there she goes to a bordello where the madam promotes Moll to her customers as pure. Soon, a painter (John Lynch) rescues her and they begin a chaste relationship and eventually hold a mock marriage ceremony. When he dies suddenly, Moll is left alone and pregnant. This portrayal of the seamy side of 18th century England, the abuse of orphans and the poor, is more depressing than entertaining.

Unlike Defoe's novel, the film's Moll never renounces her sins and ends up happy and carefree. The filmmakers take full advantage of Moll's sexual escapades that include sex once in a stable. Some breast nudity is shown as Moll poses for the artist who discovers her in the bordello. The wedding ceremony is a mockery of marriage, and religion is ridiculed several times, once when a priest fondles a woman's breast during confession. A derogatory comment is also made about the Virgin Mary. Offensive language is subdued, but does include one obscenity, a few profanities and several crudities. A woman severely beaten during a marketplace brawl, a young girl caned by nuns and a terrible shipwreck at sea are not gratuitous scenes, but certainly too intense for young children. An R rating would be more descriptive of the film's sordid content.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey
MGM/UA Dist., 2500 Broadway St Santa Monica CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild 5, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Once - No s- or f-words

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 2 (C); Exclamatory 2

Violence: Several - Moderate (hand jabbed with knitting needle; marketplace brawls, once with severe beating; girl caned by nuns; man dies of smallpox; storm at sea and shipwreck)

Sex: Once (couple in stable, no nudity)

Nudity: Few times (rear male nudity, female breast nudity); Near nudity (model posing for artist)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (priest fondles woman's breast; bordello setting, prostitute tells customer she is pure)

Drugs: Few times (drinking, opium pipe smoking once)

Other: Catholic Church bashing

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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