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'Boxing Helena' Rated NC-17

January 14, 1993|DAVID J. FOX

"Boxing Helena," a graphic film about a woman whose arms and legs are amputated by her doctor after an auto accident and then is kept in a box, has become the latest high-profile movie recommended for the adults-only NC-17 rating.

Carl Mazzocone, the producer of "Boxing Helena," said he was informed of the NC-17 rating on Monday. He resubmitted the film on Wednesday for the ratings board to view again with "three seconds" trimmed. "We had no choice but to go for an R rating. It makes fiscal sense . . . so it's like a gun to your head to get an R."

He said the edits came in a scene in which Sherilyn Fenn as Helena, and boyfriend Bill Paxton make love--before the amputations. Another love scene in the film is between Fenn's doctor, played by Julian Sands, and Nicolette Scorsese.

In recent months, French director Louis Malle's film of sexual obsession "Damage" and "Body of Evidence," a sexual murder mystery starring Madonna, were both rated adults-only. In both cases, the producers made the cuts for an R rating, which means that anyone under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Most major movie theater chains will not book films rated NC-17, some major video dealers will not stock them and leading publications usually refuse advertising.

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