Hook and Home Alone each got one. And Sister Act probably will. But Batman Returns most likely won’t. A seal from the Dove Foundation, identifying movies as safe for family viewing, is about to appear on videos rented at the country’s fifth-largest video retailer, the H-E-B Video Central chain. And if the Michigan-based nonprofit Dove Foundation has its way, the little birds will shortly make their way onto videos rented in stores all across the country.
First issued just six months ago by Dove, whose advisory board includes Steve Allen, former Dallas Cowboy head coach Tom Landry, and film critic Michael Medved, the seals have already fluttered into view on approximately 700 titles. Also in the works are efforts to get studios to release versions of movies specially edited to merit the seal. To that end, Dove has already received a ”letter of intent” from the giant Blockbuster Video chain that would create a test section in stores for Dove-approved videos.
Examples of titles that Dove would like snipped: Doc Hollywood (for a nude scene and use of the F-word), Sneakers (for foul language), and Rambling Rose (for brief nudity and a masturbation scene). ”We aren’t trying to suppress anything,” says Dove’s managing director, Dick Rolfe. ”We would just like to see Hollywood also put out versions for families.”
While one studio chief takes exception with ”a group that wants to regulate what other people’s children should see,” many in the industry think Dove’s idea could end up feathering Hollywood’s nest. As Rolfe explains, ”The bottom line is, if there were (family) edited versions, the studios would make even more money off their videos.” And in Hollywood, bottom-line arguments are never for the birds.