The 1997 Leave It to Beaver movie was rated PG, so Jerry Mathers declined to be in it
The actor felt anything Beaver-related should be "G-rated" and voiced his issues with television in the '90s.
When you think of Leave It to Beaver, you probably envision curious Beaver Cleaver figuring out life and learning lessons with his older brother Wally.
You probably also see two parents, Ward and June, who show love to their boys even when they make mistakes, and instead of harshly scolding them, help the boys realize that being honest is the best solution.
It's a family sitcom; something children can enjoy without their parents being concerned about the content. That view of the show was "updated" in the Leave It to Beaver 1997 movie, and it's why Jerry Mathers decided not to be a part of the production.
In an interview with New York Daily News in 1998, the then 50-year-old talked about his issues with television in the '90s.
"I see a lot of sitcoms today, and I'm uncomfortable watching them with my two daughters," he said. "The show is going along and suddenly the character is debating whether to sleep with her boyfriend."
He added, "I don't want to shelter the kids forever. But there's such a short time to be young. Why take it away?"
To Mathers, Leave It to Beaver was one of the shows that portrayed "late-50s innocence." It was important to make sure the sitcom was for everyone. So after reading the script of the 1997 movie, Mathers was against the updates producers added.
"I knew from the script that it would be a PG," the actor added. "And I told the producers I was very disappointed about that. I think everything to do with Beaver should be G-rated. They told me it was 'updating,' and I told them you don't need it — and that's why I decided not to be in the movie."
If you watched the movie, a few familiar faces from the original show appeared in the film. Barbara Billingsley portrayed Aunt Martha, and Ken Osmond played Eddie Sr.
No matter where Mathers went, people saw him as Beaver, even at 50. "I think people who don't know me have a tendency to think I am the Beaver. I'm not. But there's so much of all of us in the Beav that there's a part of him in me too."
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Back in 1955 a movie called The Man With The Golden Arm. Staring Frank Sinatra-- Eleanor Parker--Kim Novak--Darren McGavin. A story about a man getting out of prison and drug addiction. Production was delayed because the Production Code Authority (PCA) refused to approve the script, with Joseph Breen stating that the basic story was "unacceptable" because of the Code's prohibition on showing illegal drug trafficking and drug addiction. The code was finally changed by others approving it. It hardly would rate a PG13 today. Quentin Tarantino would never had anyone of his movies shown back then. Otto Preminger you could say started a new revolution in movie making and passing strict codes during those times. Before that most movies of crime had to have the bad guy not get away at the end and either deceased or behind bars for their crime capers. Many a classic block buster were banned in other countries from a few years to 25 years after they were shown elsewhere. For sure times have changed. Everyone has their own option to watch or not.
"Trash TV" where he is an executive of a network wanting more violence reality programming! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0559304/?ref_=nm_flmg_eps_tt_1
Hollywood has a tendency to crap up classic shows, and Jerry knows it.
I have heard from some that LITB shows an "unrealistic" view of life.
I say bullpucky. That's just a copout, and an excuse to not want to put in the work to live that kind of life. Raising kids to be moral is hard. Being a good, even-tempered husband/wife is hard. Being kind and not losing your patience when things go astray is hard.
The flip-side of those values is easy. It's not hard to lose your temper. It's easy to say unkind words to someone you feel wronged you(in fact, a lot of sitcoms after LITB seem to encourage that).
We would all do well(me included) to be like Ward. Be like June. Be like Wally. Even be like the Beaver(ok, but not so prone to get into trouble in the first place, but as far as childlike innocence). Heck, be like Mr. Rogers. He was a real life example of the kind of life shown in LITB.
My father was certainly no Ward Cleaver. He yelled a lot and wasn't someone I felt I could talk to about my problems.
But that doesn't mean we can't learn from our experiences and do things differently. Take Beaver, for instance. He was always learning from his mistakes, in pretty much every episode.
Who was in the roller coaster episode of Lesve It To Beaver .