[Screen It]


(1996) (Robin Wright, Morgan Freeman) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Mild Moderate Mild Mild
Mild Minor Minor None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor Mild Mild Moderate

Drama: The story of a woman's travails through eighteenth century London.
Moll Flanders (ROBIN WRIGHT) is an orphaned child brought up in a convent who makes her way from family to family to survive until she ends up with Ms. Allworthy (STOCKARD CHANNING). Allworthy is the head mistress of a popular and profitable brothel and she soon employs the not long to be virginal Moll. Assisting Allworthy is Hibble (MORGAN FREEMAN), an escaped convict and former lover of Allworthy's. One of Moll's tricks turns out to be a painter (JOHN LYNCH) who doesn't want sex, but instead wants her to model for him. Soon she leaves Allworthy and takes up with the painter and a romance blossoms. From then on, she must deal with Allworthy who pops in and out of her life, as well as a case of small pox that her lover, the painter, catches.
Only those who may be familiar with the novel from which the movie is based and/or those seeking a romance story might want to see it. Young kids, however, will stay away from this one.
For violence, nudity and sex-related material.
  • ROBIN WRIGHT plays a woman who does what she must to survive, which includes prostitution. Although she stands up for what she thinks is right, she can't be considered a good role model.
  • MORGAN FREEMAN plays Allworthy's assistant, a man who seems to live by good standards, but it must be remembered that he works in a brothel and is an escaped convict. Therefore, his standing as a role model is debatable.
  • STOCKARD CHANNING plays the head mistress of a brothel, who likes to think that she "owns" those who work for her. She's a bad role model.
  • JOHN LYNCH plays the only good role model. He's a renaissance man, a person exploring his world and himself with great vigor.


  • A family drinks wine with dinner.
  • People smoke and drink at Allworthy's house.
  • Allworthy smokes opium (or some related drug) from a pipe.
  • Moll is often seen drinking liquor (gin and whiskey) and soon becomes an alcoholic, though she eventually stops.
  • A priest's hand is bloody after Moll stabs it with her knitting needles.
  • A prisoner is seen who has small pox, and his face is covered with boils.
  • Two daughters of a wealthy family are seen bloodied and bruised, their virtues having been taken (i.e., they were raped).
  • Moll sees body organs on a table (that are being anatomically studied by the painter).
  • Moll is beaten by men and later is seen with a bloody face and a puffy, swollen eye.
  • The painter also gets smallpox, and has a gross looking face.
  • Moll delivers a baby which is a little blood covered as is a quick shot of the umbilical cord.
  • Moll's daughter, after having been manhandled by some nuns, spits at one of them.
  • Moll and the other prostitutes blackmail their previous tricks by showing a baby nine months after their trysts (to make the men think the baby is theirs).
  • Allworthy treats her "employees" as if she owns them.
  • The painter's family offers Moll money to not marry their son.
  • Moll, desperate to have money to feed her child, steals a ring that has fallen to the ground from another thief who is running from the law. She is caught and accused of stealing, but Allworthy happens by and offers her freedom from the law in exchange for eternal servitude.
  • Hibble tells Moll that he's an escaped thief and that Allworthy didn't turn him in as long as he pleased her.
  • There are two childbirth scenes where the women are screaming in pain. Younger kids who don't understand what's going on may be disturbed by this.
  • There are several scenes showing people who have small pox and their appearance may be scary to younger kids.
  • There is a ship sinking scene during a thunderstorm. The ship crashes onto the rocks, water begins pouring in, and everyone panics. They crawl out onto the deck and Moll slides down into the water and eventually goes under (we think she's drowned, but later find out it was Allworthy who died.)
  • Rifles: Aimed at Moll by the townspeople after they find her standing in one of the fountains
  • Pistol: Carried by Allworthy in case anyone tries to rob her of her money.
  • Pistol/Sword: Pulled out by Allworthy and the painter respectively as Allworthy threatens Moll and the painter comes to her rescue, threatening Allworthy with his sword, stating that he'll run her through six times and then dance on her grave.
  • Moll's daughter, after having been manhandled by several nuns, spits at one of them.
  • A man on the street spits.
  • Phrases: "Bitch" "Whore," and "Bastard."
  • A horse scares Moll as she sneaks through a barn.
  • Just some very minor stuff.
  • None.
  • 9 damns, 3 hells, 1 ass, and 3 uses of "God," and/or "For God's sake" and 2 uses of "Christ" as exclamations.
  • During confessional, a priest asks Moll if she's had any impure thoughts. She says for him, and he then slowly reaches out and cups her breast.
  • After Moll has been "arrested," she stands nude behind a sheet (we don't see anything). A man suddenly rises up and proclaims that she's still intact (i.e., a virgin).
  • Moll's daughter tells Hibble that she's seen dogs doing "it" in the street when he gingerly tries to explain what her mother did for a living (prostitution).
  • Moll comes across Hibble and a woman having sex. There is no nudity, but the woman straddles him and there is moaning and some sexual movements.
  • A prostitute talks of "God's dull sense of humor" when she talks about men, their "whackers," and "...our desire to take them in."
  • Allworthy holds her breasts and tells Moll that they (breasts) are the best weapons she has. Later she mentions that "...when a man's part goes hard, his brain goes soft."
  • Hibble tells Moll that he and Allworthy shared a bed for quite some time.
  • Everyone runs to see a dead man lying on top of a prostitute, the victim of a heart attack from sex. There's no nudity seen.
  • Allworthy auctions off Moll, using her virginity as the big selling point. Eventually an old man presents the highest bid gets to deflower her. Once that's over, Moll's mind runs wild thinking about the money that can be had. Thus, there's a long sequence of her with many men in bed, with the only nudity being the guys' bare chests. There is, however, some occasional thrusting shown.
  • Moll displays scars on her breasts, but only cleavage is shown.
  • Moll models for the painter and eventually there are many views of her bare breasts.
  • There is a brief shot of Moll's bare butt and pregnant belly.
  • Moll and the painter have sex, and her voice over states that "...I've had sex with many men before, but that's the first time I'd ever made love." There is no nudity.
  • A man seen on the street smokes.
  • Men smoke pipes at a Christmas party.
  • There is a lengthy scene with Moll, the painter, and his family. They aren't happy about his choice of Moll for his wife and try to convince him to change his mind as well as bribe her to leave. Neither happens.
  • Moll must deal with the painter getting small pox, growing sicker and eventually dieing.
  • Hibble returns to tell Moll that her daughter perished in a fire. Moll is grief stricken, but it turns out the little girl survived (we know this because the story starts with the daughter learning about her mother).
  • After the painter's funeral, Moll talks about bleeding herself to death, and picks through several knives, but doesn't commit suicide only because of the child on the way.
  • Prostitution.
  • Nuns drag Moll's daughter, against her will, down a hallway and then throw a pale of water on her to clean her up. She then spits at one of the nuns.
  • After a priest has reached out and cupped her breast, Moll stabs him in the hand with her knitting needles.
  • Moll is flogged by several people after stabbing a priest in the hand with her knitting needles.
  • A man on the street throws food at Moll after she accidentally knocks over his stand.
  • People hold guns on Moll when she's discovered standing in a town fountain.
  • Another prostitute gets into a fight with Moll over a trick.
  • Two daughters of a wealthy family are seen bloodied and bruised, their virtues having been taken (i.e., they were raped).
  • Allworthy hits Moll, knocking her to the ground, for lying to her about sneaking around in a barn.
  • Moll smacks the painter.
  • It is said that Moll's mother was impregnated by a prison guard, and that once Moll was delivered, her mother was hung.
  • Moll is beaten by a priest (and other moral rights people with sticks) for being a prostitute. She's later seen with a bloody, bruised and swollen face.
  • Allworthy threatens Moll with her pistol and the painter comes to Moll's rescue. He threatens Allworthy with his sword, stating that he'll run her through six times and then dance on her grave.
  • Hibble slugs a man on the street who calls him "blackie" after asking if he "has any messages from the devil."

  • Reviewed June 22, 1996

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