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Old 14-04-2013, 15:02
Philip Dalton
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Does anyone remember the old ratings in the cinema before it all got changed? They were U, A, AA and X. Does anyone remember what they all meant?
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Old 14-04-2013, 15:12
kjhskj75
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U was the same as now

A was the same as PG now.

AA meant 14 and over

X meant 18 and over

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...m_certificates
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Old 14-04-2013, 15:13
stvn758
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Yikes, I remember.

Just checked, they changed over the years it seems, and forgot councils have a say in these things.
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Old 14-04-2013, 15:42
Philip Dalton
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Yikes, I remember.

Just checked, they changed over the years it seems, and forgot councils have a say in these things.
The BBFC still don't have any control over what is shown in cinemas, although they do on video.
The town council can allow the public showing of a film in cinemas in their area which the BBFC have banned for general release, they can also allow a film to be shown with a lower rating or without the cuts imposed by them.
A none-profit making cinema club can show a film banned by the BBFC or the town council.
Any film shown anywhere can be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act.

'Grr...we're the BBFC'
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Old 14-04-2013, 16:11
theonlyweeman
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The BBFC still don't have any control over what is shown in cinemas, although they do on video.
The town council can allow the public showing of a film in cinemas in their area which the BBFC have banned for general release, they can also allow a film to be shown with a lower rating or without the cuts imposed by them.
A none-profit making cinema club can show a film banned by the BBFC or the town council.
Any film shown anywhere can be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act.

'Grr...we're the BBFC'
The key difference is that the BBFC won't forcibly cut things now unless they break the law.
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:34
mike65
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H for horror is another old one.
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Old 14-04-2013, 22:46
Mark A
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This Wikipedia page tells you everything you ever wanted to know about UK film classification.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...m_certificates

Regards

Mark
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Old 16-04-2013, 11:56
Philip Dalton
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In the 1950's most films were rated 'U', and there were only a very small number of X-Rated films. Many of those that were have since been released with a 'PG' on video. One such example is 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', which was released in cinemas and was probably considered quite brutal for its time. In one scene people whose bodies have been taken over by alien pods are shown being stabbed with pitchforks to prevent the spread of an alien invasion.
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Old 16-04-2013, 22:35
RayRidley
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Occasionally on Film Four they will show the old British Board of Film Censors certificate ..."This is to Certify that"...etc etc before films from the 40's and 50's.
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Old 27-04-2013, 21:13
Philip Dalton
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In 'Taxi Driver' Robert DeNiro is shown walking into a cinema showing XXX films. This was not a rating which was given to a film by any censor, it was self-applied by the makers of the film. The Motion Picture Association of America could given an X-rating to a film, but as the rating was not trademarked anyone could apply it to their own films, and some gave themselves an XX or XXX rating to emphasize that their work was very sexually explicit.
The MPAA do not give films X-Ratings anymore, they call it NC-17 (no children under 17, or 18 in some states) and this rating is trademarked so only they can give it to a film.
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Old 27-04-2013, 21:18
Philip Dalton
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Censors are often unsure of how to rate a film. 'Alien' starring John Hurt was released in UK cinemas with an X-Rating in 1979 but the British Board of Film Censors didn't think think it to be particularly violent and had been toying with the idea of giving it a double-A rating which would have meant it could be seen by younger teenagers.
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Old 27-04-2013, 21:45
theonlyweeman
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Censors are often unsure of how to rate a film. 'Alien' starring John Hurt was released in UK cinemas with an X-Rating in 1979 but the British Board of Film Censors didn't think think it to be particularly violent and had been toying with the idea of giving it a double-A rating which would have meant it could be seen by younger teenagers.
The BBFC have been releasing old examiners' sheets. One of the ones they released was Star Wars. In the files the examiners say that they feel Star Wars might be too violent and receive some complaints at a U (noting it got a PG from the MPAA), but it should be placed there because of it's universal appeal and enjoyment.

Not entirely sure why/how that's relevant, but for some reason I felt like posting it. Kinda reminds me slightly of The Dark Knight controversy. (Very strong 12, the examiners knew this, but knew that it had wide appeal amongst teens and pre-teens so gave it a 12 - Only for it to become the most complained about film of all time...)
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Old 27-04-2013, 22:54
performingmonk
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Both the MPAA and the BBFC must have been paid off on several occasions. I remember that documentary on the MPAA and they seemed so shady...
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Old 28-04-2013, 00:13
theonlyweeman
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Both the MPAA and the BBFC must have been paid off on several occasions. I remember that documentary on the MPAA and they seemed so shady...
You mean Kirby Dick's This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which strongly praised the BBFC's levels of openess and honesty, and presented them as a model the MPAA should follow?

You can bitch about the BBFC and their guidelines all you want, but the one thing you can't describe them as is shady. They're only classification agency (to my knowledge) to publish extended guides as to why a film received a certain classification, and they're honest about when films are cut (which other ratings boards tend not to be) And they're one of only a few agency to fully publish their ratings criteria...
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Old 28-04-2013, 01:28
Orangemaid
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i remember X , but wasnt there an XX aswell ?
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Old 28-04-2013, 02:21
Takae
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You mean Kirby Dick's This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which strongly praised the BBFC's levels of openess and honesty, and presented them as a model the MPAA should follow?

You can bitch about the BBFC and their guidelines all you want, but the one thing you can't describe them as is shady. They're only classification agency (to my knowledge) to publish extended guides as to why a film received a certain classification, and they're honest about when films are cut (which other ratings boards tend not to be) And they're one of only a few agency to fully publish their ratings criteria...
This interesting article lays out the differences between the BBFC and the MPAA: http://www.sbbfc.co.uk/mpaacomparison (I tried to find this article at the new site http://www.bbfc.co.uk, but haven't had any luck, so sorry for using the old site).
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Old 28-04-2013, 15:27
stripedcat
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A lot of films have been re-rated in recent years. Partly, this was the effect of the 12 certificate coming in. Also the BBFC has re-thought its guidelines. To get an 18 certificate nowadays, a film has to be very violent. A lot of 18 rated films have been downgraded to a 15 (First two Godfathers and the Neil Jordan/Bob Hoskins film "Mona Lisa" being examples).

Jaws got uprated to a 12 on its recent cinematic re-release. That seems appropriate as it had partial nudity, cannabis smoking, some swearing and lets not forget the violence.

Ghostbusters also got uprated to a 12 for its cinematic re-release. There is quite a bit of bad language in that film.

The BBFC are a lot better nowadays. A lot more open and give out a lot more information on their classifications.
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Old 28-04-2013, 17:08
theonlyweeman
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A lot of films have been re-rated in recent years. Partly, this was the effect of the 12 certificate coming in. Also the BBFC has re-thought its guidelines. To get an 18 certificate nowadays, a film has to be very violent. A lot of 18 rated films have been downgraded to a 15 (First two Godfathers and the Neil Jordan/Bob Hoskins film "Mona Lisa" being examples).

Jaws got uprated to a 12 on its recent cinematic re-release. That seems appropriate as it had partial nudity, cannabis smoking, some swearing and lets not forget the violence.

Ghostbusters also got uprated to a 12 for its cinematic re-release. There is quite a bit of bad language in that film.

The BBFC are a lot better nowadays. A lot more open and give out a lot more information on their classifications.
I did discover something funny the other day...
Apocalypse Now was rated 18 until it was submitted for classification in 2011.

The extended cut, Apocalypse Now: Redux, recieved a 15 in 2001 and has stayed their ever since (despite the theatrical cut achieving an 18 as late as 2004)...
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Old 28-04-2013, 19:07
Theo_Bear
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Given the stink which a very cut version of The Terminator created at the time of its first terrestrial TV showing on BBC2's Moviedrome in about 1988, I was amazed when it was reclassified at 15 for DVD release back in 1999.
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Old 28-04-2013, 19:16
Philip Dalton
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Given the stink which a very cut version of The Terminator created at the time of its first terrestrial TV showing on BBC2's Moviedrome in about 1988, I was amazed when it was reclassified at 15 for DVD release back in 1999.
Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' was released with an X-Rating in 1960 after the shower stabbing scene being very heavily cut.

However, in the US it might have been shown completely uncut and to general audiences, as at that time they had no rating system.

I don't know if children were banned from seeing any films at all until their official rating system was introduced in 1968.
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Old 30-04-2013, 18:23
stripedcat
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I did discover something funny the other day...
Apocalypse Now was rated 18 until it was submitted for classification in 2011.

The extended cut, Apocalypse Now: Redux, recieved a 15 in 2001 and has stayed their ever since (despite the theatrical cut achieving an 18 as late as 2004)...

Seems like a strange oversight by the BBFC. Still, they are pretty good nowadays. Give out a lot more information and don't cut stuff - unless the film companies ask them to(e.g. Taken 2 and Die Hard 5).
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Old 30-04-2013, 21:50
Grabid Rannies
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Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' was released with an X-Rating in 1960 after the shower stabbing scene being very heavily cut.

However, in the US it might have been shown completely uncut and to general audiences, as at that time they had no rating system.
There is an anecdote I read that, in response to being asked by a censor board to cut the scene, Hitchcock simply returned the complete film to them and, assuming he had done as they'd asked, the film was then passed. If it did indeed go out across the US uncut then possibly that story relates to the UK release?

There are a number of known instances I've read about where the 'official' BBFC records (ie the website) for much older films show cuts, but in reality the cuts weren't actually made (or at least not to the suggested extent), due to various factors.
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Old 30-04-2013, 21:58
theonlyweeman
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Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' was released with an X-Rating in 1960 after the shower stabbing scene being very heavily cut.

However, in the US it might have been shown completely uncut and to general audiences, as at that time they had no rating system.

I don't know if children were banned from seeing any films at all until their official rating system was introduced in 1968.
The ratings system in the US optional and not legally enforceable (though most establishments will try to enforce it). Because of the stigma surrounding the NC-17, most films that get it will cut for an R or surrender their rating...
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Old 30-04-2013, 22:05
Philip Dalton
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There is an anecdote I read that, in response to being asked by a censor board to cut the scene, Hitchcock simply returned the complete film to them and, assuming he had done as they'd asked, the film was then passed. If it did indeed go out across the US uncut then possibly that story relates to the UK release?

There are a number of known instances I've read about where the 'official' BBFC records (ie the website) for much older films show cuts, but in reality the cuts weren't actually made (or at least not to the suggested extent), due to various factors.
I think what particularly bothered the BBFC about the shower scene in 'Psycho' was that it seemed to eroticize violence by showing shots of the girl's bare breasts while she was being stabbed.
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Old 30-04-2013, 23:02
Mark A
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We had to watch the shower sequence over and over, often in slow-motion, for my film studies class and there's certainly no nipples on display. It's amazing what you think you see which simply isn't there. Clever chap, that Hitchcock fellah.

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