Film censorship in the UK: a brief history

Topic Selected: Censorship

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Film4.com looks back at the major milestones in UK censorship history, from the 19th to the 21st centuries. What are the films that broke the mould?

 

 

1913

Due to exhibitors’ fears of official intervention, The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) is established by the film industry itself, with the promise that ‘No film will be passed that is not clean and wholesome and absolutely above suspicion.’ Films are given either ‘U’ (for universal exhibition) or ‘A’ (more suitable for adults) certificates.

The BBFC has no legal powers to censor films, but its advice is generally followed by local authorities, which have the power to withdraw cinema licences. This is still the case today.

1917

In response to a growing lobby in favour of state censorship, the n

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