1900 1909 - The Cinematograph Act gives local authorities the power to provide or withhold licences for cinemas in their region. Chief Constables expressed concern that growth in juvenile crime is due to explosion of ‘crime films’ 1912 - The British Board of Film Censors is created by a burgeoning film industry as a means of ensuring uniformity for film classification decisions. 1916 - The BBFC’s grounds for deletion extended to include “…the drug habit, e.g. Opium, morphia, cocaine etc and ‘unnecessary exhibition of under-clothing’ and ‘excessively passionate love scenes.’ and also ‘The effects of Vitriol throwing, executions and the modus operandi of criminals.’ 1925 - The BBFC’s list of expectations is revised to include girls clothes being pulled off and leaving them in scantly undergarments, drugging and ruining of young girls and criminal assault on girls. 1932 - the ‘ H ’ film classification was put into place. ‘ H ’ told viewers it was a Horror and not suitable for children. 1939 - A film showed a star becoming comically affected by inadvertently sniffing ‘nose powder,’ this film was passed with no cuts as a ‘ U ’ classification! 1952 - As a result of changes to the Cinematography Act, the ‘ X ’ certificate was introduced. No children under the age of 16 where allowed to see an ‘ X ’ rated film. This was the first mandatory age-restricted certificate.
1958 - Carry on Sergeant was classified as a ‘ U ’, it was the first of the popular British sex comedy franchise. 1961 - Victim was classified as an ‘ X ’ after minor cuts, it was the first British film to openly deal with homosexuality. 1967 - LSD and Marijuana where the drugs of choice among the rock counterculture, Roger Cormans film The Trip was rejected by the board as it dealt with LSD use. 1970 - the age limit on the ‘ X ’ was raised to 18. The advisory ‘ U ’ and ‘ A ’ where introduced along with the ‘ AA ’ certificate that allows admission to those aged 14 and over. 1955 - The BBFC required cuts to Rebel Without a Cause to remove a knife fight. 1973 - A Clockwork Orange is removed from UK distribution by Stanley Kubrick following controversy about its violence and death threats against his family. 1975 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was rejected by the BBFC as ‘the pornography of terror’, the film was later passed uncut in 1999 as an ‘ 18 ’. 1976 - The BBFC refused certificates to the films Maitresse and Salo as both heavily featured the theme of sadomasochism. 1977 - The Obscene Publications Act was extended to film. 1979 - The BBFC recalled Emmanuelle from distribution to remove a rape scene which sexual assault is presented as good for the victim. 1982 - The BBFC certificates where overhauled with the introduction of the ‘ PG ’, ‘ 15 ’, ‘ 18 ’ ‘ R18 ’ categories. The first film passed ‘ PG ’ was ‘ The Return of the Soldier .' also in1982- The special ‘ R18 ’ classification was put in place and allowed more explicit sex films to be shown in members only cinema clubs.
1984 - The Video Recordings Act (VRA) was passed, following the arrival of video in the UK. The BBFC became the designated authority for classifying videos ‘for suitability within the home.’ The BBFC also became the British Board of Film Classification. 1989 - Tim Burton’s Batman became the first ‘ 12 ’ certificate in the UK, this category is only available for theatrical releases. 1991 - The Lovers Guide was passed an ‘ 18 ’ with no cuts, it contained images of real sex. 1999 - The ban on martial arts weaponry is lifted, however, a list of written guidelines was published. 2001 - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was cut for the glamorisation of knives in a film aimed at young teens. 2002 - Following an extended period of consultation, the ‘ 12 ’ certificate was replaced with the advisory ‘ 12A ’. The Bourne Identity was the first film to be classified ‘ 12A ’. 2004 - British film Nine Songs was passed as an ‘ 18 ’ for cinema and contained extended scenes, of real sex. 2009
<ul><li>The classification of a film is very important. If a professional film maker targeted their film as a ‘ U ’ or ‘ PG ’ classification, but was then classified by the BBFC as a 12A the success rate of the film may be hugely disadvantaged. </li></ul><ul><li>Having Looked at the specifications of each classification, I believe that our film would be classified as an 18 for a number of reasons including the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Paranormal and spiritualistic content of our film </li></ul><ul><li>The gory imagery </li></ul><ul><li>The sense of realism </li></ul><ul><li>As we are targeting our film to the ’ 18 ’ classification we will not have to worry about the many limitations and constraints placed on films classified suitable for under 18’s. Of course, we need to take into consideration the guidelines of an ’ 18 ’ classification, however, I don’t feel that any of the guidelines will effect our film. </li></ul>Classification of Our Film...