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From the Archive

Welcome to the BBFC Case Studies. They are all written by BBFC staff and explore how and why works were rated, cut or even banned.

Please note that all our Case Studies and From The Archive files are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,) without prior written permission of the BBFC. You should email us if you wish to reproduce any of these materials.

The film Case Studies tell you why we did what we did and offer background information that you won’t find anywhere else. Find out why some films and BBFC decisions were discussed in the news media, what works were complained about, and which ratings were praised. You can also browse our From The Archive studies which showcase fascinating historical artefacts from our archives and listen to our popular Podcasts. 

Some like A Clockwork Orange are works you will definitely have heard of. Others like Freaks are lesser known but important films. And some are films like Juno and Fight Club that you might have seen but had no idea they caused a stir when submitted to the BBFC. We provide Case Studies for all films we introduce as part of our longstanding relationship with Film Education’s National Schools Film Week.  Though we no longer rate video games there are some video games case studies which should offer an historical view of how we treated some well-known video games.

We regularly update the Case Studies, and add new titles several times a year. We welcome suggestions for new Case Studies, but, as each one takes a while to research and write, we prioritise requests. You can email us to suggest a Case Study.

If you are researching a specific title and would like access to the BBFC's paper file archive this may be possible depending on the age of the work. You can request access to our archive in Education resources.



Tags: archive, carrie, horror

This April sees the 40th anniversary of the release of Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie.

Carry On Camping


Sid (Sidney James) and Bernie (Bernard Bresslaw) are planning to take their girlfriends Joan (Joan Sim) and Anthea (Dilys Laye) to a nudist camp, having been inspired by a film they see while on a date at the cinema. However 'Paradise', the nudist camp of the film and their dreams, is far from the...

Carry On… Up The Khyber (1968)

Tags: archive, comedy, bbfc, case study

The film, set in 19th century India, sees the Khasi of Khalibar (Kenneth Williams) discover that the guards of the Khyber Pass, the Kilted Third Foot And Mouth brigade of the British Army, who are feared for their lack of undergarments, do in fact wear woollen underpants. As a result the Khasi...

Catch Us If You Can


 The film, a big screen vehicle for The Dave Clark Five in the spirit of The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (1964), follows stuntman Steve (Dave Clark) as he and his model girlfriend hit the road for some crazy adventures, making time throughout for a few musical numbers.

Clash of the Titans


The film came to the BBFC for classification in 1981 however the board’s involvement with the film actually began several years prior to this, when the script was sent in for guidance as to how the filmmakers might secure a U certificate.  This correspondence is available to download below along...