British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 113m 12s

BBFCInsight Contains moderate violence, sex and drug references

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Craig Brewer

Cast includes Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 20/09/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

FOOTLOOSE is a drama about a rebellious teenager who arrives in a small town where dancing has been banned after a fatal accident involving five teenagers. A keen dancer, he challenges the local authorities and falls for the local preacher's daughter. The film was classified '12A' for moderate violence, sex and drug references.

The BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state 'Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context'. There are a number of scenes of moderate violence. In one scene, a fight breaks out at a dance when there is an argument over a girl. There is a punch, knocking the girl's male friend to the ground, after which the girl smashes a beer bottle over the attacker's head, with no sight of injury detail. Later on, the film's villain loses his temper after his girlfriend leaves him and he accuses her of sleeping around. She hits at his car with a crowbar and he hits her, knocking her to the ground and leaving her with a slightly bruised face. There is a longer fight scene towards the end of the film when the villains turn up to cause trouble. There are various punches, one man is thrown against a car window, which smashes, and there is brief use of a wing mirror as a weapon, as well as attempted use of a crow bar. There is no sight of injury detail after this fight.

The Guidelines at '12A'/'12' also state 'Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers. Frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable'. There are various moderate sex references in FOOTLOOSE. In one scene, an older man kisses a young woman. When she asks him to slow down, he says "I'm a man and you're my rebel child", to which she responds "I'm not a child". The man asks her to prove it, so she tells him to shut the door and starts to undo her top before the scene cuts away. There is also discussion in which a character pretends to another that he once had a 'threesome' and provides a few details before revealing that he was making it up. There is a reference to "Talk about a boner killer" when the fact that dancing couples must maintain a six inch distance from one another is discussed. There is also a reference to country line dancing being a "white man's wet dream". There are some undetailed references to 'sleeping around', 'screwing', 'acting like a slut', not being a virgin, and to a man not keeping out of a woman's panties.

The film also features brief sight of joint smoking by a bad teenager. In a later scene, a teenager tries to entice the hero to smoke a joint, saying "You get high? 'Cause I do, every damn day. We could go burn one after school", after which he slips a joint into the hero's pocket. The hero tries to return it but is seen by a teacher and questioned. He makes it very clear that he is not into drugs and never has been, saying "If I smoked weed, I'd be off the team" as he talks about having been on the gymnastics team for three years. He goes on to say "I don't do drugs, you can test me". The head teacher reiterates that drugs are wrong. These references are insufficiently innocuous to be classified at 'PG', particularly in view of the fact the bad teenager appears to enjoy the drug. However, the criticism and rejection of drugs by the hero means the film is permissible at '12A' where the Guidelines state: 'Any misuse of drugs must be infrequent and should not be glamorised or give instructional detail'.

The film also contains one use of moderate language when a character says "I don't even know that prick". The Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state 'Moderate language is allowed'. There is also one use of the discriminatory terms 'fags' by a bad character who says "I thought only fags were into gymnastics". However, the use of the term is immediately challenged by the hero, who responds "I thought only assholes used the word fag".

FOOTLOOSE also includes some other mild bad language, such as 'ass', 'hell', 'damn', 'butt', 'pissheads', 'son of a bitch', 'douchebag', 'slut', 'bullshit' and 'shit'.

Parents can find additional information about the content of this film if they visit


Paramount Pictures UK
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
113m 12s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
Registration number

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