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Case studies

Welcome to the BBFC case studies. Written by BBFC staff, our case studies explore why a film has a particular age rating, if it was 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, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,) without prior written permission from the BBFC.  You should email us if you wish to reproduce any of these materials.

Our film case studies tell you why we made certain decisions and offer background information that you won’t find anywhere else. Find out why some films and their BBFC age rating were discussed in the news media, what films received complaints about their age rating, and which were praised.

Browse our From The Archive case studieto see fascinating historical artefacts from our archives and listen to our popular Podcasts

Some case studies are for films you will definitely have heard of, like A Clockwork Orange. Others like Freaks are lesser known but important films. Some are films like Juno and Fight Club that you might know of but weren’t aware 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 IntoFilm. We no longer classify video games but there are some video games case studies which offer a historical view of how we classified some well-known video games.

We regularly update our 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.


1 Day

Genre: Drama, Musical

Penny Woolcock’s three acclaimed films - Tina Goes Shopping (1999), Tina Takes a Break (2001) and Mischief Night (2006) – deal with real-life experiences surrounding race, culture and class within the marginal communities of Leeds.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Genre: 10DRAMA

12 Years a Slave

127 Hours

Genre: Drama

127 Hours is a drama inspired by the true story of a young extreme sports enthusiast who gets injured whilst ‘canyon’ climbing in a remote part of Utah. Having fallen down a crack in the earth, Aron's arm becomes trapped and he has limited supplies of food and water. After several days he realises...

13 Reasons Why

Genre: Drama

What is the series about and where is it shown?13 Reasons Why is a Netflix Original series. It is an adaptation of the best-selling young adult fiction title by Jay Asher. Made in the US, 13 Reasons Why debuted in the UK on Netflix in March 2017.

Genre: Drama

Noel Clarke and Mike Davis’s fast-paced British thriller was submitted to the BBFC in March 2010 for an advice viewing.

9 Songs

Genre: Drama

The issue of images of real sex in narrative films has always been contentious.