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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.


Dawn Of The Dead

Genre: Horror

American film director George A. Romero built his reputation on being the creator of the modern horror zombie movie. His debut feature Night Of The Living Dead (1968) redefined the genre, introducing new levels of graphic violence that were to influence cinematic trends throughout the 1970s and...


Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Superhero film Deadpool sees former Special Forces Operative turned mercenary, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), undergo a life changing experiment in a bid to cure himself of terminal cancer. Being put under extreme stress disfigures Wade, but also activates superhuman healing abilities and paves the...

Death Wish

Genre: Crime, Drama

Michael Winner's adaptation of Brian Garfield's 1972 novel about a vigilante at large in New York City had already caused quite a stir in the United States when it was first seen by the BBFC in September 1974.

Delhi Crime

Genre: Crime, Drama

What is the series about and where is it shown?Delhi Crime is a Hindi and English language Netflix Original crime drama series. The series dramatises the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, which involved a rape and assault in Munirka. The series debuted in the UK on Netflix in March 2019.

Doctor Strange

Genre: Action, Fantasy

Doctor Strange follows the story of Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a talented neurosurgeon who, after a horrible car accident, badly damages his hands, robbing him of the ability to carry out surgery.

Don't Look Now

Genre: Thriller

British director Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 supernatural mystery-drama, based on a story by Daphne Du Maurier and starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, provides an interesting picture of changes in attitudes towards the classification of sex in films.


Genre: Action, Drama, War

Dunkirk is a British war film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It tells the story of the Allied evacuation from Northern France during World War II. Nolan splits the narrative into three distinct but interconnected sections, each taking place within a different time frame.