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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.



Genre: Drama, War

Redacted  is a film by Brian De Palma (Scarface, Dressed To Kill), based on an incident from 2006 in which occupying American troops were alleged to have raped a young Iraqi woman and murdered her family in the town of Samarra.

Reservoir Dogs

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature was originally submitted for film classification in June 1992. It arrived with considerable notice, through its reception at various film festivals, of its blending of ‘cool’ style, pop culture references, and strong, bloody violence.

Reservoir Dogs (The Game)

Genre: Action, Adventure

Having become established in the public’s consciousness, and given its themes of criminals fighting both the law and themselves, it was perhaps inevitable that Reservoir Dogs would follow the fashion for film franchises to be developed into video games.