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From the Archive

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.




Footloose also stars Kevin Bacon as Ren, the teenage firebrand looking to kick off his Sunday shoes, who challenged Rev. Moore and his 'system' which had banned dancing and rock 'n' roll in the small U.S. town of Bomont. 

From The Archive... BBFC Annual Reports

Tags: bbfc, archive, annual report, podcast

The BBFC was set up by the industry and is an independent company, however it is accountable to both the public and to Parliament. Each year the BBFC publishes an Annual Report which is a key part of its fulfilment of this requirement.

From the archive…


In January 1913 the newly established BBFC issued this pamphlet to “Publisher’s of Films” and “Proprietors of Halls”. It explains how our organisation was established and outlines the process of getting a film examined and passed for exhibition as part of a new system of “absolutely independent...