Happy 50th Birthday to the Rolling Stones! July 12th 1962 was the date of the band’s first gig at the Marquee Club, London, so today we look at papers from the file for another of lead singer Mick Jagger’s star turns, as retired rocker Turner in Performance. 

Produced in 1968, and directed by Nicolas Roeg & Donald Cammell, the film also stars James Fox as gangster Chas, and Anita Pallenberg (girlfriend of Keith Richards at the time). Exploring themes of masculinity and identity within the brutal setting of organised crime, Performance featured sex, drugs and violence at a level not typically seen in a major studio production.

It was submitted to the BBFC in August 1970 and the cuts list published here shows the Examiners picked up on the brutality of two particular scenes. They note potential for imitable behaviour – “forcible shaving is something that could be imitated by young people” – and also look to reduce the association between sexual and violent images.

Performance was passed X (with the two cuts requested made) in 1970, and the cuts were later waived for the 1984 ’18′-rated video release. More information about the classification history of Performance can be found in our Case Study.

Originally posted July 12th, 2012.