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Films with wrong certificates?

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Initial post: 21 Jan 2014, 16:35:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014, 16:46:27 GMT
Which films do you think have been rated wrong by the BBFC? For instance a film could have been rated too low ie U, PG, 12 or rated to high ie 15, 18.

One example that always crops up is how/why The dark knight was given a 12a by the BBFC in 2008, when some people (Families) thought it should have been a 15.

So over to you...

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014, 16:48:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014, 16:49:32 GMT
Bauer says:
Good question, struggling to think of any particular ones.

However they certainly getaway with alot more these days' some horrors that getaway with 15 rating shock me !

Do you think Die Hard would be 18 if it was made today? or The Terminator?

I'm also shocked when you hear the F word in a 12 ! ... I nearly choked on my Pop Corn when M said the F Bomb in SkyFall !

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014, 17:00:03 GMT
Yeah i know and they are relaxing the guidelines at 15 in regards to strong language from next month.

On Die hard, the first film was downgraded to a 15 last year but if they actually made it today, it probably would get the same especially when you look at what is allowed at that level. The terminator probably the same i would think. I could be wrong though, what with society's attitudes to onscreen violence always changing.

Posted on 21 Jan 2014, 17:09:58 GMT
On f bomb in Skyfall, that must be the first example of that word used in Bond film ever.

Posted on 21 Jan 2014, 19:08:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014, 19:11:02 GMT
Two films spring to mind and I suspect people will disagree with me (they're both great films imo). The first is Coraline. It's a PG but I think it should be a 12. It's got some really disturbing scenes and just the story is more than a little scary. The other is Shuan of the Dead. How is this not an 18? Zombies having their heads smashed in, a person getting dragged into a crowd of zombies and intestines eaten, gore. Because it's a comedy it's okay? It's weirdly like the opposite of my Coraline example, in terms of content and visual depiction. In one they look at visual depiction and ignore content in the other they ignore visual depiction and look at content.

I'm sure I read Jaws was a PG when it first came out. Seems impossible. That film scared the living crap out of me when I was kid.

I think the rating system has become a bit confused, just because of the general media's own confused morals regarding sex, violence etc. It all feels really muddled to me. Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball. Lyrics to pop songs that seem fine until you listen to the words, or until your 4 year old niece is singing them. Maybe it's not explicit as in swearing but the content and meaning is still explicit. The media seemingly sexualise everything to sell us stuff. I'd rather the BBFC tighten its ratings. It seems to me that they're a place that can hold a high line but because of the rest of the media they begin to seem out of touch. So to remain relevant they relax some of their criteria. It's possibly a shame.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014, 20:22:30 GMT
I think they are going to start concentrating on Music videos following their own consultation with the public in regards to some controversies recently involving the music channels and their showing of certain videos during the day.

And in regards to Coraline, another Henry sellick film that was at times quite dark was The nightmare before christmas, which was given a PG in 1994, and because of it's dark nature, it's maker Disney washed it's hands of it untill they noticed it's popularity with Families.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014, 21:55:52 GMT
Bauer says:
Yes it was, Sgt Pepper in Live and Let Die said one but its purposely drowned out.

btw I didn't know Die Hard got its Cert reduced to a 15? Does that happen much?

Posted on 21 Jan 2014, 22:11:36 GMT
Roma says:
I think Bad Education (La Mala Educacion) directed by Pedro Almodovar, showed have received an 18 classification. It's a really good film, but its explicit portrayal of sexual abuse made for an embarrassing time when I saw it with my daughter.

Posted on 21 Jan 2014, 22:46:42 GMT
The recent The Woman In Black was a 12, opened with shots of three young girls jumping to their death and just got more disturbing from there on in

On the other hand, The Big Lebowski is no way an 18. There's brief scenes of nudity and thousands of swear words but I've seen far worse in recent 15s

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 00:08:14 GMT

It doesn't happen alot but when it does it usually involves films from the past, that have lost their power to shock threw it's content and/or themes and also can be because a director and/or the studio wanted a lower certificate for mainly box office reasons.


The woman in black is another reason why the BBFC will be looking more closely at a films theme and/or tone from next month in their updated guidelines following complaints from the public about films like 'The woman in black' in particular.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 09:59:19 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014, 10:12:34 GMT
gille liath says:
It always seems strange to me that it's more acceptable to show people being killed and mutilated - in The Hobbit for example - than sex or even swearing.

Interesting that most here seem to think certs too lax if anything. I was looking at this recently for a school film club - it's surprising the things you can't show in a school, where everything has to be U: eg Clash of the Titans, One Million Years BC - a lot of the classic adventure films I watched as a kid. On the other hand Star Wars, where a guy is cut in half and an entire planet annihilated, is okay.

On 'sexualisation' - there's nothing new about innuendo, of course. If you watch George and Mildred for example, it's full of sex jokes; but they'll just pass kids by. To the innocent, all things are innocent.

Agree about Shaun of the Dead, I always remember the cert description of that as 'strong comic violence'. Blimey, strong is the word - but the scene were they get Dylan Moran is certainly not comic. Maybe they were afraid people would say they had no sense of humour - actually they've proved they haven't, by showing that they don't know when something is meant to be funny and when it isn't.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 11:27:58 GMT
Gremlins was an 18 I believe and yet Kids now watch it in the afternoon at Xmas these days?

Jaws was re rated by the UK to an 18 in the mid 80's and then out back down again to I think a 12, I watched it at 5 and so did my son and we both loved it, there's nothing it should be an 18 for, its about a real life creature that is eating people stupid enough to go swimming even when they know its out there, the Shark is not some evil monster, its an innocent creature following its nature.

WRT the F bomb, if a kid at 12 does not know that word and probably use it at school every day with nates, then thats just one polite and sheltered kid. Anyone under 12 has to bring an adult, therefore its up to them alone.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 11:35:45 GMT
"I'm also shocked when you hear the F word in a 12 ! ... I nearly choked on my Pop Corn when M said the F Bomb in SkyFall !"

The original Transformers animated movie from the 80's has swearing in it and it's a U.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:06:44 GMT

Gremlins was the first recipient of the 15 certificate in 1984 and Jaws was originally a PG cert but has now only recently been upgraded to a 12.

I don't think either films have been rated 18 by the BBFC.

I'm not sure Cam if you are being serious about Jaws and Gremlins being rated 18 or you are just taking the p***?:)

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:18:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014, 12:33:23 GMT
? says:
Regarding the Terminator that film is a 15 and has been for years. When a film is released on a new medium it has to be re submitted to the BBFC and back when the terminator was originally released on a 2 disc special edition DVD it was passed uncut as a 15 and every release since has been a 15.

The one that always baffled me was Stars Wars: A new hope. How on earth was that rated a U with scenes like luke finding the charred and smoking remains of uncle owen and aunt beru. Or the scene where Obi-wan lops off the guys arm in the cantina. granted you don't actually see the arm being severed but you do see the bloody arm lying on the floor. Theirs a few scenes throughout the original star wars trilogy that made me wonder how all three were rated and still rated a U. I would have thought a PG would be more suitable.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:26:35 GMT

Yeah i know mate, and sometimes a film's certificate can be upgraded due to the material on the actual DVD itself going against the films own certificate's guidelines ie strong language in the commentary or stronger scenes in the deleted scenes, documentaries etc etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 12:30:33 GMT
G. Hanks says:
Agreed on the Star Wars trilogy. An armless Luke in Empire, cutting out an animal's innards to stay warm etc... The Rancor in Jedi though, man did I have nightmares about that for years. Plus the sexualisation of Princess Leia in the gold bikini, damn did I have good dreams about that for years.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 12:32:38 GMT
? says:
Kev, it's not the films cert that changes just the overall packages cert.

What I mean is as an example the Terminator is a 15. If a documentry was included in the bonus features that had loads of swearing and warrented an 18 then the DVD package would have an 18 slapped on it but the film itself would remain a 15. I've noticed this when buying stuff with multiple discs where the film is on one disc and the bonus features on another. The disc with the film will have the certifiate on the label and sometime will be different to the certificate on the lable of the bonus features disc.

Nit picking really but bonus features don't change how the BBFC reviews the content of a film.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:36:07 GMT
An 18 certificate for Jaws seems a bit over the top but 12 seems about right imo. I'm not sure the nature of the killer is relevant. WRT the F-bomb, a counter argument to Cam really, is sure a kid may be aware of swearing but I'm not sure it's a good thing to reaffirm the acceptability of its use through films. Particularly films they'll admire. Like anything though it's holistic, kids aren't going to be solely influenced by one source. Parents, education etc are all factors on how a kid will process it all.

How about Raiders of the Lost Ark (face melting scene) and also Temple of Doom (Human sacrifice, tearing a heart from a living person's chest etc) is a PG the rght certificate?

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:38:23 GMT
G. Hanks says:
"How about Raiders of the Lost Ark (face melting scene) and also Temple of Doom (Human sacrifice, tearing a heart from a living person's chest etc) is a PG the rght certificate?"

And the monkey brain scene. Scarred for life.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014, 12:43:17 GMT

i know that it's the DVD's certificate that gets upgraded, maybe i didn't explaine it properly in the message. Sorry:)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 13:04:04 GMT
Temple of doom was the first recipent of the PG-13 in America by the MPAA, so they must of thought the same thing as you Tetro:) The BBFC did cut the film extensively here though and only recently did they pass it uncut.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 13:16:32 GMT
Jaws was for a while I remeber it when I was a kid that when Video rentals first started Jaws was rated as an 18 for a very short period of time, I know its now a 12 as I ahve the Blu Ray.

But in my local video shop they had it and it was 18 certified and then later went back to PG again, or else something unexplainable by me occurred LOL

Gremlins as I said I was not sure TBH so I stand corrected.

Moving on LOL

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 13:37:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014, 13:40:39 GMT
Probably you are right with Indy, but damn I'm glad they did or I might never have got to watch them. They are IMO family friendly films and I think kids can handle a little scary if not too graphic, the heart scene in Temple following sacrifice were for the only moments in that movie that could have pushed beyond PG

Raider is a more mature themed movie in many ways, but had far more overall elements to it that were risky IMO

The Skeleton of Forrestal, the fresher kill of Satipo. The Attempted torture of Marion with a hot poker, The sexual attraction and naked watching of Belloq on Marion, The skeletons falling on Marion in the Well of souls and the propeller death of the Boxer, that's before we get to Super Melty Face off time.

I think that might have gotten a pass at the time, because it was considered the power of God and the righteous like to think that kind of violence (God violence) is fine for Children. IMO its even scarier and immoral, but hey?

WRT swearing I don't think we are talking about excessive swearing, but the odd occasional use at 12 for me will do nothing. People swear every day, adults - educated adults, upstanding members of society.

If an educated man chooses to swear he does so with full knowledge of the words effect on his vocabulary. The undereducated, tend to swear as a breathing space, or punctuation and it becomes adjective, Noun, Verb.

Was Four weddings and a Funeral a dirty movie?

Apart form a few choice beauties like the F Bomb, the C Unit and perhaps some names of sexual parts. All other swear words have entrenched themselves firmly in society.

i.e. the rules of the last generation must always be reviewed and revised by the current one.

e.g. Gremlins on at 2pm on a Xmas holiday on national TV and Jaws on at 7pm, or some other examples on here.

I remember when Attack of the Clones came out, they had to cut a small section of film to allow it to have a PG certificate in the UK. No, not the scene where Anakin slaughters Tuskans and it's said he killed the women and children too.

No it was the part where Jango Fett head butts Obi Wan Kenobi and is wearing a helmet which is a no-no.

Yeah that 1.5 second clip would have really engulfed children in an evil malice of adulthood!

Sometimes it makes no sense because its Bureaucratic nonsense

Same time, you don't want little kids watching Nightmare on flipping Elm street do you?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014, 14:06:40 GMT
James (god fearing) ferman was obsessed with his systermatic cutting of films with what he thought was unsuitable for the impressionable hords of this country ie martial arts weapons, techniques, sexual violence and blasphomy etc etc.

Notible films that suffered the wrath of Ferman where

Enter the dragon
Indiana jones and the temple of doom
Teenage mutant ninja turtles
Video nasties
True lies
Lethal weapon 2 & 4
Die hard 2 & With a vengeance
And loads more besides

I think they where still under the grip of the Ferman era in the early naughties but they have well and truly shook of the shakals of that tyrants reign now.
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