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The 'A' film classification in 1960

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  • Nick Cooper
    replied
    Originally posted by Rick C View Post
    i think the lead film to the Melting man double-presentation was The Savage Bees. If the main performance had been Julie Andrews in whatever then the subsequent title would have been innocuous
    Yes, it was The Savage Bees, and both films were AAs, although The Incredible Melting Man was upgraded to an 18 for video release in 1986.

    The AA Certificate was for 15 and over?
    No, it was 14 and over. The AA was replaced with the 15, meaning that over-night a lot of 14 year olds were excluded from films that they could previously have seen quite legally.

    Think Beneath the Planet of the Apes was the first under this new rule.
    No, because Beneath was an A, which it got on 9 April 1970, while the AA was not introduced - and the A and X criteria changed - until 1 July 1970. That said, the BBFC website does show a small number of titles getting AAs prior to that date, i.e.:


    Pendulum - 20 December 1968
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - 14 January 1969
    Sam Whiskey - 14 February 1969
    Fraulein Doktor - 11 March 1969
    The Betrayal - 11 March 1969
    The Reivers - 16 January 1970

    I suspect that some or all of these may be transcription errors.

    It's interesting to note that the George Peppard film P.J. was certified as an X on 19 January 1968, and then recertified as New Face in Hell as a AA on 1 July 1970. Both submission were the same length, and passed with unspecified cuts, so it's not clear if the re-release was more cut than the original release.
    Last edited by Nick Cooper; 1st February 2018, 11:14 AM.

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  • Rick C
    replied
    i think the lead film to the Melting man double-presentation was The Savage Bees. If the main performance had been Julie Andrews in whatever then the subsequent title would have been innocuous The AA Certificate was for 15 and over? Think Beneath the Planet of the Apes was the first under this new rule.

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  • Nick Cooper
    replied
    Originally posted by StoneAgeMan View Post
    Worst case was when you'd go with a bunch of mates and some would get in, while others were turned away. Real conflict of loyalties and some hilarious stories of panicked teenagers trying to bluff their way past jaded cinema staff.
    That happened to me once when we went to see The Incredible Melting Man, which was a AA. Most of us - including the 13-year of me - were admitted, but one was turned away for looking too young. Ironically, he was actually 14 at the time, but couldn't prove it!

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  • Nick Cooper
    replied
    Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
    Remember that the X certificate until 1970 meant 16 or over, so any council which tried to enforce a 16 or over rule for an A film would be, in effect, upgrading it to an X. I doubt that the distributors would be very happy with that. I have always understood that A meant children had to accompanied by an adult.
    It's worth bearing in mind that when certificates were introduced, there were only two - U and for "Universal" and "Adult" respectively. With the A some councils erred on the side of caution and insisted on an accompanying adult, but the certificate was only advisory, so not all did. I suspect that such local restrictions on As may have been relaxed when the H and then the X was introduced, as all councils agreed on a mandatory minimum age of 16, but some may still have held out for an accompanying adult for an A. I've never seen any reference to any council that - even before the H or X was introduced - would not allow under-16s into As at all, with or without an adult.

    Obviously, though, some councils did occasionally over-rule BBFC's recommendations, and this may have happened in the example Tony has mentioned - it may have got A from the BBFC, but whichever council the premiere took place in may have given it an X. I suspect that another explanation may be that the premiere of the film in question could have been un-cut, but that the subsequent A release cut. If a film was cut to get an A, then by definition the un-cut version would be an X, and thus under-16s would be precluded from seeing it in public under any circumstances.
    Last edited by Nick Cooper; 2nd February 2018, 01:21 PM.

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  • StoneAgeMan
    replied
    I put folded up paper in the heels of my shoes to make "lifts" (like Tom Cruise does), but it was mainly to help me keep in character. I went to see Tod Browning's "Freaks" at the Scala Cinema, when it was still based near Goodge Street tube station (the same venue where Spandau Ballet played one of their first gigs). To be fair, I don't think anyone would have turned me away from that one, it was already around 50 years old (IIRC, this was sometime around 1980 - making me 16).

    Worst case was when you'd go with a bunch of mates and some would get in, while others were turned away. Real conflict of loyalties and some hilarious stories of panicked teenagers trying to bluff their way past jaded cinema staff. One of my mates fell back on the classic "but he's my brother!", pointing at one of the successful ones, as if that made any difference. The fact that one was white and the other black didn't help either.

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  • BVS
    replied
    Originally posted by orpheum View Post
    What it meant was that a child under 16 could only be admitted if accompanied by an adult over 21.So what happened was,that I being under the age of 16would go up to adults outside the cinema and ask if they would take me in with them..
    Indeed - some of my friends used to do that LOL

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  • narabdela
    replied
    "Live Now, Pay Later", in a double bill with "The Tell-Tale Heart"(Danziger Productions), was my underage introduction to the naughty world of X-Rated Cinema.

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  • Gerald Lovell
    replied
    Originally posted by cassidy View Post

    Me too. My first was The New Bohemia wearing my father's jacket and coat at 13 years old to see X The Unknown..Next came The Curse of Frankenstein and I was only denied Quatermass 2 because my next door neighbour couldn't remember his wrong date of birth !!.
    Their trick was to suddenly demand your date of birth and if you hesitated and had to think, they knew you were fibbing!

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  • orpheum
    replied
    Terror of the Tongs at the ABC Golders Green was mine.I think it was on a double X bill with Gorgo.Nowadays they would be PG or 12

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  • cassidy
    replied
    Originally posted by orpheum View Post
    Programmes were sold on the basis of being X certificates which couldn't happen now.My best friend used to get in passing for 16 when he was only 13
    Me too. My first was The New Bohemia wearing my father's jacket and coat at 13 years old to see X The Unknown..Next came The Curse of Frankenstein and I was only denied Quatermass 2 because my next door neighbour couldn't remember his wrong date of birth !!.

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  • orpheum
    replied
    Programmes were sold on the basis of being X certificates which couldn't happen now.My best friend used to get in passing for 16 when he was only 13

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  • cassidy
    replied
    Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
    Remember that the X certificate until 1970 meant 16 or over, so any council which tried to enforce a 16 or over rule for an A film would be, in effect, upgrading it to an X. I doubt that the distributors would be very happy with that. I have always understood that A meant children had to accompanied by an adult.
    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Hammer were quite upset that The Hound of The Baskervilles only received an A Certificate when they actually wanted it to get an X Certificate just to keep up their gothic horror image.

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  • Odeonman
    replied
    Remember that the X certificate until 1970 meant 16 or over, so any council which tried to enforce a 16 or over rule for an A film would be, in effect, upgrading it to an X. I doubt that the distributors would be very happy with that. I have always understood that A meant children had to accompanied by an adult.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve Crook
    replied
    Originally posted by Mikey View Post
    Tony

    A grey area, between 1951 and 1970 the A classification was open to interpretation, as some councils ruled that children must be accompanied by an adult, while others did not. Overall a local council could overrule the recommendation of what was the British Board of Film Classification, but the majority followed their lead.
    ‘‘Twas always thus, wasn’t it?

    the BBFC certification was just a guide that most local authorities followed but it was never a law. Local authorities could always give a film a tighter or a looser certification.

    Steve

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  • Mikey
    replied
    Tony

    A grey area, between 1951 and 1970 the A classification was open to interpretation, as some councils ruled that children must be accompanied by an adult, while others did not. Overall a local council could overrule the recommendation of what was the British Board of Film Classification, but the majority followed their lead.

    Leave a comment:

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