British Films of the 1990s to 2010s

British movies that have been censored for more commercially friendly classifications.


The Krays

Directed by Peter Medak / 1990 / UK / IMDb

A 116-minute 35mm print of THE KRAYS received an R (Occasional graphic violence) in July and August 1990.

The violence was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In September, a 115-minute censored version dropped it to M (Occasional coarse language, Violence).

Violence and language were described as:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Justified

Palace Entertainment Corporation released the modified print theatrically.

VHS & DVD

In early 1991, Palace Entertainment issued an M-rated rental VHS featuring a ‘blood pack’ on the cover.

The Krays (1990) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Palace Entertainment

An second VHS appeared in early 1993, with Palace promoting it as the ‘R Version never released before’.

Umbrella Entertainment issued an R-rated DVD in April 2012.

Possible cuts

Matt reports
The M-rated print may have trimmed some of these scenes.

33:30 – Sword attack in the snooker hall.
43:30 – The ‘Chelsea Smile’ where Ronnie (Gary Kemp) slowly cuts a man’s mouth.
108:00 – The stabbing of Jack the Hat (Tom Bell).

In April 1990, the British Board of Film Classification awarded THE KRAYS an 18 certificate after modifications to the ‘Chelsea smile’ scene. For unknown reasons, that ran 119:20 compared to Palace’s 116-minute R-rating.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Directed by John Madden / 2011 / UK – USA / IMDb

On 25 November 2011, a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL received an M (Infrequent coarse language).

Five days later, a censored version dropped it to PG (Mild themes, sexual references and coarse language). Both ran 123-minutes.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) - Australian movie poster 1
Poster – 20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributors released the modified print theatrically in March 2012.

PG language cut

Tom S. reports
102:45 – Sonny (Dev Patel) confronts Jay (Sid Makkar) and says to him, ‘So fuck off out of my way’.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) - Sonny (Dev Patel) tells Jay (Sid Makkar) to 'fuck off out of my way'.
Uncut – Audio

From memory, the PG cinema version tried to cut out ‘fuck off’, which made it sound weird and clipped.

DVD & Blu-ray

In April 2012, a 126-minute DVD and a 136-minute Blu-ray received PG (Mild themes, sexual references and coarse language) ratings.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released both discs in September.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) - DVD cover 1
DVD – 20th Century Fox

Tom S. reports
The PG-rating of the DVD indicates it should be censored, but it is actually uncut. Presumably, the same applies to the Blu-ray.


My Cousin Rachel

Directed by Roger Michell / 2017 / UK – USA / IMDb

A 105-minute precut Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of MY COUSIN RACHEL passed with an M (Occasional coarse language) in May 2017.

The classification matrix described,
Moderate impact: language
Mild impact: themes, violence
Very mild impact: nudity, sex
None: drug use

It was followed on 5 June by another 105-minute DCP but lowered to PG (Mild themes, violence and occasional coarse language). The classification matrix noted the language as ‘mild impact’ rather than ‘moderate impact’.

My Cousin Rachel (2017) - Australian one sheet poster 1
One sheet

Three days later, Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributors opened the censored version theatrically.

Uncut at home

In July, a 254-minute ‘Home Entertainment Version’ received an M (Sex scene and coarse language).

The classification matrix described,
Moderate impact: language, sex
Mild impact: themes, violence
Very mild impact: nudity

The sex went from ‘very mild impact’ to ‘moderate impact’ with the addition of ‘sex scene’ to the consumer advice. The 106:08 running time also indicates the first submission was precut.

My Cousin Rachel (2017) - Blu-ray cover 1
Blu-ray – 20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment released the uncut DVD and Blu-ray in October 2017.

What was censored?

Aiming for a PG-rating, Twentieth Century Fox censored sex from the first submission. Their failure to remove the word ‘fucking resulted in a second submission.

The language cut would have modified this line.

My Cousin Rachel (2017) - Seecombe (Tim Barlow) says, 'Not like that, you fucking prick-wit!'.
Uncut – Audio

43:41 – Seecombe (Tim Barlow) says, ‘Not like that, you fucking prick-wit!’.

The sex would have trimmed this very mild 00:20 sequence.

My Cousin Rachel (2017) - Phillip (Sam Claflin) and Rachel (Rachel Weisz) have sex.
Sex scene

71:50 – Phillip (Sam Claflin) thrusts on top of Rachel (Rachel Weisz) as they have sex in the woods.


King of Thieves

Directed by James Marsh / 2018 / UK / IMDb

In October 2018, a precut 108-minute Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of KING OF THIEVES passed with an M (Coarse language) rating.

The classification matrix described,
Moderate impact: language
Mild impact: themes, violence, nudity, sex
Very mild: drug use

King of Thieves (2018) - Australian movie poster 1
Poster – StudioCanal

StudioCanal, the applicant, released it theatrically in February 2019.

Uncut physical media

In April 2019, a 126-minute ‘Home Entertainment Release’ DVD received an MA15+ (Strong coarse language) rating.

The classification matrix increased the language from ‘moderate impact’ to ‘strong impact’.

King of Thieves (2018) - DVD cover 1
DVD – StudioCanal

StudioCanal issued the uncut DVD and Blu-ray in June.

Censored Netflix & Foxtel

In December, KING OF THIEVES became available on Netflix Australia and Foxtel.

Both versions were the M-rated version.

Censored language

Tom S. reports
The M-rated version redubs all five uses of ‘cunt’ with words such as ‘nonce’, ‘clown’ and ‘tart’.

44:30 – Brian (Michael Caine) yells at Billy the Fish (Michael Gambon), ‘You fat cunt!’.
M-rated version overdubs it with ‘clown’. This shot is in close-up and is distracting as his mouth is obviously not saying ‘clown’. The 2019 Netflix and Foxtel versions are the same, but the subtitles read ‘You fat klutz’.

King of Thieves (2018) - Brian (Michael Caine) yells at Billy the Fish (Michael Gambon), 'You fat cunt!'.
Uncut – Audio

49:45 – Terry (Jim Broadbent) is ribbing Basil (Charlie Cox) on his tardiness and says, ‘What sort of time d’you call this, you cunt?’.
M-rated version overdubs it with ‘tart’.

King of Thieves (2018) - Terry (Jim Broadbent) asks Basil (Charlie Cox), 'What sort of time d'you call this, you cunt?'
Uncut – Audio

71:45 – Danny (Ray Winstone) admonishes Kenny (Tom Courtney) by saying, ‘He’s a thick, wombat-headed old cunt’.
M-rated version overdubs it with ‘nonce’. Again, his mouth is saying ‘cunt’.

King of Thieves (2018) - Danny (Ray Winstone) calls Kenny (Tom Courtney), 'a thick, wombat-headed old cunt'.
Uncut – Audio

91:45 – Danny is watching Kenny and says, ‘What a soppy old cunt’.
The M-rated version overdubs it with ‘clown’.

King of Thieves (2018) - Danny (Ray Winstone) calls Kenny (Tom Courtney), 'a soppy old cunt'.
Uncut – Audio

94:15 – Danny calls Kenny a ‘Fucking old cunt’.
M-rated version overdubs it with ‘nonce’. The 2019 Netflix and Foxtel versions are the same. Perhaps because ‘nonce’ is nearly inaudible, the subtitles still use the uncut line.

King of Thieves (2018) - Danny (Ray Winstone) calls Kenny (Tom Courtney), a 'fucking old cunt'.
Uncut – Audio

The Aftermath

Directed by James Kent / 2019 / UK – Germany – USA / IMDb

On 11 March 2019, a 108-minute Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of THE AFTERMATH passed with an MA15+ (Strong sex scenes).

The classification matrix described,
Strong impact: Sex
Moderate impact: themes, violence, language, nudity
None: drug use

It was followed on 26 March by another 108-minute DCP but lowered to M (Mature themes, violence, sex scenes and coarse language). The classification matrix noted the sex as ‘moderate impact’ rather than ‘strong impact’.

The Aftermath (2019) - Australian movie poster 1
Poster – 20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributors released the censored version theatrically on 11 April.

What sex was censored?

The MA15+ to M modified two scenes.

Tom S. reports
Sex scene No. 1 at 48:00
The uncut footage plays markedly differently from the M-rated version and is the most heavily edited of the two.

Before (M-rated) – Rachael (Kiera Knightley) is attending to a gash on Stephen’s (Alexander Skarsgard) head, sexual tension overcomes them, and they start making out. He lifts her onto the living room table, where they make out for a bit longer until he starts to reach for his belt. The scene cuts as he unfastens it.

Censored by 00:30 approx. – Stephen inserts himself between her legs. They thrust violently until the lights of Lewis’ (Jason Clarke) vehicle come through the window. They freeze before he starts thrusting again. She finally pushes him off, and they compose themselves for the arrival of Lewis. It is a strong scene, but I do not understand what would bring it to an MA15+. There is no nudity, it is somewhat dimly lit and is very quick and justified by the story context. I have certainly seen worse in M-rated movies.

After (M-rated) – Lewis walks in through the front door and finds them sitting as if nothing had happened. The cuts caused continuity errors in the placement of Rachael and Stephen in the room and a noticeable jump in the soundtrack.

Sex scene No. 2 at 66:00
Rachael and Stephen start making out in the attic bedroom. Her backside and breasts are visible as he undresses her and lays her on the bed. All is present in the M-rated version.

He then starts kissing down her body. A shot of him kissing her stomach whilst cupping her breasts was zoomed in the M-rated version to remove his hands on her breasts.

The following sequence of him kissing back up her body to her breasts was shortened to remove the next shot where he kisses her breasts for about 00:05. It resumes on her facial expression and him at the bottom of the frame, kissing her breasts (which are out of shot) and moving up to her neck. The M version censored it well enough that it did not seem intrusive.

The next shot of his back was slowed down. It ran approximately 00:15 compared to a mere 00:05 in the uncut version. The longer running time helped mask the music jumping during the next cut, a close-up side-view of him thrusting.

Uncut DVD & Blu-ray

In May, a 250-minute ‘International Version’ received an MA15+ (Strong sex scenes). The classification matrix was the same as the first submission.

The Aftermath (2019) - DVD cover 1
DVD – 20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment released the uncut DVD and Blu-ray in July.