British Sex Comedy Films

British sex comedy movies that were cut or banned in Australia.


Come Back Peter

aka Some Like it Sexy

Directed by Donovan Winter / 1969 / UK / IMDb

In March 1973, a 2100.60-meter (76:34) print of COME BACK PETER was censored by 3.7-meters (00:08) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

Come Back Peter (1969) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

MGM/BEF Film Distributors were the applicant.

The fall of Video Classics

In May 1983, a 76-minute video (under the title SOME LIKE IT SEXY) was banned because of sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

Video Classics resubmitted the 76-minute tape in August 1985 and received the recently introduced X-rating. The classification was awarded for exactly the same reasons that saw it banned in May 1983.

A second 76-minute video was passed with an R-rating in November 1985. The sex was now described as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

This indicates that despite having the same running time, this R-rated version may have been censored.

It does not appear that these R and X-rated tapes were ever released as Video Classics were in severe financial difficulties during this time. The November 1985 submission that received an R-rating was made by Arthur Andersen Chartered Accountants. The company was appointed after Video Classics went into administration.

Continental version Vs. Original

Matt reports.
Donovan Winter returned several years after the release of COME BACK PETER and spiced up the sex scenes for an mid-70s audience. This new version, known as SOME LIKE IT SEXY, goes some way to explaining why the Australian Censorship Board treated the film as it did.

For its Australian theatrical release, it was cut by eight seconds. It is impossible to guess what was removed, as the original COME BACK PETER version does not appear to be available anywhere.

It is easy to spot the extra scenes that were shot for SOME LIKE IT SEXY. Hairstyles change, and the back of Peter’s (Christopher Matthews) body grows hair every time a more explicit scene appears. Most of the film is strictly softcore; however, the ‘continental version’ contains a 15-second shot of Peter’s semi-erection as Cleo (Valerie St. Helene) guides him inside her. Presumably, this scene caused the May 1983 ban and subsequent X-rating. It would definitely have been removed for the R-rated version.

In the UK, Nucleus Pictures released the uncut ‘continental version’ on DVD in 2012. It runs 78:00, and the aforementioned explicit scene appears at approximately 53-minutes.

The Nucleus DVD of ESCORT GIRLS (1974) contains a 92-page PDF of Donovan Winter’s memoirs in which he explains what prompted him to go back and shoot new scenes.

2011
May 1971 and I took COME BACK, PETER down to Cannes. Several overseas sales ensued, immediately so in France. But now I found myself up against a dichotomy. The ‘sex’ in the film was only titillating rather than aggressive. It was too soft for Germany and Scandinavia where they had progressed beyond that and demanded more. ‘We need as much sex as possible in the film’ (Atlas A/B 1972). While in other more reserved countries there was still too much! It seemed you just couldn’t win. In America you were up against an even bigger problem since each State, all 49 of them, had its own censorship board each making different conditions! But the distributor demanded explicit scenes which he could cut if necessary as required by the judges.

I left the print with the French distributor in Paris – which he required for dubbing. Then I returned to London to set to work once again. The additional ‘sex’ scenes necessary barely required scripting. All I needed were my actors, or doubles for them, to simulate the act of copulation. I went back into four of the locations and shot another eight minutes of simulated sex which I tagged on to the scenes already in the can. I never dared show them to the British censor, of course! But they did enable me to sell the film to more countries like Germany (titled FLESH & LOVE!) and the US, although I was told they were still not hard enough for Scandinavia.

– The Winters of My Discontent: A Life in – and Out – of Films
– Donovan Winter

Further reading

For more Donovan Winter, see THE ESCORT GIRLS (1974) on this page.


Monique

Directed by John Brown / 1970 / UK / IMDb

In March 1972, a 7800-feet (86:40) print of MONIQUE was censored by 229-feet (02:33) for an R-rating.

Monique (1970) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Blake Films had to make the cuts to remove ‘indecency’.

What was censored?

Shane Harrison reports.
Jezebel/Salvation Films (us) – DVD – 87:56 (NTSC)

The DVD running time indicates that 01:16 may have been precut even before the Censorship Board trimmed another 2:33. This would make sense as the sex scenes, in the print I viewed in 1972, had virtually been reduced to before and after shots.

7:00 – A bedroom scene between Bill (David Sumner) and Jean (Joan Alcorn) ended as he disappeared below the screen suggesting oral sex.

37:54 – A sex scene between Monique (Sibylla Kay) and Bill was reduced to facial shots.

56:49 – The scene where Bill and Jean make love ended once she got on top. Some later footage may have remained.

80:00- A threesome between Bill, Jean and Monique was removed. They are shown running upstairs to the bedroom before a cut to a post-coital view of them sitting in bed discussing the painting on the wall.

Rampix video release

In March 1982, GL Film Enterprises had an 85-minute tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

MONIQUE was issued as part of their Videopix/Rampix label.

Monique (1970) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Rampix – Videopix

Videorama/Rampix was a UK label that in 1981 released AU PAIR GIRLS (1972), INTIMATE GAMES (1976), PERMISSIVE (1970), THE SEX THIEF (1973), and ZETA ONE (1970) on tape.

In 1982, Melbourne’s GL Video issued the series in Australia with the same cover art as their UK counterparts. We have yet to see confirmation that INTIMATE GAMES (1976) was included in the package.

The National Classification Database lists most of these tapes as being resubmitted by TAG Video in 1984.

We presume GL Video’s tape of MONIQUE was the same as the British Videorama/Rampix pre-cert.


Sweet and Sexy

Directed by Anthony Sloman / 1971 / UK / IMDb

In March 1975, a 2160.00-meter (78:44) print of SWEET AND SEXY was censored by 58.40-meters (02:07) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

MGM/BEF Film Distributors were the applicant.


Au Pair Girls

Directed by Val Guest / 1972 / UK / IMDb

In September 1972, a 2436.70-meter (88:49) print of AU PAIR GIRLS was censored by 44.19-meters (01:36) for an R-rating.

Au Pair Girls (1972) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Blake Films had to make the cuts to remove ‘indecency’.

Au Pair Girls (1972) - Australian daybill movie poster 2
Daybill via moviemem

It is unclear if the white bar in the centre of the daybill is a result of censorship or poor design.

Video releases

In April 1982, GL Film Distributors had an 81-minute tape passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Other: Nudity

Melbourne’s GL Video released AU PAIR GIRLS on their Videopix/Rampix label. Presumably, this version was the same as the British Videorama/Rampix pre-cert.

Au Pair Girls (1972) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Rampix – Videopix

TAG Video had a 78-minute tape passed with an R-rating in January 1985. It was awarded for the same reasons as the April 1982 submission. It is unclear if this tape was ever released.

Censored scenes

Simon reports.
Videopix/Rampix (au) – VHS – 79:32 (PAL)
Videorama/Rampix (uk) – VHS – 80:52 (PAL)

A large part of the sex scene between Ricky (Steve Patterson) and Christa (Nancie Wait) was censored in the Australian tape. There are several obvious cuts after he says, ‘Who cares chicko’. This scene is the most explicit in the film, so presumably it made up the bulk of the footage that Blake Films pre-cut in 1972.

Ricky and Christa sex scene is described in more detail at DVD Compare, where they look at the UK (cut) and US (uncut) Jezebel/Salvation DVDs. The footage they mention of Anita (Astrid Frank) on the mirror and Christa smoking a joint are present Videopix/Rampix tape.

Shane Harrison reports.
The Videopix/Rampix VHS of AU PAIR GIRLS appears to match the version I saw at The Times Cinema at the end of 1972 and a year later as a support at the drive-in. The only identifiable censorship was the heavy cuts to Christa and Rick’s sex scene and the subsequent rape at the hands of Buster (John Standing).


Escort Girls

aka All Lovers Are Strangers

Directed by Donovan Winter / 1974 / UK / IMDb

In April 1974, a 3003.00-meter (109:28) print of ESCORT GIRLS was censored by 99:06-meters (03:36) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

The film was originally submitted under the title ALL LOVERS ARE STRANGERS, but in November 1974, this was notified as being changed to ESCORT GIRLS.

Escort Girls (1974) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

It was released by MGM BEF Film Distributors.

Banned & R-rated videotapes

In August 1981, a 105-minute video of ESCORT GIRLS was banned because of sex, which was found to be:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Gratuitous

L & M Imports were the applicant. This was possibly an import of the British pre-cert.

In May 1983, Video Classics had a 98-minute tape of ESCORT GIRLS passed with the Special Condition ‘that this film/tape will not be exhibited in any State in contravention of State’s law relating to the exhibition of films’.

A 98-minute tape was eventually passed with an R-rating in June 1985. It was awarded for sex, which was now identified as:
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Video Classics were the applicant.

Escort Girls (1974) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Video Classics

The tape was released as part of their Movie at Midnight range.

Banned in Queensland

On October 8, 1985, ESCORT GIRLS was prohibited by the Queensland Films Board of Review.

This was the 98-minute Video Classics/Movies at Midnight release.

Possible censored scenes

Simon reports.
Nucleus Films (us) – DVD – 100:16 (PAL)
The 03:36 of cuts to the Australian theatrical version of ESCORT GIRLS would have come from one or both of these sequences.

56:00 approx. – The two Scotsmen are shown in a bar watching a black stripper. It remains tame until approximately the 61:00 point. From then until 65:15 she is shown masturbating, sometimes quite explicitly.

The Nucleus DVD of ESCORT GIRLS (1974) contains a 92-page PDF of Donovan Winter’s Memoirs in which he mentions that the explicit masturbation was produced for overseas prints.

2011
With the exception of Spain, Portugal and New Zealand, all other countries demanded more and more explicit sex. While in dour old England our censor, now Stephen Murphy, made small niggling cuts [to ESCORT GIRLS] in some nude scenes I had shot. I did hold back one masturbation scene I had shot for overseas consumption, anticipating his objection.

– The Winters of My Discontent: A Life in – and Out – of Films
– Donovan Winter

69:30 to 72:00 – Harvey (Brian Jackson) strips Sheila (Barbara Wise) as she protests and tells him to stop. He pushes her to the bed and rapes her. For some reason, the scene and the music are sped up. The sexual assault is revealed as a set-up when her boyfriend arrives and begins to take pictures with which to blackmail Harvey. In 1995, the British censor still had a problem with this scene and removed it from Jezebel’s VHS.

There are several other sex scenes, though I doubt they would have caused problems. These include Hugh (David Dixon) and his escort (52:40), Sheila and her boyfriend (74:00), Vicky (Veronica Doran) and Lester (Ken Gajadhar) after she orders him to ‘rape her’ (78:30) and the mature businesswoman and her male escort (94:00).


Intimate Games

Directed by Tudor Gates / 1976 / UK / IMDb

In July 1977, a 2699.6-meter (98:24) print of INTIMATE GAMES was banned because of ‘indecency’. It was awarded an R-rating in November 1977 after being censored down to 2386.41 (86:59).

Intimate Games (1976) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Blake Films released this version theatrically.

Missing Rampix & longer version

In 1982, Melbourne’s GL Video released several British sex comedies on their Videopix/Rampix label. These had previously been issued in 1981 in the UK by Videorama/Rampix.

Although INTIMATE GAMES was advertised as being included as part of the Australian series, we have yet to see a copy.

Intimate Games (1976) - Advertisement 1
Ad – Rampix – Videopix

The initial Australian theatrical submission ran 98:24 (≈ 94:24 PAL). According to the pre-cert database, the UK tape ran only 85:35 (PAL), a nearly nine-minute difference.

A censored 89:03 version was passed by the British Board of Film Censorship (BBFC) in March 1976.

Shorter DVD

In August 2011, Beyond Home Entertainment released INTIMATE GAMES on DVD as part of their BEST OF BRITISH collection. This was the same as the UK Odeon Entertainment DVD.

Intimate Games (1976) - DVD cover 1
DVD – Beyond Home Ent.

The running time was 80:17 (PAL), or 83:38 when converted to NTSC. This was approximately fifteen-minutes shorter than the July 1977 submission and nearly four-minutes shorter than the R-rated version.

Beyond Home Entertainment did not seek a reclassification, but instead put the original R-rating on the cover.


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