Directed by Torgny Wickman

The softcore and hardcore movies of Torgny Wickman that have been cut or banned in Australia.


Eva, the First Stone

Directed by Torgny Wickman/ 1969 / Sweden / IMDb

In August 1970, an 8332.00-feet (92:34) print of EVA, THE FIRST STONE was banned because of ‘indecency’.

At the time, the Suitable only for Adults’ (SOA) classification was the highest available. This was broadly equivalent to an M-rating.

New system & new submission

In February 1973, the Censorship Board demanded that cuts be made to a 2539.59-meter (92:34) print.

An appeal was made to the Films Board of Review, who overturned the decision and passed it with an uncut R-rating.

In both cases, Star Films was the applicant.


Language of Love

Directed by Torgny Wickman / 1969 / Sweden / IMDb

In October 1972, a 3028.66-meter (110:24) print of LANGUAGE OF LOVE was banned because of ‘indecency’.

The Films Board of Review upheld the decision in January 1973.

Nine-months later, a 2921.60-meter (106:29) ‘reconstructed version’ was passed with an R-rating with ‘Special Conditions’.

The following warning was added to all advertising material.

October 1973
The Chief Film Censor has classified this film R subject to the notation ‘This is a sex education film’.

– Censorship Board report

In all cases, Filmways Australasia was the applicant.

Cuts reinstated

Four-minutes of footage was removed from LANGUAGE OF LOVE for an R-rating. However, the Attorney-General, Lionel Murphy, overruled the Censorship Board and ordered it to be passed uncut.

The Labor Senator’s decision drew predictable outrage from the opposition.

December 12, 1973
Senator Donald Jessop -Is it a fact that the Attorney General has flown in the face of the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board recommendation and has approved the showing of a film entitled LANGUAGE OF LOVE?

Is it also a fact that Mr Chipp, the former Minister for Customs and Excise, banned the film on the advice of the Board?

Is the Minister also aware of the fact that Mr Chipp, who viewed the film himself, has described it as pornography from start to finish and that it is being promoted in an aura of respectability by the makers as a sex education film?

Has the Attorney-General viewed this film himself?

Can he inform the Senate why he ignored the Board’s advice?

Senator Lionel Murphy – In a minute or two question time will finish, and I was beginning to think that no one would ask me about this topic, despite the publicity which it has had in the newspapers.

It is true that a decision was made by the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board.

It is true that I have seen the film.

To put the position briefly, the suggestion of the Board that there should be a shortening of certain scenes would not, to my mind, affect the issue at all. The fact that a scene might be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes duration did not seem to me to alter the character of it. If one were to take the view that it was offensive in its original form, it would remain offensive whether it lasted 3 minutes or 5 minutes.

I took the view, and this was the advice, that this was a genuine effort by some distinguished Swedish medical practitioners. I think that I had the names of the very distinguished persons who were responsible for the production of this film. As I say, they are persons of the highest integrity.

The film has been shown elsewhere in the world. For the benefit of the honourable senator and others, I have made arrangements for it to be shown in Canberra tonight. If the sittings of the Senate permit I would ask honourable senators to attend at the National Library theatrette to see the film and make their own judgment on the matter. That invitation is extended to members of the other House as well. I believe that whilst it is a film that might offend some persons undoubtedly it would- it ought to be available to those who wish to see it.

It is in the ‘R’ category of film classification. No one is forced to see it. But if people wish to see the film- there are some very strong views that such films should be made available- it is my belief that the freedom of the citizen requires that he ought to be able to see such a film. The film classification is there. The citizen is put on notice. It is to be shown to persons over 18 years of age. In any event, the opportunity is there for the honourable senator to see the film. Whether or not he agrees with the course that I have taken, I think that it is probably important that members of Parliament see what the area of controversy is in regard to this and other films.

– Question – Senator Donald Jessop (Liberal)
– Answer – Attorney-General, Senator Lionel Murphy (ALP)
– Senate Hansard, Parliament of Australia

The Attorney-General’s screening of LANGUAGE OF LOVE proved to be a hit.

Senator Vincent Clair Gair, the Federal Leader of the Democratic Labor Party, accused his fellow Senators of rushing through bills to attend.

December 14, 1973
The Government in the Senate guillotined 11 bills this afternoon with the help of four of the five DLP senators.

The guillotine, which left less than one hour to debate all the bills, was carried by 27 votes to 26.

Senator V. Gair (DLP, Qld) did not join his colleagues in voting with the Government but stayed to vote with the Opposition.

During a division to decide application of the guillotine, he was heard to comment: “A guillotine to permit members to see the LANGUAGE OF LOVE – sewer minds.”

[A special screening of the “R” certificate sex education film LANGUAGE OF LOVE was to be shown at the national library at 8 pm.]

“I have better reasons to go home than most of them. but I’m prepared to stay,” Senator Gair said.

– Senate rush
– Sydney Morning Herald

God botherer outrage

The passing of LANGUAGE OF LOVE and other adult titles mobilised Christian morals groups into action. This campaign featured an early appearance by Fred Nile and the Australian arm of the Festival of Light.

January 7, 1974
A psychology lecturer criticised the Attorney-General, Senator Murphy, yesterday for “forcing on to the community ideas on censorship that the vast majority would reject.”

Dr J. Court, a senior lecturer in psychology at Flinders University, South Australia, criticised Senator Murphy’s decision to allow the screening in Sydney of the film, LANGUAGE OF LOVE.

Dr Court, who is also chairman of the Community Standards Organisation in Australia was speaking to a gathering after the evening service in St Andrew’s Cathedral.

He is in Sydney to speak at rallies in the “Nowtime ‘74” festival organised by the Australian Christian Endeavour Movement as a protest against permissiveness.

He said Senator Murphy’s views left no doubt that he would allow hardcore pornography to be shown on Australian screens.

“I have a lot of evidence that pornography does cause psychological damage,” Dr Court said.

This was reflected in the increase of violent sexual crimes, many of which imitated acts depicted on the screen. He had been amazed on arrival in Sydney this week to find no evidence of any community reaction against LANGUAGE OF LOVE.

Do not be deceived by the title, since the film has little to do with love — it might be better entitled ‘Sex Techniques, Normal and Perverted’,’ Dr Court said.

He had not seen the film.

The important issue was not its content, but the principle associated with its screening.

Both the Film Censorship Board and the Film Board of Review had regarded the film as unsuitable for even an R certificate, Dr Court said.

Yet Senator Murphy had decided to override both these bodies.

“Clearly, this is an open challenge to the idea that there should be any controls.” Dr Court said.

“This film must be seen as a test case of how far we are prepared to be dictated to by one person.”

“I believe the community should challenge this film as failing to conform to prevailing community standards.”

“One man must not be allowed to thrust on to the community what the vast majority would reject.”

– Murphy attacked on film release
– Sydney Morning Herald

January 9, 1974
Last weekend saw the start of Nowtime ’74, a pan-Protestant campaign in Sydney, which has brought together more than 2,500 Jesus followers from all parts of Australia and overseas.

The campaign, organised by the Australian Christian Endeavour Movement, is directed by the Rev Fred Nile, a Congregational minister who is regarded (with the possible exception of the Rev Alan Walker, his boss at the Central Methodist Mission) as Sydney’s answer to Billy Graham.

Star turn of the campaign is Dr David Hubbard, a chunky American evangelist, who says: “Pornography is boring.”

On the steps of the Town Hall a statement protesting against permissiveness was handed to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,-Mr Jim Cameron. It said moral pollution had “infected every area of society” and posed a “real threat to our Australian way of life.”

The statement was composed by the Rev Bernard Judd, an Anglican clergyman widely known as a watchdog on “booze and gambling” and more recently as a critic of Senator Murphy’s proposed bill on civil rights.

Senator Murphy’s bill got a mention in the protest statement, as did the release of pornographic films such as DEEP THROAT, THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE and ALVIN PURPLE the growing violence in society (especially the recent attacks on women in Queensland and New South Wales) and the flood of sex papers into suburban newsagencies.

Special attention was paid to the television show NUMBER 96, which the statement described as “part of the blue invasion of Australian homes.”

Complaints about a generation gap, also a charge of negativism, have been levelled at the Festival of Light, another forthcoming and even more dramatic festival of anti-permissiveness, for which Nowtime is seen as a rehearsal. It is no accident that Mr Nile, director of Nowtime, will also direct FOL (the organisers’ name for it) in New South Wales.

FOL is inspired by a similar festival held in Adelaide last year, and attended by Britain’s moral crusader, Mrs Mary Whitehouse. An organiser explained: “We thought the campaign was too good to be confined to one city.” FOL organisers angrily reject the twin charges of negativism and “wowserism” — allegations which have appeared in the religious as well as the secular press. Supporters feel that protest can be positive well as negative. I was told: “Because we wish to ban something does not mean we are negative.

Mrs Whitehouse, known to campaigners as “Whitehouse the Lighthouse,” is unlikely to return to Australia.

Organisers of FOL in New South Wales are undecided about who should be invited in her place. One difficulty is the scarcity of suitably zealous but sufficiently eminent personalities. Latest information is that the pop singer Cliff Richard (who was in Sydney for last year’s Good Friday service in Hyde Park) will make yet another visit, probably accompanied by two more elderly campaigners, Mr Malcolm Muggeridge and Bishop Trevor Huddleston.

– Jesus Invasion
– Sydney Morning Herald

Free publicity = box-office hit

The ‘white-coater’ aspect of meant that hardcore sex could now be viewed on Australian screens.

Language of Love (1969) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

However, true legalisation of hardcore had to wait until February 1984 and the introduction of the X-rating.

Language of Love (1969) - Australian daybill movie poster 2
Daybill via moviemem

February 23, 1974
After a combined total of sixteen weeks In Sydney. now exclusive to The Metro, Kings Cross, LANGUAGE OF LOVE (R).

The film that’s causing more comment than anything in years! Seen and enjoyed by more than 250.000 newly enlightened moviegoers. THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE will shock many people with Its frank depiction of everything your mother should have told you and probably didn’t.

Now in its third record month at The Metro, showing four times daily (except Sundays) at 1.00, 3.30, 6.00 and 8.30 pm.

– The Metro Cinema advertisement
– Sydney Morning Herald
Language of Love (1969) - Australian admat 1
Admat – Dec. 1974 – Melbourne

LANGUAGE OF LOVE would go on to be one of the pivotal films in the early days of the R-rating and would continue to play for a number of years.

Language of Love (1969) - Australian admat 2
Admat – Feb. 1976 – Melbourne

Sex ed. with Jim Vickers-Willis

During the initial theatrical release, Filmways joined with the author Jim Vickers-Willis to promote his book ARE YOU (REALLY) FUN TO LIVE WITH? (1973).

Are You (Really) Fun To Live With? (1973) - Book Cover 1
Book Cover

As an advocate of greater sex education, he had campaigned to get LANGUAGE OF LOVE passed by the censor.

Jim Vickers-Willis - Author
Jim Vickers-Willis

Shane Harrison reports.
I saw LANGUAGE OF LOVE when it first opened in Melbourne in 1973.

Jim Vickers-Willis was there in person and came out before the film started to talk about his book, copies of which were available for sale in the foyer.

After a week or so, a film of his talk was shown before each screening. The 03:44 short is available on the third (pink cover) Video Classics release of LANGUAGE OF LOVE.

Are You (Really) Fun To Live With? (1973) & Language of Love (1969) - Book Cover 2
Program via vickers-willis.com

Warnings & Attorney-General interventions

The Chief Censor, Richard Prowse and his successor, Janet Strickland, both commented on the practice of adding warnings to films.

April 1974
CP – How effective are the warnings on films like THE DEVILS, LANGUAGE OF LOVE and MAN FROM DEEP RIVER?

RP – Well I don’t think we put a warning on [MAN FROM] DEEP RIVER, it must have been an importer’s warning. We put a warning on THE DEVILS following a specific direction from the then Minister, and we put a warning on LANGUAGE OF LOVE following a specific direction by the Attorney-General.

As to whether we should use warnings over and above the classification is a quite thorny problem and we are currently exploring it. As I see it, it would need an amendment to State legislation to give some force to the warnings. If we just start putting warnings on films nobody would know whether it was our warning or the importer’s warning and the importer might use a warning as a gimmick to boost the sales of his film.

– The Censor Speaks, Richard Prowse, Chief Censor
– Cinema Papers No. 2

January 1977
The only higher appeal [than the Films Board of Review] is that direct to the Minister (the Attorney-General of Australia) —and he may intervene under Regulation 40 of the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations.

Since January 1971, there have been four [PERCY (1971), THE DEVILS (1971), SKYJACKED (1972), and LANGUAGE OF LOVE (1969)] Ministerial interventions under this regulation:

(d) LANGUAGE OF LOVE August 2, 1973: The Minister (Mr Lionel Murphy) directs that the film be registered and that all publicity material carry the words “this is a sex education film.”

Problematic Trends – Warnings
The idea of warnings has been widely canvassed for some time. It is thought, by some, that warnings should be attached to films which are particularly violent, sexually graphic, linguistically crude etc.

However, our Board and many state officials involved in censorship decisions and policy believe that although the idea is sound, implementation would be difficult, unless new legislation were introduced prohibiting the use of these warnings in a sensationalistic and exploitative way. If warnings were exploited, the point of the exercise would be reversed, attention would be drawn to these films and warnings could be used as an advertising gimmick.

– How Australian Film Censorship Works
– Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
– Cinema Papers No. 11

Video releases

LANGUAGE OF LOVE became of the earliest titles issued on the Video Classics label, with the first being issued in 1980. It was packaged in a black cardboard slipcase with the following warning on the cover.

1980
‘Is it filth or is it education?’
Close-Ups of male and female genitals and love making were banned in Australia for many years. The ban was over ruled by the then Attorney General Senator Murphy who gave it an R-rating. If you prefer to make up your own mind about what you see, then this is the film for you.
R, 103 Minutes. Colour, Adults Only.

– Video Classics cover

The second tape was probably issued around 1982.

Language of Love (1969) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Video Classics

Their third and final tape lists it as ‘Part 1’. This was done because, at the same time, MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE (1970) was reissued with ‘Part 2’ on the cover.

Language of Love (1969) - Advertisement 1
Ad – Video Classics
Language of Love (1969) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Video Classics

Shane reports.
The third Video Classics release runs 102:37. The print is heavily damaged and spliced but not censored as such. It includes the 03:44 lecture by Jim Vickers-Willis that was attached to the start of the movie after he stopped appearing live before each screening.

Compulsory video classification was not introduced until February 1984. It was only then that these 103-minute Video Classics tapes were confirmed with R-ratings.

So how explicit is it?

Matt reports.
Revelation Films (uk) – DVD – 102:50
A good proportion of the film shows Inge and Sten Hegeler, Dr Maj-Brigt Bergstrom-Walan and a Swedish gynecologist called Dr Sture Cullhed sitting in a living room discussing various aspects of sex. This is intercut with scenes of actors demonstrating some of the topics. Most of the sex is softcore, but several sequences are more explicit.

23:00 – Close up female masturbation.

53:00 – A naked couple is shown on a bed. Mutual masturbation takes place, followed by a brief close up shot of penetration.

74:00 – Dr Sture Cullhed is shown inserting a contraceptive diaphragm and then a coil.

90:00 – Images are shown from hardcore porn magazines.


More About the Language of Love

aka More Language of Love

Directed by Torgny Wickman / 1970 / Sweden – Denmark / IMDb

In September 1974, Filmways brought Dr. Maj-Brith Bergström-Walan to Australia.

She was here to talk about her role in MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE and to apply pressure to get it past the Censorship Board.

September 4, 1974
Mal-Briht (pronounced Mai-Britt) arrived in Melbourne yesterday as Doctor Bergstrom-Walan, the Bergstrom from the husband she divorced and the Doctor title from her psychology degree, backed by midwifery and school teacher qualifications.

Sweden appointed her its first supervisor of the compulsory sex education introduced to its schools in 1956.

No other country has followed Sweden’s lead but she hopes to see Australia adopt compulsory sex education in schools in time to send teachers to the third world seminar on sex education that she will host in Sweden in 1976.

“I bring Canberra the message that every person has his and her right to get sex education.” proclaimed the doctor right, at the Southern Cross Hotel yesterday). “There is no right to escape giving our children sex education.”

Dr. Beigstrom-Valan is 49, a petite, missioner standing barely five feet tall in her schoolgirl slip-on shoes with gold buckles. Her cropped hair suits her. “What shocks me?” she told the Press at the Southern Cross Hotel’s Australia Room, “When people hurt one another in sex life. That shocks me.”

Sweden’s soothsayer of sex saw some good in pornography to liven dull marriage partners “if you have nothing else to fall back on”.

But in the good relationship, “when the love is there and variation, enjoyable nights together, I can’t see why they need pornography”.

Dr. Bergstrom-Walan’s visit was sponsored by the distributors of the film LANGUAGE OF LOVE”, which she says would put small children to sleep with all the talking in it.

She was responsible for the film, asserts it is a “real and pure sexual education” film, and accepts that someone is making money just as long as she gives out the message.

She visualises the Australian school courses delivered by ordinary high school teachers who are first given a course, and which would have gynaecologists, lawyers and other specialists giving lectures.

“I hope they listen to me in Canberra.” said the earnest Swede. “If not, I will come again. I have patience.”

On her way out of the press conference she shook hands with the chairman of the Festival of Light (Mr. Dirk Bakker), who was brought along by the 24 Hours television team to put an op-position case.

“I agree there is a need, a vacuum,” Mr. Bakker said. “Parents should be enabled to teach children sex them-selves, keep it in the family.”

Mr. Bakker presented himself to the visitor as “a moral crusader”. So is she.

– She is missionary of sex education
– The Age

September 10, 1974
“There is no right to escape giving sex education to children,” according to Dr M. B. Bergstrom-Walan.

Dr Maj-Briht (pronounced May-Britt) Bergstrom-Walan introduced solemnly as “the greatest sex authority in the world by the distributor of her R-rated film LANGUAGE OF LOVE, arrived in Sydney yesterday.

She is on her way to Canberra to convince the Government there is nothing immoral about her sequel to the film, MORE FROM THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE.

Today she will meet Senator Murphy (who allowed LANGUAGE OF LOVE be released after banning by the previous Liberal Government) and the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Women’s Affairs, Miss Elizabeth Reid.

“I will try to say, that I think the follow-up to the LANGUAGE OF LOVE should be seen by young people front the age of 16 instead of 18, and that every person has a right to sex education,” Sweden’s soothsayer of sex announced to the press at the Wentworth Hotel.

Dr Bergstrom-Walan (the Bergstrom from the husband she divorced three years ago and refuses to discuss, and title doctor title from her psychology degree, backed by midwifery and school teacher qualifications) has also been invited to address the Federal Government’s inquiry into sex education.

She will also give a lecture at the Australian National University and appear on Mrs Whitlam’s television show.

Dr Bergstrom-Walan usually sees both partners and believes that sex education is mostly the key to a better life and that many of the problems she encounters are due to ignorance, and an inhibited, guilt-ridden background—for which she blames the Christian Church.

“You might as well say people should not feel guilty if they eat and drink — sex is something natural in life,” she argues.

Her visit (which has extended to three weeks from the planned 10 days) was sponsored by the Melbourne-based distributors of LANGUAGE OF LOVE who hope to import the sequel censors and Senator Murphy permitting.

“MORE FROM LANGUAGE OF LOVE is a little more advanced…it shows female homosexuality, a little bit of pornography, bow you treat people with sexual disturbances and there is also a little bit of people in community living.” she said earnestly.

She was responsible for the film, stresses it is a “sex-education film” and hopes it will be passed by the censor.

“But I think Australia’s attitude to sex education is becoming more liberated,” she added hopefully.

– LANGUAGE OF LOVE Doctor here to promote film
– Sydney Morning Herald

She would later appear in Australia’s own ‘white coater’, THE ABC OF LOVE AND SEX: AUSTRALIA STYLE (1978).

A confident Filmways

December 1974
CP – Have Filmways got any other films that they consider sufficiently artistic to be unsuitable for the Star or the Albany, but which are encountering censorship problems?

RW – No. We do have NOTORIOUS CLEOPATRA, COUNTRY CUZZINS and THE SINFUL DWARF from Harry Novak banned. They are probably a little bit above the Star, probably Roma material.

CP – Is Filmways fighting these decisions?

RW – Not really, what can you do to fight? LANGUAGE OF LOVE was an intelligent medical film that you can fight on appeal constructively, but these?

CP – What about the LANGUAGE OF LOVE sequel? Do you predict that it will be passed by the censor?

RW – Yes. I think the Censorship Board now realizes that there is an area of film type which can be regarded as sex education films.

– Robert Ward, Dendy Filmways
– Cinema Papers No. 4

Uncut on appeal

When the Censorship Board did view MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE, they demanded cuts to the 2863.90-meter (104:23) print before they would award it an R-rating.

A successful appeal was made to the Films Board of Review. In December 1974, they decised to ‘Register film “For Restricted Exhibition” without eliminations’.

In both cases, the applicant was Filmways.

How the Films Board of Review works

In early 1974, the Chief Censor had explained the process for getting a decision reviewed. It is worth noting that the decision to pass MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE was unusual. At the time, the Films Board of Review would usually uphold the decision of the Censorship Board.

April 1974
CP – What is the procedure on the Board of Review?

RP – Well, it is very similar to ours except they put in an appeal against the decision of my board, be it an elimination, be it a classification, be it a rejection.

Any decision we make can be appealed against. They meet as a board, the same as we do, and screen that film.

They are a higher board than this one and if they make a decision I am required to give effect to that decision. If they alter our decision that alteration is made.

CP – When a person appeals against a decision is it sufficient basis for appeal to cite another example?

RP – This is sometimes used as a ground for appeal but I don’t know whether it is a really valid ground. After all every film is a single unity, a single thing and as I said earlier when we were talking on films of merit versus straight out sexploitation material, because a particular scene could be left in one film there is no reason that a similar scene should be left in another film.

Similarly really coarse language might be acceptable in one film but be looked at with a jaundiced eye in a film of another type even though the words are exactly the same.

CP – Looking through the censorship bulletins that have been printed, there seems to be a fair number of films appealed against which are upheld or to which some changes are made. What are your feelings about that?

RP – I think that the board of review is set up, and as its name implies, to review the decisions of another decision making body and I think it is only right and proper that there should be an appeal provision.

You must remember that a majority rules on my board and it rules on their board too, and if I put for example the full board on a particular film it might have come out five-four on the particular decision given. Well it is obvious that there is scope for a change of decision if five different intelligent people sit down and view that film. I doubt that at any time when we had a seven member board, we would have had a unanimous decision that had been upset.

The Review Board can also order cuts. We might reject a film, for example, and the Board of Review comes up with a decision which says the board considers the film could be registered R subject to the importer agreeing to certain limitations. Well, in fact, that is dismissing the appeal because they are agreeing with us that in its present form it should not be registered but they are going even further than us and saying well subject to certain things happening we think it could be registered.

CP – Can the Board of Review demand more cuts or request a higher classification than you have allocated?

RP – They could.

CP – Has it ever occurred?

RP – No.

CP – Does that Review Board attempt to get a different type of board member than you would choose for yours?

RP – No, except that it must be remembered that they are only a part time board and only meet once a week or once every three weeks. All the members of that board are engaged in other pursuits, and are possibly a different type to those sitting on this board.

CP – Do you think that Board by not seeing as many films as you, would have a more general public view? You must see a-lot of violence and so forth and this must have a big influence on you when you see a violent film, or something, whereas they wouldn’t have that history with them. They therefore perhaps go with more the view of a person who goes to the cinema only once in a while.

RP – I think this is the sort of philosophical discussion that should be carried out with the Board of Review and not me. I could comment on it but I wouldn’t.

CP – Can you comment about yourself?

RP – Well, what we often discuss at board meetings is whether, for example, we do become hardened to violence, whether it upsets our objectivity and we can’t come up with a clear cut answer. Sometimes we think it does because we have discussed particular cases where a board member may have been subjected to three particularly violent films one after the other and they have admitted that the third one didn’t seem nearly as violent as the first one.

So I suppose you can say that you do become immune to it in a way but this is one reason why we rotate our board members right through the television field and through the theatrical field. If there is a really good film of no censorial problem we see if it is possible to let board members sit in there and forget their problems, to go and look at a film just for the sake of looking at it. This rotation of board members so they are never watching the same type of programme all the time we feel is one way we can alleviate this possible build up inside.

– The Censor Speaks, Richard Prowse, Chief Censor
– Cinema Papers No. 2

Banned in Queensland

On 2 September 1976, the R-rated version of MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE was prohibited by the Queensland Films Board of Review.

The distributor was Filmways Australasian Distributors.

Video releases

MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE was released at least twice by Video Classics.

The first was part of their ‘Adults only’ range, with a cover that shortened the title to MORE LANGUAGE OF LOVE. It also noted:

More About the Language of Love (1970) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – Video Classics

1981
Warning: The Chief Film Censor has classified this film R, subject to the notation ‘this is a sex education film’.

– Video Classics cover

This appears to be the warning that the Censorship Board demanded to be attached to the original film. There is no indication that it was also required of the sequel. In this case, it was probably added to aid in the promotion of the tape.

More About the Language of Love (1970) - Advertisement 1
Ad – Video Classics

The second tape correctly titles it MORE ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE and adds ‘Part 2’ to the cover. This was done because at the same time LANGUAGE OF LOVE (1969) was reissued with ‘Part 1’ on the cover. Again, it included the Chief Film Censor’s warning.

More About the Language of Love (1970) - VHS videotape 2
VHS – Video Classics

Compulsory video classification was not introduced until February 1984. It was only then that these tapes began to be reviewed.

In July 1984, Video Classics had a 101-minute version passed with the newly introduced X-rating.

This was followed in April 1986 by an R-rating for another 101-minute tape.

It was awarded for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: High
Purpose: Justified

…and also for
Other: Sex Education

In this case, the applicant was the South Australian Government. This was presumably a copy of the Video Classics tapes.

R-rated hardcore

Matt reports.
MERA UR KÄRLEKENS SPRÅK – Swedish version – 93:20
The sequel is more graphic than LANGUAGE OF LOVE (1969) but fits more easily into ‘white coater’ territory. The sex appears uncut, despite running 10-minutes shorter than the Australian print.

This time, the explicit footage includes a homosexual blow job (11:00), lesbian sex (21:00), close up male and female examinations for gonorrhoea and the correct way to wash the genitals (30:00 and 37:00) and a sex education class for blind students where they touch a naked man and woman (44:00).

At 64:00, it becomes more of an exploitation film with a visit to the offices of Private Magazine. Their editorial meeting provides numerous opportunities to show hardcore images, as does a visit to a porn film set (68:00) and a Danish porn store and live sex show (71:00).

The final sex scene ends the film with hardcore oral sex and penetration (87:00).


The Lustful Vicar

Directed by Torgny Wickman / Sweden / 1970 / IMDb

In January 1972, an 8360-feet (92:53) print of THE LUSTFUL VICAR was banned because of ‘indecency’.

The following month, the Film Board of Review upheld the decision.

The applicant in both cases was Blake Films.

In March 1974, a censored 2479.80-meters (90:23) print was passed with an R-rating. The Censorship Board described it as being an ‘English dubbed version’.

The Lustful Vicar (1970) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

The submission and eventual theatrical release were from Filmways.

The Lustful Vicar (1970) - Australian admat 1
Admat
The Lustful Vicar (1970) - Australian admat 2
Admat

Fear Has 1000 Eyes

Directed by Torgny Wickman / 1970 / Sweden / IMDb

In March 1972, a 9679-feet (107:32) print of FEAR HAS 1000 EYES was passed with an R-rating following the removal of 76-feet (00:50) of footage. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

This was followed in September 1972 by a shorter 2733.75-meter (99:39) print that was described as being the ‘English dubbed version’. Like the original submission, it lost 23.16-meters (00:50) of ‘indecency’ before the R-rating was awarded.

Fear Has 1000 Eyes (1970) - Australian daybill movie poster 1
Daybill via moviemem

Blake Films was the applicant in both cases.


Anita

Directed by Torgny Wickman / 1973 / Sweden – France / IMDb

In July 1974, a 2836.00-meter (103:22) print of ANITA was censored by 8.53-meters (00:19) for an R-rating. The reason for the cuts was ‘indecency’.

Roadshow Film Distributors was the applicant.

Video releases

In November 1989, Video Excellence had an 88-minute tape passed with an R (Occasional sexual scenes) rating.

The OFLC awarded it for sex, which was described as being:
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

A no-name label VHS of ANITA was released in the 1990s.

Anita (1973) - VHS videotape 1
VHS – No Name label

The cover and the fake R (Completely concerned with sex) rating were designed to make it appear to be an adult film. This tape ran 87:57.


Let Us Play Sex

Directed by Torgny Wickman / 1974 / Sweden / IMDb

In January 1977, a 2276.69-meter (82:59) print of LET US PLAY SEX was censored by 66.40-meters (02:25) for an R-rating. The cuts were made to remove ‘indecency’.

Filmways was the applicant.

Video release

In the early days of Australian home video, no law compelled distributors to have tapes classified. Throughout 1983, and running until January 1984, the Censorship Board had a policy of either refusing to register or registering without classification, tapes that were intended for sale or hire.

Those that were registered without classification were subject to the special condition that ‘…they not be exhibited in contravention of any State law relating to the exhibition of films, thus precluding them from public exhibition’.

This process lasted until the introduction of video classification in February 1984. The Censorship Board then began the huge task of rating all previously released tapes.

In July 1983, Filmways had an 81-minute tape of LET US PLAY SEX passed with such a warning. We have yet to see any evidence that this was ever released.


back to top of page arrow