American Films of 1968

American movies made in 1968, cut and banned before the November 1971 liberalisation of the Australian censorship system.


Directed by Christian Marquand / 1968 / France – Italy – USA / IMDb

The original theatrical release was censored for a ‘Suitable only for Adults’ rating.

Censored footage

Shane Harrison reports.
CANDY (1958) by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg was sold as a supposed ‘satire on porn’. Its purpose was missing in Australia when the novel was eventually published in a heavily modified version the late 1960s. It was not until the mid-1970s that the full unexpurgated book became available. The different sizes of both editions attested to the heavy censoring that had been enacted on its initial release.

If the censor could commit such surgery on the novel, then why stop with the film. In the 1968 adaptation, Candy’s adventures were near impossible to follow due to cuts required for the SOA-rating.

Censored at 18:20 by 00:18 – MacPhisto (Richard Burton) rolling around with Candy (Ewa Aulin) in the back of his car. The scene was filmed looking up from under a sheet of glass. It focused on Candy’s very brief panties as she rolled around with MacPhisto while her dress was pulled up around her waist.

Censored at 24:51 by 00:31 – Emmanuel (Ringo Starr) having sex with Candy on a billiard table. This is intercut with MacPhisto having sex with a doll on the floor.

Censored at 25:36 by 00:08 – Candy’s family enter the room catching them in mid debauchery.

Censored at 45:17 by 00:12 – General Smight (Walter Matthau) orgasms. This mainly consists of shots of parachutes opening with a popping noise.

53:07 to 55:43: Various gore shots of Dr Krankeit (James Coburn) performing a brain operation on Candy’s father (John Astin).

Censored at 70:27 by 00:33 – Dr Krankeit examines a nude Candy before mounting her.

Censored at 71:42 – Dialogue cut of Livia (Esla Martinelli) saying: ‘Honey, why don’t you put a meter on it and we’ll all get rich’.

Censored at 72:29 by 00:06 – Nurse Bullock (Anita Pallenberg) saying ‘The Doctor is already spoken for’ before turning around and exposing one breast with his initials tattooed above her nipple.

Censored at 86:21 by 00:19 – Candy in a camisole in the body of a piano being hit by the Hunchback Juggler (Charles Aznavour). He is angry that his disfigurement will stop her from having sex with him.

Censored at 86:48 by 00:18 – Candy making love with the Hunchback Juggler.

Censored at 100:42 by 00:04 – Grindl (Marlon Brando) putting his hand on Candy’s crotch and searching for the ‘Centre of all Breath’.

Censored at 102:09 by 00:02 – Grindl ripping Candy’s bra off.

Censored at 102:28 by 00:24 – Candy and Grindl having sex in different positions.

Censored at 103:35: by 02:44 – Candy and Grindl having sex in different positions pursuing higher enlightenment through the story of ‘The Legend of the Pig and the Flower’.

Censored at 115:04 by 00:52 – Candy having sex with a mystic hermit whose clay clad face dissolves in the rain revealing that she has just had sex with her father. The censored version only showed her sitting with the mystic, followed by a close up of the clay dissolving and Candy saying ‘Daddy!’.

I Love You, Alice B Toklas!

Directed by Hy Averback / 1968 / USA / IMDb

The original theatrical release was censored for a ‘Suitable only for Adults’ rating.

Censored footage

Shane Harrison reports.
Two sequences were definitely censored.

Censored at 41:43 by 00:24 – Nancy (Leigh Taylor-Young) rolls a joint and smokes it in the lounge while Harold (Peter Sellers) prepares for bed. The scene ends with intercutting between the younger generation, Nancy smoking dope, and the older generation, Harold using an asthma inhaler. In Australia, it was not confirmed whether it was dope she was smoking, as the footage of her preparing the joint had been removed.

Censored at 59:48 by 00:30 – Nancy and Harold make love for the first time. The sequence is very tame with the camera focusing on their faces and bare backs.

There are also two scenes at 51:03 and 86:24 where hash muffins are served to a group of unaware oldies. They show how much the effects of the brownies are appreciated by the unsuspecting recipients. While dated, both scenes are quite funny. As a rule, the censor would delete any content that promoted drug abuse. Both set pieces appeared in some form in the version I saw in late 1971, but may have been shortened.

Post-November 1971 rating

In February 1992, Warner Home Video received an M (Drug use) rating for a 90-minute videotape.

The Killing Of Sister George

Directed by Robert Aldrich / 1968 / USA / IMDb

The original theatrical release was censored for a ‘Suitable only for Adults’ rating.

Censored footage No. 1

Shane Harrison reports from ‘Chipp’s reel’ viewing.
See database entry for THE BABYSITTER (1969) for background.
Censored by 03:05 – The end seduction was completely removed after Alice’s (Susannah York) dress is undone by Mercy (Coral Browne).

Censored footage No. 2

Some dialogue was also reportedly removed.

April 1974
…was likewise censored unnecessarily. Three and a half minutes had come out, including the following dialogue:

‘You’d look cheerful too with 50 cubic centimetres throbbing away between your legs.’
‘Oh, bullshit.’
‘It’s none of your business — go screw yourself or better still go try Mrs. Croft.’

– Dirty Pix
– Mike Richards
– Cinema Papers No. 2

Safe for politicians only?

Following the ‘Chipp’s reel’ screening, the man himself discussed several of the titles in parliament.

June 11, 1970
Community standards are most difficult to define. In fact, one may ask whether ‘community standards’ exist at all. Are they representative of the standards of the entire adult population or are they a broad assessment of what people believe to be right?

Let me quote a case of film censorship to illustrate my point. In a film entitled THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE there was originally an explicit lesbian love scene which ran for about 5 minutes. In Australia —as in Britain and in New Zealand—some 3 minutes were censored. Most members of the Parliament saw those 3 minutes at the film night arranged some weeks ago.

Had we been able to restrict showings of that film to over-21 audiences, there would, I believe, still have been an overwhelming vote to censor those 3 minutes of film. Yet I have to ask: Is that a correct assessment of community standards? As far as films are concerned, who should establish the standards—those who regard motion pictures as an art form, those who regard them as entertainment, or those who have other interests in the medium?

Could we reasonably suggest that those who have no interest in films at all—non-moviegoers — should have no say in the establishment of community standards on filmmaking? These are questions which must be answered if the community standards test is to mean anything, in the ensuing debate, I should like to hear the views of members on this specific point.

– Don Chipp (Liberal)
– House of Representatives , Parliament of Australia

Post-November 1971 rating

In December 1984, Communications and Entertainment received an M-rating for a 140-minute videotape.