French Films – Page 1

French movies, cut and banned before the November 1971 liberalisation of the Australian censorship system.


Directed by Georges Lautner / 1966 / France – Italy / IMDb

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

Censored footage

Shane Harrison reports.
One cut was made for a ‘Suitable Only for Adults’ rating.

Censored at 67:02 by 00:24 – Galia (Mireille Darc) removes her top before jumping into bed with her boyfriend. Her breasts are shown in close-up.

For its Australian theatrical, release, GALIA was promoted as the ‘European Nude Version’, which helped it at the box office. Most of these scenes only tease before getting coy at the crucial moment. I viewed it as a drive-in support feature around 1969. The SOA cut played on TV in late 1970 and again in 1971 and 1972.

To Commit a Murder

Directed by Édouard Molinaro / 1967 / France – Italy – West Germany / IMDb

September 1971 / Rated: A / Length: 8153 feet / Time: 90:35 / Censored by 01:13 / Reason: violence

Benjamin, the Diary of an Innocent Young Boy

Directed by Michel Deville / 1968 / France / IMDb

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

Censored footage

Shane Harrison. reports.
Channel Nine (au) – TV – Uncut Midnight-to-Dawn screening
Location times may be slightly out as it contains ad breaks.

The following footage was missing when it screened at Melbourne’s Roma cinema and later at the drive-in. There may be other smaller cuts that are not identified.

Censored at 17:07 by 00:10 – Benjamin (Pierre Clémenti) feeling a clothed maid’s left breast.

Censored at 68:23 by 00:15 – Count Philippe (Michel Piccoli) shoving his hand between Anne’s (Catherine Deneuve) legs. His ring scratches her upper inner thigh resulting in him bending down and sensually kissing the scratch in close-up.

Censored at 90:00 – 00:27 – Discreet montage of lovemaking removed from the bedroom scene as Benjamin is finally deflowered by Anne.

It opened at Melbourne’s Roma Cinema on June 27th 1968 and quickly garnered a reputation for being the sexiest and most daring film in town. This resulted in it running for 71 weeks and the success ensured other sexploitation releases soon filled our ex-newsreel cinemas.

Benjamin, the Diary of an Innocent Young Boy (1968) - Australian admat 1
Admat – Nov. 1968 – Melbourne

The film’s reputation hinged on the plot, the lavish sexual feel, low-cut bodices and a scene where three maids throw a naked Benjamin into his bath. They soap him up, before one of them falls in after him, fleetingly exposing one [air brushed in admat] breast. The French subtitled print was eventually replaced by a dubbed version and promoted as Benjamin had learnt to speak English. Such was the reputation of this inconsequential bathing scene that it was guaranteed in the advertising that he would still be taking his bath every two hours in the Roma Cinema.

Sin with a Stranger

Directed by Sergio Gobbi / 1968 / France / IMDb

The original theatrical release was censored for a ‘Not Suitable for Children’ rating.

Censored footage

Shane Harrison reports from ‘Chipp’s reel’ viewing.
Censored footage – 01:45 – Sex depicted by nude bodies wrapped around each other and rolling around in bed with rear nudity the only flesh on view.

Therese and Isabelle

Directed by Radley Metzger / 1968 / France – USA / IMDb

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

Censored footage No. 1

Shane Harrison reports.
First Run Features (us) – DVD – 117:42 (NTSC)
This atmospheric tale of two school girls’ first love lost over 16-minutes.

Censored at 47:22 by 01:45 – Therese (Essy Persson) is brought to orgasm by her male date. He used his hand, which is off-screen and both are clothed.

Censored at 56:55 by 03:31 – Therese masturbates in bed, covered by a sheet.

Censored at 68.32 by 0032 – Therese brings Isabelle (Anna Gaël) to orgasm as they lay down behind the school’s church alter. Only close-ups of their faces are shown. At the same time, a voice-over by Therese reads excerpts from Violette Leduc’s autobiographical novel of the same name.

Censored at 74.13 by 05:44 – Therese and Isabelle make love for the first time. The prolonged scene of mutual oral sex was filmed through a distorted reflection in a vase, so the visuals were discreet. Again, the voice-over by Therese was from the novel and was explicit but got away with a lot by using poetic metaphors.

Censored at 101.30 by 03:32 – Second lovemaking scene by a riverbed at night. As with the previous love scene, the long view nude visuals were tasteful while the voice-over detailed a lot of female intimacy that would have been new to audiences of the time.

Censored at 105.40 by 00:25 – Close-up of the two kissing and moaning after declaring their love forever. Even though the love scenes were destroyed, the remaining film worked quite well and the nudity left in gave it enough ‘scandal’ for it to have a successful run.

Censored footage No. 2

Information from Mike Richards’s April 1970 viewing of ‘Chipp’s reel’. See database entry for THE BABYSITTER (1969) for background.

April 1974
The two minute cut [shown in ‘Chipp’s Reel’] was one of a number of lesbian love scenes between two French boarding-school girls. The censored monologue [from the lakeside love scene near the end] was as follows:

“With a jeweller’s tongue I was setting gems in her mouth. Our interlocking mouths slid into dream of ease. I was stretching open my thighs. Absinthe was flowing in my veins. My belly was flushed with craving.”

As the scene cut to moonlit vine leaves: “Isabelle’s fingers withdrew deliberately, a slow barge laden with harmonies. We listened for the final chord.”

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


Directed by Jean Herman / 1969 / France – Italy / IMDb

June 1970 / Rated: A / Length: 8243 feet / Time: 91:35 / Censored by 02:31 / Reason: violence


Directed by Barbet Schroeder / 1969 / France – Luxembourg – West Germany / IMDb

December 1970 / Rated: Banned / Length: 10991 feet / Time: 122:07 / Reason: indecency and drug encouragement

Ways of Katmandu

Directed by André Cayatte / 1969 / France – Italy / IMDb

July 1971 / Rated: SOA / Length: 8977 feet / Time: 99:45 / Censored by 00:36 / Reason: indecency