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Background: The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is a non-governmental organisation, funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification and censorship of films within the United Kingdom. It has a statutory requirement to classify videos, DVDs and some video games under the Video Recordings Act 2010 (previously, the Video Recordings Act 1984; it was accidentally repealed earlier in the decade).

1930s-1970Edit

40.-201457163533 original
Bumper: We see the words "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" on a black background with the address below it. Below this address is a notification saying "This is to certify that (NAME OF FILM) has been passed for/as (CERTIFICATE)"

Certification Symbols:

  • U - universal exhibition
    25.-201457163117 original
  • A - more suitable for adult audiences
  • H (1932-1951)/X (1951-1970) - Horror, only suitable for ages 16 and older

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.
X-certificate
Availability: Extremely rare. Should be intact on the American version of TCM. It's also intact on Dentist on the Job, the first three or so minutes of which appear as an easter egg at the beginning of the 2002 Special Edition DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Scare Factor: None.

1970-December 18, 1982Edit

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16178656 1055412831231975 4415515180470312594 o

Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" at the left and below it, the location of the BBFC. Under it is some small info about the BBFC, including the president and directors' signatures. On the right, we see a colored rectangle with a fancy pattern on the left of it. On the rectangle is the name of the film and a line below it. Under it is "THIS FILM HAS BEEN PASSED" and the film's rating.

Certification Symbols and Rectangle Colors:

  • U - yellow rectangle.
  • A - green rectangle.
  • AA - a light blue rectangle.
  • X - a red rectangle.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Rare; seen on some pre-cert VHS releases from the UK. The X version is the easiest find, as it appears on The Evil Dead, Bruce Lee - The Man, The Myth, Shivers, Visiting Hours and The Kentucky Fried Movie. The AA version is on Norman Loves Rose and Creepshow.

Scare Factor: None.

December 19, 1982-December 31, 2002Edit

-12- PLEASURE PILL

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Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" at the top and below it, the location of the BBFC. Under it is "This is to certify that",

then the name of the film (in a bold Arial font, also uppercased) and a line below it. Under it is "has been passed" and the film's rating, with a description of it under it. The president and directors' signatures are written to the left and right respectively.

Certification Symbols and Descriptions:

  • Universal Children (Uc): A green triangle, "Particularly suitable for young children". This rating is exclusive to home video releases.
  • Universal (U): Another green triangle, "UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all".
  • Parental Guidance (PG): A yellow triangle, "PARENTAL GUIDANCE - Some scenes may be unsuitable for younger children".
  • 12 Accompaniment/Advisory (12A) (for a limited time in 2002): An orange circle, Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
    -15- THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
  • 12 (beginning in 1989, began video use in 1994): A white circle with a red border, "Only for persons of twelve years and over".
  • 15: Another white circle with a red border, "Only for persons of fifteen years and over".
  • 18: A red circle, "Only for persons of eighteen years and over".

Variants:

  • When the BBFC changed their name in late 1985, the card was modified accordingly. The word "CENSORS" is replaced with "CLASSIFICATION", and "has been passed" now says "has been classified for cinema exhibition".
  • On video releases, the text is shifted to the left, and says "has been classified for supply as a video recording".
  • On Screen Original releases, the film's name is written in a more crude font, and adds "SCREEN ORIGINAL PRESENTS" above the name.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Rare, but it can be found on old British VHS releases. The Uc version is a tough find, but it can be found on early Guild Home Video releases of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and the original 1982 UK release of The Snowman. The U version can be found on Sean Connery's Edinburgh, the 1993 re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and some Screen Original and Krypton Force tapes. The PG version is seen on The Cartier Affair, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Strictly Ballroom. The 12A version was only used for a limited time in 2002. The 12 version is a really tough find, but it can be found on the sample tape of Dances with Wolves. The 15 version is seen on High Spirits, Cantonen Iron Kung Fu, and Missing in Action. The 18 version is the easiest find, having been seen on I Drink Your Blood, Tenebrae, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Return of the Living Dead, Sweet Sixteen (the horror film on Replay Video, not the Ken Loach version), Tuareg: The Desert Warrior, Cujo, and the 1988 release of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.

Scare Factor: None.

January 1, 2003-December 31, 2011Edit

(CROPPED) british-board-of-film-classification-pg-certificate-the-l-dxnm97

The Lady of Musashino (1951). Re-released by Artificial Eye in 2003.

Download

Unwatchable (2011). Not a feature-length film, but a 6-minute short film raising awareness about sexual assault in the Congo.

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The blank version of the 12A variant.

‍   

‍Bumper: On a black background, at the top left of the screen we see the new BBFC logo with "British Board of Film Classification" below it in a small font. Below that is "This is to certify that" and the title of the film below it in a bold Arial font - that's on a line, and below that line is "has been classified for cinema exhibition". The certificate and meaning are now to the right of the screen. The signatures of the president and director are below the main part, and the BBFC's web address "www.bbfc.co.uk" is to the top right of the screen.   

Certification Symbols and Descriptions:

  • Universal (U): A green triangle, "UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all".
  • Parental Guidance (PG): A yellow triangle, "PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children".
  • 12A: An orange circle, "Only for persons of 12 years and over, unless accompanied by an adult 18 years and over".
  • 15: A red circle, "Only for persons of 15 years and over".
  • 18: Another red circle, "Only for persons of 18 years and over".

Trivia: The cinema 12 certificate was modified and renamed 12A. Those under 12 could now be admitted to 12A films, provided that they were accompanied by an adult aged at least 20 years old, although the BBFC recommends that 12 films are generally unsuitable for children under 12 years old. Contrary to popular belief, the certificate was actually introduced with ​The Bourne Identity, not the first Sam Raimi ​Spider-Man​ film. However, Spider-Man and other 12-rated films still on general release at the time were reclassified as 12A. Introduction of the 12A followed two years of consultation and a trial period in Norwich, during which time the certificate was known as PG-12. The video 12 certificate remained unchanged. Shortly after the new certificate was introduced, all of the symbols were graphically modernised but retained all their main features (colour, shape, etc.).

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen in cinemas before all films from the start of 2003 to the end of 2011. Titles using this card include The Omen (2006), Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, many Disney+Pixar films during the era (beginning with Finding Nemo and ending with Cars 2) and others. The last film released with it was The Artist.

Scare Factor: None.

January 1, 2012-February 29, 2012Edit

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The blank version of the 18 variant.

-15- BIR ZAMANLAR ANADOLU'DA - ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (2012)

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011).

Bumper: On a white background, we see an old-looking certificate. Inside it is the arched phrase "British Board of Film Classification" with "Celebrating 100 Years 1912-2012" inside it. Below that is "This is to certify that" in cursive writing, a dotted line and "has been classified for cinema exhibition" below the dotted line. At the bottom are the president/director signatures, and either side of those are the cert/meaning and the BBFC Centenary logo.


Certification Symbols and Descriptions:

  • Universal (U): A green triangle, "UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all".
  • Parental Guidance (PG): A yellow triangle, "PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children".
  • 12A: An orange circle, "Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over, unless accompanied by an adult 18 years and over".
  • 12: A red circle, "Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over".
  • 15: Another red circle, "Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over".
  • 18: Another red circle, "Suitable only for adults".

This is the same for all the retro cards.

Trivia: This and the other Retro Cards were made in celebration of the BBFC's 100th anniversary, having started operations in 1912 and to show what the BBFC cards were like over the years. This bumper was based on an old 1910s bumper that was shown here.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: This appeared before films in British cinemas for the first two months of 2012. Examples include The Muppets, The Woman in Black, and War Horse.

Scare Factor: None.

March 1, 2012-April 30, 2012Edit

1912-pg-resized-web

The blank version of the PG variant.

Bumper: Styled off and quite similar to the first bumper, except with "Classification" in place of "Censors", the BBFC Centenary logo in place of the badge, "has been classified for cinema exhibition" in place of "has been Passed for ____________" and the modern cert/meaning in place of the old one.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released in the second 1/6th of the year. Examples include The Hunger Games, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (The Pirates!: Band of Misfits in the U.S.) and Avengers Assemble (Marvel's The Avengers in the U.S.).

Scare Factor: None.

May 1, 2012-June 30, 2012Edit

Bumper: On a black background, we see filming boundaries about the card, which has "BRITISH BOARD of FILM CLASSIFICATION - CELEBRATING 100 YEARS 1912-2012" at the top with the BBFC Centenary logo next to it. Below that is the standard "This is to certify that _______________ has been classified for cinema exhibition" with the cert/meaning at the bottom right and the two signatures to the left.

Trivia: This is based on a British Board of Film Censors slide that was used around the 60s that can be viewed here.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released in the third 1/6th of 2012, including Men in Black 3, Moonrise Kingdom, and Rock of Ages.

Scare Factor: None.

July 1, 2012-August 31, 2012Edit

1970-12A

The blank version of the 12A variant.

Bumper: Modeled off the second bumper, except the background colour of the right part of the card now matches the colour of the cert (green for U, yellow for PG, orange for 12A, pink for 12, 15, red and 18) and the left part now says "British Board of Film Classification" with the BBFC Centenary logo above it and the BBFC website address (www.bbfc.co.uk) and the two signatures below it.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released in most of summer 2012. Examples include Ted, The Three Stooges, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Scare Factor: None.

August 3, 2012Edit

-U- DIARY OF A WIMPY KID DOG DAYS (2012)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)

Bumper: On a white background, we see drawn curtains with stars at the top of them, and the BBFC logo inside the stars. Below that are multiple drawn things, including a Coke cup, a bag of popcorn, tickets, a hot dog, fries, two pencils (which contain the signatures) and a camera which is projecting a space where the certificate goes. There are also spaces for the reference number and title.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was only seen in cinemas before Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

Scare Factor: None.

September 1, 2012-October 31, 2012Edit

Bumper: Similar to the third bumper, except with the modernised cert and the BBFC Centenary logo. The web address is also below the BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION text.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released during most of fall 2012. Examples include ParaNorman, Skyfall and Ruby Sparks.

Scare Factor: None.

November 1, 2012-December 31, 2012Edit

Bumper: Practically identical to the 4th bumper, except with the BBFC Centenary logo in place of the regular BBFC logo and "A Century of Cinema" next to it.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before all films released in the last two months of the year, although Argo and Pitch Perfect used the previous bumper. Examples include Parental Guidance, Seven Psychopaths, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Scare Factor: None.

January 1, 2013-presentEdit

-U- PAINT DRYING (2016)
-PG- SU SU SUDHI VATHMEEKAM
-12A- KING ARTHUR LEGEND OF THE SWORD (2017)-0

Bumper: We see a smaller white BBFC logo with "Age Ratings You Trust" below it in the top left corner. Below that is the standard "This is to certify that _______________ has been classified for cinema exhibition" except the line and "has been classified for cinema exhibition" are different colors according to the cert (green for U, yellow for PG, orange for 12A, pink for 15 and red for 18). Below that is the cert with the consumer advice and meaning next to it and the meaning is also in a different color according to the cert.

Variants:

  • For films certified from February 24, 2014 onwards, the consumer advice is changed; the BBFCInsight logo is now present with the consumer advice, which now looks slightly different.
  • From March 12, 2016 onward, David Cooke's signature is replaced by that of the new Director, David Austin.
    -15- MAD MAX FURY ROAD (2015)
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  • On rare occasions (e.g. for The Neon Demon and The Survivalist), the consumer advice isn't shown on the card if it contains spoilers.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Current. Seen in cinemas before every film released from the start of 2013 onward. Examples include Jack the Giant Slayer, Fast & Furious 6, Thor: The Dark World, Bad Words, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Scare Factor: None.

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