British Board of Film Classification

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A Hard Day’s Night

It’s been 50 years since the UK leg of The Beatles first world tour. Having just returned from Australia, the Fab Four kicked off the tour in Brighton on 12 July 1964. Just six days earlier, the film A Hard Day’s Night was released in cinemas in the UK. 

Tags: archive, beatles, 60s, music, language

When the film was submitted to the BBFC for classification it was recognised as a perfect vehicle for promoting the Beatles’ many hits, but it couldn’t quite be contained at the desired U category. Examiners noted that, in Reel 7, the dialogue “Get knotted”, should be cut before passing the film at U.

Here we see an Examiner’s notes from the later video submission of A Hard Day's Night, dated December 1984. For them the “Get knotted” utterance appears marginal next to a possibly more problematic, though subtle, reference to cocaine and the occasional ‘risque’ joke about “fast women”. Nevertheless, the video was passed at the U category, ensuring the Fab Four remained squeaky clean during their 80s video re-release.

The film remains at the U category today.

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