Film Censorship Jan'60-Apr'70: T





Therese and Isabelle

Directed by Radley Metzger / 1968 / USA / IMDb

Original theatrical release was censored for a 'Suitable only for Adults' rating.

Information provided by Shane Harrison
This atmospheric tale of two school girl's first love was shorn of 16 minutes 29 seconds!

Around the time of this release our censors had excelled in using their scissors just as much on two far less explicit imports, 3 IN THE ATTIC and THE WILD ANGELS, so such major surgery was not unusual.

I timed the cuts from an NTSC DVD of the film:

47:22 – 01:45 cut: Therese is brought to orgasm by her male date using his hand, which is off screen. Both are clothed and in a park.

56:55 - 03:31 cut: Therese masturbates in bed, covered by a sheet.

68.32 – 0032 cut: Both Therese and Isabelle are laying down behind the school's church alter and Therese brings Isabelle to orgasm. There are only close ups of their faces throughout but the graphic voice over spells things out in detail.
The voice over is by Esse Person, who plays Therese, reading excerpts from Violette Leduc's autobiographical novel of the same name.
This is some of what was removed.
"I hugged her with all the strength of my repentance, I breathed her in, I pulled her tight against my belly and made a loincloth for myself. She was melting my ankles and knees into delicious decay. I had burst with warmth like a fruit. I was running with the same liquid sweetness. There were pincers softly tearing at me, oh so softly. I was following everything inside her. I could see with my inner eyes the light in her flesh. In my head, I had a Therese with opened legs straining up to the sky, who was receiving all that I was giving. We hugged to our hearts all the Thereses and Isabelles who would make love to one another later with other names. We rolled intertwined down a slope of shadows. We held our breath so that life and death should come to a halt. I stormed her mouth as one storms a beleaguered city. I was hoping to plunder and destroy both her entrails and my own. Isabelle cried in panic, but I persevered. Isabelle called for help."

74.13 – 05:44 cut: 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.
This is some of what was removed.
"She applied herself with such concentration that suddenly, everything became unreal. I thought how much I wanted to give her what she was giving me. My mind focused on her tongue. I didn't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing from her point of view, but if the pearl slipped away from her, she found it again. She was silent, intent on her own sensations. I was receiving what she was receiving. I was Isabelle's. Her efforts, her rhythms were exciting me. The pearl was what she wanted. She was discovering the little male organ all of us have - the eunuch taking hard again. I felt stigmata open my entrails. I gripped Isabelle with a scissor movement of my legs. She became short of saliva. She created more. Suddenly, three fingers entered me. Three guests for the pleasure to cling to. I had a maddening eel battering itself to death against my inner walls. My eyes heard. My ears saw. Isabelle was injecting me with her own brutality. The rubbing was burning and painful. My limitations were even more painful still. The stubborn finger wakened my flesh. Each of its blows made my pleasure sharper than before. I drew it into myself. I forced it out again. I transformed it into the sex of a dog, red and naked. I was a maddened sun whirling through my flesh. My calves were ripening now that they had drunk their fill. I was wholly softened into an effable pique."

101.30 – 03:32 cut: Second love making 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 audiences back then would not have been used to.
This is some of what was removed.
"We sank into unconsciousness, but we remained a single block, opposed to the darkness around us. There was no end to it as I crumbled from bliss to bliss, until I was all dust. Crushed her to me, quivering like the tips of brittle grass in winter. We did it from memory as though we'd caressed one another before we were born. She was reflecting me, I was reflecting her - two mirrors making love. I listened with her finger to the song my fingers were singing to her. I rocked her, sharpened her, I restored her confidence. Seeping streams of langour, cracks of sweating sweetness, washes of secret delight, walking on the water. I knew what that meant as my thighs glowed in that great river."

105.40 – 00:25 cut: 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.


Information from Mike Richards's viewing of "Chipp's reel".
See database entry for THE BABYSITTER (1969) for background.

Dirty Pix
Mike Richards
Cinema Papers issue 2, 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."





Torn Curtain

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock / 1966 / USA / IMDb

Original theatrical release was censored for a 'Not Suitable for Children' rating.

Information provided by Shane Harrison.

Time of cut taken from the British Blu-ray release Universal Pictures, running time 127:43 (NTSC).

In TORN CURTAIN, Hitchcock wanted to show how difficult and horrific it would be to kill a man. The prolonged murder sequence starts at 48:24 as Professor Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and a farmwoman (Carolyn Conwell) set upon Gromek, the Russian Agent (Wolfgang Kieling), with any tools available to them in the kitchen. The murder takes up nearly four minutes of screen time, and was heavily cut here in Australia.

The whole sequence played as a series of bloodless jump cuts with the soundtrack skipping all over the place. It was obvious that something quite intense had been wrecked by our censors and reduced to collection of reaction shots. I cannot confirm the exact amount of footage that was removed, but the following shots were definitely deleted.

49:31 - 00:03 approximately cut: Close up of the carving knife being stabbed into the agent's neck followed by the handle breaking off with views of the broken blade sticking out of the bloody wound.

49:36 - 00:03 approximately cut: View of the Agent turning around with the bloody blade sticking out.

49:42 – 00:02 approximately cut: Close up of Agent's face while struggling as the neck wound comes into view at the bottom of the screen.

49:54 - Close-ups of the Agent's knee as it is being hit with a shovel. He is struck three times before collapsing and each close up was removed. I cannot remember if the whole shovel episode was removed, but the knee attack was definitely not shown in close up.

50:02 - 00:14 approximately cut: Views of the Agent rolling over, and trying to get up, with the bloody neck wound and protruding broken blade visible.

50:53 – 1.5 seconds approximately cut: As the Agent resists being dragged to the gas oven, a view revealing his neck wound was removed.

51:00 – 00:02 to 00:03 approximately cut: As the Agent struggles further, a second view reveals his neck wound.

51:11 – 00:04 approximately cut: Third view of neck wound before the Agent's head is shoved into the oven.

51:21 – 00:01 approximately cut: Close-up view of Agents head being forced into the oven.

51:24 - The Agent takes nearly 00:38 to be gassed once his head is held in the oven. The overhead shot as his hands reach out, before shaking and clawing, and then collapsing to signal his death, was reduced to just a few seconds.

It is hard to know if this sequence would have remained intact if the distributor had settled for a 'Suitable only for Adults' rating instead of the more commercial 'Not Suitable for Children'.

Resubmitted and passed with an PG (Medium level violence) rating in August 1994.

Image courtesy of


Torn Curtain (1966) - Daybill





Two Women

Directed by Vittorio De Sica / 1960 / France-Italy / IMDb

Original theatrical release was censored for a 'Suitable only for Adults' rating.

Information provided by Shane Harrison from viewing of "Chipp's reel".
See database entry for THE BABYSITTER (1969) for background.
Censored footage 00:25

The rape scene at the end of the film.

Image courtesy of


Two Women (1960) - Three sheet poster Two Women (1960) - Daybill


Resubmitted and passed uncut with an M (Medium level violence) rating in September 1994.



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