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A Look Back at British Censoring and the Beginning of the DVD Era

When the DVD age began in Europe, many movies that were previously only available on censored VHS tapes were released uncensored for the first time. Besides several small uncut labels, which mostly specialised in horror and B-action movies, the big studios also were active and released their blockbusters uncensored for the first time. Predator, Terminator, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and many many more were part of this process. Good times for movie fans.

However, there were also some diametrically opposite developments for movie fans in some European countries, who could suddenly buy previously uncensored movies on cut DVD releases only. This was because of the new format of DVD distribution. Because the DVD could hold more than one audio track, it was possible to produce only one DVD for several countries to be sold in. Paramount, Sony, Columbia TriStar and MGM used this possibility extensively in order to distribute DVDS europe-wide, although it meant that some countries only had access to cut versions although there would not have been any problem with releasing the uncut ones either.

The reason for these censorings could be found in British censorship regulations and caused many forums discussion in many movie forums over the years. The following special takes a look at these cuts. It is both a nostalgic look back to the DVD era and its beginnings as well as a description of the British cuts, which can still be found depicted inaccurately in other places in the web.


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