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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.


It is a little frustrating, when one passes a cinema, to see a poster outside in which some pneumatically built starlet has had her exposed charms covered with a strategic daub of paint which doesn't quite match the background. Or to see a large-scale fiend's face with the maggots dripping from the putrefying half carefully obliterated. Then there are the numerous cases of slack jawed moronic teenagers threatening each other from a crouching position in which their clenched hands are out in front of them — hands that once held flick-knives but are now smeared with paint.

It is obvious that the Censor has been at work again and one's morbid regret at missing some possibly salacious detail is tempered by the thought that at least it could have been worse — the whole poster might have disappeared.

The censorship regulations gazetted in 1956 require the Censor to examine publicity material as well as the films themselves. Not only are posters and stills subject to excision or outright suppression (and newspaper blocks are included) but the majority of posters and all newspaper advertising must carry adequate notification of censorship gradings. Under these regulations however, only pictorial publicity (and any written comments thereon) is subject to censorship, while newspaper letterpress is exempt. In 1960, for example, material for 392 films was examined; that for 166 films required 314 alterations and 634 posters were rejected outright.