Italian Censor Board Cuts

The website italiataglia.it includes database extracts from the Italian censor board giving details of cuts made to cinema releases. Photocopies of the original primary documents (in the UK a trek is required to the censor’s offices to see this stuff and you have to request titles in advance).

I’ll post a few of the more interesting ones which Google translation of the cut details. All the original material is in Italian obviously. Not all of it is complete - Django Kill has no details at all - but there is a lot there.

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Interesting, that’s like the Italian version of schnittberichte.com who have also started to offer the official censorship visas and decisions :slight_smile:
If these can be directly linked to, we should try linking to these from the SWDb’s film entries!

Update: it’s not really possible to link to film entires as far as I see, linking to PDFs directly is not a good option either…

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You may want to try DeepL for translation work and see if it fares better than Google translate. In my experience it does.

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Trouble is the documents are PDF of typed originals so you have to type everything out again to translate it. I’ll post an example.

As a ‘historian’ (ie someone with a history degree) I get very excited finding contemporary historical documents hidden in an archive. Prefer this to retrospective oral history 50 years after the event.

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My Name is Pecos

(Which I have been arguing over elsewhere)

Now my translation of the cuts with comments vs the UK Arrow Blu Ray.

The following scenes have been deleted.

  1. Cutting ist part… Much of the initial scene of the man being dragged is compressed into the same view from above.

  2. Cut Part II. Scene with joke, of the young man and in the saloon saying to the girl "Slip into my bed and be safe’. (NB: couldn’t find line in Arrow Blu ray)

  3. Part of the scene of the female woman on the ground with her shoulders bare and with the man’s foot on her kidneys.

A pan that goes from the feet to the head of the hanged man.(NB: missing from Arrow Blu ray)

Much of the scene, in total close-up, of the hanged man and the protagonist approaching. (NB: in Blu ray approach is in long shot only plus 1 CU of victim)

All close-up of the hanged man’s head after the fall of the dollar. (One CU in Blu Ray after fall of dollar, possibly a compromise with censor)

Part of the close-up of the man being strangled.

Part of the close-up of the man after being strangled.

Conclusion

Most cuts are part-removals of shots so difficult to tell whether or what is cut. On balance, due to the specific missing shots in the hanging scene, these cuts are still present in the Arrow Blu Ray although nothing of substance is missing. Difficult to believe these affect the censor category as so minor. the editing is good at hiding the cuts.

One thing I can’t tell is what rating these cuts are being made for - where is this on form?

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El Rojo (1966)

Had a recent Blu Ray release.

scene in which the protagonist receives a kick in the stomach.

… to the same protagonist they put their hands on the heels of their shoes.

P.P. Indian receiving slaps.

Another (shot of?) Indian with a bloodied face.

Commentary

The print on You Tube still has these censor cuts and unlike for My Name is Pecos they are obtrusive and obvious. In the beating-up of Rojo what appears to be the stomping on his hand (which I think is meant by the second cut above) is missing with an audible splice. The scene in which Cochise is tortured begins mid-flow with another jumpy edit removing both the incidents above and presumably any bridging or establishing footage.

Any improvement on my translation welcome. Again the censor paper doesn’t say what the rating was.

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I wonder if they receive these instructions and then make some token cuts and then go out and release, or if they then had to go back and the board would certify that their demands were sufficiently met?

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Yes - I wondered what the clearance procedure is.

In the UK at this time the BBFC would issue a cuts list to the production company who would then have a go at it and return amended reels for consideration. Sometimes there would be several iterations of this. The company would often argue against the cuts and a compromise reached or cuts waived altogether. You have to go through the correspondence files to work out what was cut and piece things together. The BBFCs official typed summary of cuts is frequently incomplete as I assume it was put together by someone who had decided not to spend an hour going through the correspondence!! (Only after the passing of the Video Recordings Act when the cuts had legal force did the BBFCs paperwork improve).

If you have ever read the Wayne Kinsey Hammer books you can see how extensive these negotiations and compromises were (Hammer used to dispute virtually everything).

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Sebastian - having looked at the website more closely if I click on an in’out button I get narrative showing the decisions.

El Rojo - authorised without age limits

Pecos - authorised without age limits after cuts (but X rated after extra cuts in the UK)

Fistful of Dollars to examine next. Appears to have been heavily cut but virtually all the cut footages is included in the DVD. Let me see what has happened.

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A fascinating archive. On passing ‘E Dio disse a Caino’ 18 on 15th November, 1969, the censor left this succinct note: “The film consists of an uninterrupted series of crudely depicted scenes of homicidal violence motivated by ruthless revenge.”

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I have managed to set my pc to ‘auto translate’ so when I click on the in/outs piece I get an automatic English translation of the censor comments.

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Django (1966)

Passed uncut with an 18 rating. Appears to have been appealed unsuccessfully.

In June 1972 was downgraded to a 14.

English translation of censor ruling.

1 April 1966: The II Section of the Film Review Commission, after reviewing the film and hearing, as requested, the representatives of the producing company, expresses an opinion in favor of the granting of the authorization for public programming with the ban on viewing for children under the age of eighteen. This prohibition is motivated by the particular crudeness of the story which, in a climate of implacable hatred, represents the progressive elimination of two rival gangs through continuous scenes of extermination; by the murderous fury that affects almost all the characters, determining in them an almost obsessive psychosis; by the sadistic violence of numerous scenes, such as the one that depicts the fierce smashing of the hands suffered by the protagonist; or, in finem as the final one, which in a ruthless way, concludes the truculent story. All this puts in place a spectacle contraindicated to the particular sensitivity and specific educational needs of the aforementioned minors. Favourable opinion for export.

On the 29th of April 1966, the Appeals Commission composed of the III^ and IV^ joined Sections met. (…) Mr. was heard. Franco Rossellini and the lawyer Giuseppe Caputo in the interest of the company that had requested it, noted that the film presents the negative characters, not susceptible to lightening, detected by the Commission of I ^ instance, confirms the ban on viewing for children under the age of eighteen.

June 1972

The IV Section of the Film Review Commission, re-examined the film, considering that the plot of the film, intertwined to a story of violence and revenge, takes place through continuous scenes of cruelty and blood, proves to be unsuitable for the particular sensitivity of the evolutionary age of minors of the age of the fourteen, expresses a favourable opinion in favor of the screening of the film itself, with the prohibition of viewing to the said minors.

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A Pistol for Ringo (1965)

Submitted 5 May reviewed 10 May. Decision 11 May.

The III Section of the Film Review Commission, examined the film, hearing the representatives of the producer company who had asked to be heard, took note that they immediately proceeded to perform the following cuts to the film: 1) Cutting of the sequence in which Sancho is seen with the bloody fragment of the bottle, after he broke the bottle in the head of a bandit. 2) Reduction of the sequence in which a bandit shoots peones with a single bullet in the gun drum, with elimination of empty shots minus one. Expresses a favourable opinion for public screening without age restrictions and for export.

These two cuts, albeit not of importance, persist to the Arrow Blu Ray

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The Return of Ringo (submitted 7 December 1965)

Passed uncut but for 14 and over only (higher rating than first film). Unsuccessful appeal. Appeals committee said film couldn’t be cut for lower rating unlike first film.

The First Section of the Film Review Commission, having viewed the film (…) expresses a favorable opinion for public screening with the prohibition of minors under the age of fourteen, containing the film numerous scenes of violence reported in the foreground not suitable for the particular sensitivity of the minors themselves. Favourable opinion for export.

Amendment of 17 December 1965 - / - 14 ![]

The Appeal Commission - formed by the meeting of Sections II and III (…) considers that it must confirm the opinion expressed by the Section of the First Degree on the need for such a ban. In fact, the film - for the accentuated scenes of violence (various raw beatings suffered by the protagonist - his hand immobilized on the table and pierced by a dagger - final massacre and more particularly deadly struggle between Paco and Monty, with the various images of the latter who, with murderous determination, shoots repeatedly to bring down the now mortally wounded opponent) for the characterization given to the Mexican usurpers, guided in their actions, by a sadistic taste for violence and arrogance is, finally, for the moral configuration attributed to the character of Rosita, a woman of malfeasance, who in her actions and in her jokes emphasizes her condition as a prostitute (“You don’t feel like making love” - “When a man refuses to make love, either it is because he has made it recently or it is because he is in love” - “You are not obliged to make love”) - constitutes a spectacle conroindicated to the particular sensitivity and specific educational needs of the aforementioned minors (…). Any cuts - in order to make this show suitable even for minors, should be - in the opinion of the Commission - of such magnitude as to impair the narrative configuration of the film and, therefore, could be implemented only with a complete reworking of the film.

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Fistful of Dollars (submitted 1 September 1964)

A slightly confusing series of events here.

Appears to have been originally passed uncut with an 18. Following appeal a series of cuts were made and the rating was reduced. These cuts were less than the USA or UK prints but the same material. Confusingly there is a different cut list drawn up the previous day (although it looks like an additional cuts list to the first).

Following these cuts a general rating was given.

As far as I can gather the DVD prints have all of these shots intact - from both cuts list - so at some point there must have been a restoration. Or else the cuts were never made. All was intact in the Italian VHS which I used to own.

All the shots in the first cut list were all missing from the UK theatrical print but the BBFC cut so much from that one can’t tell if the distributor submitted a pre-cut version or not.

Detail below:

Section A of film review, viewed the film and heard, as requested, the representative of the company, expresses, unanimously, an opinion in favor of the granting of the authorization for public programming, with a ban for children under the age of eighteen. This prohibition is motivated by the particular spectacular configuration of the film which, in an atmosphere of exasperated and sometimes terrifying violence, depicts a recurring series of crimes and massacres, described and represented with raw and bloodthirsty truth, completely contraindicated to the sensitivity and specific educational needs of minors.

By decree of 19/09/1964 on the assent of the Commission of Film Review of the Second Degree, the ban on viewing and for minors under the age of 18 was lifted. The following changes have been made:

      • The turn of Joe’s face was shortened with his eyes looking in the car at the beginning of the fight scene.
      • He was cut in P.P. of Chico’s foot on Joe’s hand.
      • Joe’s P.P. after he pushed the barrel was long shortened in the head.
      • The frame of the two Mexicans crushed after rolling the barrel has been halved and a small part remains.
      • The beating of the host Silvanito has been cut and therefore the scene begins with Silvanito who is pushed against Ramon who in turn pushes him against the counter holding his rifle in his throat.
      • Men who leave the Baxter house with their clothes on fire have been cut off.
      • The man who falls from the balcony in flames during the Baxter massacre was cut off.
      • Esteban’s P.P. was cut to the ground with his face covered in blood after he fell out of the window.

On 18 September 1964 at 7 p.m., the Film Review Appeal Commission (…) formed by the meeting of Summer Sections B and C (…) met. The producer Mr. Colombo and the director Mr. Sergio Leone of the film who had requested it were heard. The Commission fully revised the film suspends the decision having invited the above interested parties to make the following cuts: elimination of the sequence in which the left hand is pounded with the heel; the sequence of the extinguishing of the cigarette on the hand of the protagonist; 3) sequence in which the cigarette is stuck in the mouth of the old man; elimination of the bloodiest details in the sequence in which the helpless protagonist is violently beaten and sequence in which Gian Maria Volonté hits the old man in the stomach with the rifle.
On 19/09/1964 at 5 p.m. in the Ministry’s film theater, the Film Review Appeal Commission met to follow up the examination and decisions on the film “For a handful of dollars”. The Commission, having ascertained that the Company has made the cuts referred to in the minutes on 18/09/1964, expresses an opinion in favor of the public screening of the film without age limit.

The Sixth Section of the Film Review Commission, which examined the film on 22/01/1968, in the English edition, with the cuts referred to in the original edition, expresses a favourable opinion for public screening without age limits and for export.

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One Silver Dollar (1965)

Seen on 4 August 1865

Section A of the Film Review Commission, reviewed the film :

  • Given the letter from the company Dorica Film with which the interested party declares that the following cuts have been made to the copy of the film - Roll 4: Settler scene beaten by Mc.Cory’s men. Roller 7: 1) Bandit scene pressing with his fingers on O’Hara’s eyes; 2) Bandit scene repeatedly beating O’Hara’s head against the wall; 3) Bandit scene scarring O’Hara with the spur.
    Noted that the aforementioned cuts were made on the copy of the film, he expresses a favorable opinion for its public screening without age restrictions. Opinion in favour of export.

These cuts are still present today. They are mentioned elsewhere on the database - since there are stills of some of the censored footage - so this is confirmation that they are Italian censor cuts to get an age unrestricted rating.

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Texas Adios (1966)

Passed originally with an 18 rating. Company appealed and accepted cuts for a 14 rating.

These cuts persist - certainly on the Blue Underground DVD which I have. The cuts to Cisco’s attack on the old man are pretty obvious - (I assume there was originally at least one CU of Cisco putting the 3 pointed blade on his gun butt plus another shot of the subsequent wound). The earlier branding can be heard over a couple of awkward reaction shots but is no longer shown.

On September 14, 1966, the film review appeal commission met (…) formed by the meeting of the summer sections 1st and 2nd to review the film of Italian nationality “Texas addio” of the B.R.C. on the basis of the appeal filed by the company concerned against the resolution of the 1st degree commission, excluding minors of 18 years of age from watching the film.
Dr Alfredo Ricciardelli (…) chairs the appeal committee.
Mr. was heard. Prosperi Ferdinando in the interest of the company that requested it, which insists on an improvement in judgment, declaring himself willing to make any cuts. The Commission, having reviewed the film, by a majority, considers that it accepts the appeal and prohibits the viewing of the film to children aged 14 after the execution of certain cuts. The President Dr. Riccirdelli and the Councilor Dr. D’Armiento are asking for it to be recorded that they voted to confirm the decision of the first degree.
Once the cuts have been voted on, the majority Commission considers that the scenes should be eliminated:

  1. The affixing of a fiery mark on the shoulder of 3 young people, tied to a pole;
  2. The application of a 3-pointed iron on the butt of a gun as well as the effects of the subsequent blow inflicted by Delgado on the cheek of the father of the three young people;
  3. Reduction of the scene of Pedro’s death with reference to the gasps of the body and the effects produced by the rifle shots fired by Bart.

He assigns to Mr. Prosperi in which, as the representative of the company that distributes the film, the deadline of the current 15th month at 17:00 for the execution, if he or she wills, of the aforementioned cuts and postpones the resolution of the appeal committee to the 15 c.m. at 7 p.m.
On September 15, 1966, the Film Review Appeal Commission, formed by the meetings of the first and second summer sections, met to check whether the film “Texas Farewell” had been made to the cuts indicated by the same Appeal Commission on the current 14th.
The commission with the presence of the same Members who took part in the meeting of 14 September, took note of the letter from the B.R.C. on 15 September 1966 (the listing of which must be reported in the context of the n.o.); noted that the cuts were made:
Expresses a favourable opinion for the public screening of the film, with a ban on viewing for minors under the age of 14, according to the resolution adopted at the sitting of 14 September 1966.
This prohibition is motivated by the fact that due to the presence of scenes of violence that are considered contraindicated to the particular needs of the developmental age of the aforementioned minors.

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