Applause (1930): sex, chorus girls
Frankenstein (1931): horror
When the Kellys Rode (1934): against the public interest
Ten Days That Shook the World (1936): communism
The Duke of Windsor Skis in Austria After the Abdication (1937): against the public interest
All Quiet on the Western Front (1939): pacifism
Love on the Dole (1941): realistic scenes of poverty
Indonesia Calling (1946): criticism of the Dutch
Violence (1948): violence
Children of the Wasteland (1953): criticism of treatment of Aborigines
Creature With the Atom Brain (1955): horror
The Werewolf (1956): horror
The Art of Rubens (1956): nudity
The Fly (1958): horror
The Fall of the House of Usher (1960): horror
Viridiana (1962): blasphemy
The Leather Boys (1963): homosexuality
Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1964): horror
Kitten With a Whip (1964): violence
Naked as Nature Intended (1965): sex
Hit the U.S. Aggressors (1965): propaganda
Ulysses (1967): sex
The Trip (1967): drugs, violence
Detail of a list of repressed films with official justifications, excepted from Geoffrey Dutton and Max Harris (eds), Australia’s Censorship Crisis, Sun Books, Melbourne, 1970.
Almost ten years ago I posted the foregoing to my old web-thing big tank (a blog avant la lettre, if you will) as a sort of comic tribute to Sen. Brian Harradine. The Dutton and Harris book was a fascinating eye-opener. I had not realised just how well-protected the Australian public had been from such discreditable foreign concepts as sex, chorus girls, pacifism, homosexuality and criticism of the Dutch; among the democracies, only Ireland came anywhere near us.
At the time, I assumed that the post-censorship Australia I had grown up in was a permanent state of affairs, but the Government’s Clean Feed plans have made me realise, with a kind of dawning horror, that I was wrong. For all our self-congratulation about how tops and democratic we are, such freedom of speech as we have in Australia is only about forty years old, and we are going to have to fight to maintain it.
One thing I’m certain of is that this is my generation’s fight. The boomers grew up under censorship and only a minority of them fought against it at the time. Somehow I doubt that they have grown less amenable to being censored with age.