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History of censorship - 1955

Rebel Without a Cause

Like The Wild One, the film Rebel Without a Cause was seen by many as a film which promoted 'teenage delinquency'. There were fears that teenagers might copy the 'chickie runs' in the film where teenagers raced stolen cars towards a cliff before jumping out as the car went over the edge.

The film was banned in 1955, and then passed on appeal as R16 with cuts in 1956. It was given R16 again with the same cuts in 1958.

In 1972, Rebel Without a Cause was submitted for classification by the Film Society. It was given an R* certificate which meant it could only be seen by members of the New Zealand Film Society (membership was restricted to people over 18). There were no cuts made to the film in this decision.

The current classification for the DVD and video of the film is 'M: contains violence' (this is based on the Australian M classification). However, if the 35mm or 16mm feature film versions were exhibited, the R* would still apply.

Letter from the Secretary for Internal Affairs to the film's distributor regarding cuts to Rebel Without a Cause (PDF, 834KB)

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Rebel Without a Cause excision notice
Rebel Without a Cause excision notice