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BBFC confirms its most complained about movie
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

BBFC confirms its most complained about movie

The British Board of Film Classification received over 300 complaints about the movie's age rating

It's not uncommon for the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to get complaints about films, but there's one movie that stands out as the most complained about in the organization's history.

Founded in 1912, some of the BBFC's most complained about films of all time regarding age ratings include the likes of Mrs Doubtfire, The Woman In Black, and Jennifer Lawrence's Red Sparrow.

Surprisingly, Mrs Doubtfire is the second most complained about film with 152 people contacting the BBFC about the Robin William's classic. However, if you think that's a lot, its most complained about movie in its history is double the amount the 1994 film attracted.

2008's The Dark Knight brought in 364 complaints - making up 42 percent of all of the complaints BBFC received that year - and has remained as its number one complained about film since.

Despite the controversy at the time, The Dark Knight remains one of director Christopher Nolan's most popular movies to date.

16 years on from its release, it still boasts 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie was also one of Health Ledger's final films before his untimely passing in 2008.

The late 28-year-old posthumously received a series of awards for his portrayal of The Joker in the movie, including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The film is rated 12A in the UK, the same as it's predecessor, Batman Begins, but people's main concerns regarding the critically acclaimed film was its violence and threat.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight is widely considered one of the greatest superhero films ever.
Warner Bros.

As per the BBFC's guidelines for 12A movies at the time, it stated that: "Violence must not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries and blood."

'Sustained moderate threat and menace are permitted. Occasional gory moments only' was another part of the 12A guidelines.

The infamous pencil scene in particular caused a lot of controversy.

The scene in question saw The Joker present a 'trick' where a villains head was smashed into the table to make the pencil 'disappear' as it's implied that the object was slammed into the person's eye.

People claimed that they physically saw the pencil go into the character's eye, but this wasn't the case.

Despite people's concerns about there being 'dark' themes in the film that weren't suitable for children, the BBFC stood by its decision.

"Despite The Dark Knight not being a simplistic ‘good vs evil’ battle, the BBFC felt that the tone and themes could be accommodated within Guidelines at 12A, and was suitable for young adolescents," the organization said in a case study.

Christian Bale portrayed Batman is Christopher Nolan's franchise.
Warner Bros.

The BBFC insight at the time noted that the film contained ‘violence and sustained threat’. A longer version of the BBFC insight provided additional advice for parents thinking of taking their children to see the film."

In the wake of the 'unusually high level of feedback' for The Dark Knight, the BBFC tweaked its guidelines in 2009 to consider 'tone' as part of its certification decisions.

Part of its current 12A guidelines read: "There may be scenes of moderate physical and psychological threat. Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be. Horror sequences should not be frequent or sustained."

BBFC's most complained about movies:

10) Beowulf (2007) – 53 complaints

9) Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) – 54 complaints

8) Red Sparrow (2018) – 64 complaints

7) War of the Worlds (2005) – 65 complaints

6) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – 66 complaints

5) Casino Royale (2006) – 82 complaints

4) Closer (2004) – 93 complaints

3) The Woman in Black (2012) – 134 complaints

2) Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) – 152 complaints

1) The Dark Knight (2008) – 364 complaints

Topics: Batman, Christopher Nolan, Heath Ledger, Joker, UK News