‘The horror film to end all horror films’: 10 Rillington Place and the British Board of Film Censors’ (BBFC) shifting policy on true crime

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At the beginning of the 1970s, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) changed its longstanding policy on refusing to certify films that portrayed real crimes and court cases that happened within the past fifty years. This shift in policy was for 10 Rilllington Place (Richard Fleischer, 1971), a British film about London serial killer John Christie and the miscarriage of justice that led to the execution of the wrong man. This move to considering each film individually was the culmination of ten years of contention between the BBFC, a variety of filmmakers wishing to make a Christie film, the television industries, and the State. This chapter argues that the protracted production histories of the unmade Christie films and 10 Rilllington Place should be understood in the context of wider political and societal debates relating to the death penalty and its abolition, and the shock of the Moors murders.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdult Themes
Subtitle of host publicationBritish Cinema and the ‘X’ Rating, 1958-1972
EditorsAnne Etienne, Benjamin Halligan, Christopher Weedman
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Electronic)9781501375262, 9781501375286
ISBN (Print)9781501375279
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2023

Publication series

NameGlobal Exploitation Cinemas

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