The Last Laugh: Banned in Ontario

The Last Laugh: Banned in Ontario

Released in 1924, Murnau’s film was not screened in Ontario until 1928. During the winter of 1925, F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece, The Last Laugh, was shown to a very exclusive group of Ontario movie-goers. The audience was the Ontario Board of Censors, and while they were no doubt impressed by the film’s dazzling cinematography and lack of subtitles, the film was banned simply because it was made in Germany. Murnau’s film was screened in other provinces…

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Curves, cussing and beer: Ontario film censorship in the 1940s

Curves, cussing and beer: Ontario film censorship in the 1940s

Many of the obituaries published in the wake of Hollywood star Jane Russell’s death in February mentioned the heated censorship debate over her sultry appearance in The Outlaw. Produced in 1943, the film began a two-week run at Toronto’s Loew’s Yonge St. Theatre on December 5, 1946. It was also among the first films in Ontario to receive the new “Adult Entertainment” designation, restricting admittance to anyone under the age of 16. O.J. Silverthorne, Ontario’s…

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One hundred years of film censorship in Ontario

One hundred years of film censorship in Ontario

Since 2011 marks the centenary of the creation of the Ontario Board of Censors, we present the first in a series of articles examining film censorship in Ontario. There was a time in Ontario when film versions of Shakespeare’s greatest plays were too violent or too racy for the public good. In February 1910, one Staff Insp. Kennedy seized a print of Hamlet. The Daily Star quoted this arbiter of public morals about how how…

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