This dark psychological classic, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, was received for consideration by the BBFC in November 1962. The examiners had concerns over three scenes, as detailed in the Exception Form shown here. Two of the cuts that were requested – the sight of Jane kicking Blanche, and Elvira witnessing Blanche tied up and ‘writhing‘ – were indeed removed from the film in order for it to be awarded an ‘X’ certificate. The third – a shot of a dead rat being served to Blanche – was allowed to remain in the film following a request from Warner Bros to the BBFC Director, John Trevelyan. They felt it was essential to the plot, and anything hidden from view might lead people to imagine ‘something far worse than a rat’.
The cuts were reinstated for the 1984 video release, which was given an ‘18’ certificate. The DVD release in 2006 was classified ‘12’.