front JOHN HORGAN
DUBLI N IRELAND'S system of film censorshsip, which has been under intermittent fire for the last 40 years, is now in for a drastic re-appraisal. This follows the banning of the Somerset Maugham film "Of Human Bondage", shot in studios
outside Dublin last year at a cost of £1.200,000. and the controversy
over the Peter Sellers film "How I
Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" which was withdrawn
after the film company saw what the censor's scissorshad done to it, The new Minister for Justice. Mr. Brian Lenihan, fresh from his old job as parliamentary secre tary to the Minister for Lands, has promised to undertake a
thorough personal investigation into the system and to see for himself films which have been severly cut or rejected outright during the past few months.
The 1923 Censorship Act. which is the source of these rul ings. is. in fact, capable of a wide variety of interpretations. It provides for the grading of films, should the censor think it desir able. but the present censor. Dr. Christopher Macken, has declined to adopt this method and his predecessor was almost equally adamant.
The case against grading. clearly enough. is that it tends to cocour
age people to see "Xcertificate films—or their equivalent—for their notoriety rather than for any intrinsic merit.
On the other hand, the present system has given us a spate of pic tures whose whole general tone cannot be recommended fur the very young but which, from an adult point of view have been unnecessarily and often iudi,rously Mutilated.
The number of films which have been restricted to adults is tiny,
while thousands have been butchered so that they will be-theoretically. at least—fit for children.