Special Teen-Friendly Edit of Bruno Re-Released in the U.K.


Many studios have faced hard decisions over the years when deciding whether to release a comedy with an R-rating or to go for the PG-13. You either neuter some of the jokes and aim for a wider audience, or you maintain the edgy humour and hope that it generates enough good buzz to make up for it. All along it’s been pretty clear that Bruno would receive an R-rating in the U.S. (its initial submission to the MPAA received an NC-17), but the problem is that Sacha Baron Cohen’s humour and the marketing for the film seemed to appeal to a slightly younger demographic. The result is that some parents have taken their kids to see the movie and ended up being quite disturbed by what they saw.

Over in the U.K., the movie received an 18 certificate, meaning that no one under the age of 18 is permitted to see it — with or without adult accompaniment. Bruno notched the highest grossing opening weekend in the UK of all time for an 18-certified comedy, but still theatres reportedly had to turn away under-age fans in droves. It is for this reason that Universal Pictures has decided for the first time ever to release a second cut of the film with a 15 certificate in theatres simultaneously. It will be 1 minute and 50 seconds shorter than the original version.

While this might seem a bit sketchy, it’s also a pretty smart business move, and to be honest, I’m not sure why this hasn’t been done before (aside from the fact that it might call into question the integrity of the film). Now I’m wondering, would they ever do such a thing in the U.S.? If the box office drops off as much next weekend as they are predicting it will, it might be a wise move. Then again, an R-rating in the U.S. isn’t quite as strict. What do you think, is an edited version of Bruno a good idea or does it compromise the movie?

  • I live in the UK and I’m 16, and obviously, desperate to see Bruno.
    I do wonder what they have cut out and if it is any key scenes.

    If they have only cut out a couple of minutes then I ask why they didn’t just do this to get it a 15 certificate at first.

    If it is a very similar version I’ll be first in line. But also, I know that it hasn’t yet been released in theatres as a 15 so I’ll have to wait and see.

  • can we get a NC-17 one of Jennifer’s Body and District 9?

  • Sam

    Other than the 2 minutes that were cut, was any of the content edited?

  • Only two minutes was cut out? I would have thought a “clean” version of Bruno would only two minutes long after all the cutting!

  • Jkame

    If they’re going to do this, they better make it extremely clear to people going in.

    If I paid money to see Bruno and unknowingly saw the edited version, I’d be pissed.

  • Big Hungry

    This is like editing down the “Passion of the Christ”
    It is useless and they should of left it alone. Like Poutine with out the gravy or the curds. It is just not the same.

  • Bob The Slob

    how about we get rid of the rating system all together. Fuck Kids.

  • “how about we get rid of the rating system all together. Fuck Kids.”

    This should be under the picture of Reed on the Film Junk shirt.

  • Bob The Slob


    you know that idea has my vote. Well done.

  • RJ

    Will there be a podcast soon? Can’t wait to hear you guys talk about Bruno.

  • MJS

    This will never happen in the United States, the MPAA has explicit policies against it, they don’t want to deal with complaints from cunfused (IE: stupid) parents who manage to take their kids to the wrong screening.

    Its sort of a non-issue anyway, parents are allowed to take their kids to R-rated flicks and NC-17 just doesn’t happen. .

  • Phil G

    I remember as a kid the released a PG and R rated versions of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. That’s the only instance I can recall of this ever happening in the states.