Samuel Fuller’s film Shock Corridor—described by Lee Russell in an article on Fuller in New Left Review 23—is not to be shown in England, apparently because it has been refused a certificate by the censor. Decisions like this pass alsolutely unnoticed as a rule—certainly there has been no uproar yet on behalf of Shock Corridor, as there was, to some extent, on behalf of The Wild Ones. It is intolerable that the censor should be able to act in such a clandestine way, so that hardly anybody knows which films he has turned down and for what reasons.
Samuel Fuller has just completed his next film The Naked Kiss, the story of a prostitute who gives up her profession to start a school for retarded and crippled children. She plans to marry one of the richest men of the town, but, surprising him making love to a six or seven year old girl, she kills him. She is jailed; the children in her school go on hunger strike and she is acquitted. The townspeople offer to forget everything and wipe her past off the record. She refuses and goes back, of her own full free will, to prostitution. It seems rather unlikely that this will get a certificate either, considering the fate of Shock Corridor. Unless, of course, the quite arbitrary and gratuitous powers of the censor are curtailed as they should be. It is intolerable that film-goers should be robbed of the chance to see an important film of a leading director, whatever his merits may be, merely because of the whim—enshrined as moral judgement—of a censorship which is itself utterly unchecked.