Red Tape and Blue Pencil: The Autocracy of Film Censorship, Lesley Blanch | The Leader, April 1945


Although the British Board of Film Censors is a non-Governmental organisation, appointed by the film industry itself, it appears to bask in a glow of complacency which renders it at once unassailable, unapproachable, and uncooperative. It seems to enjoy an atmosphere of sacrosanctity and prerogative almost as strong as that which the Lord Chamberlain’s office in its function as Censor of Plays. Both are, it seems, outside the law; there is no court of appeal; what they say goes.

Feature | Film Orientations, Lesley Blanch | The Leader, August 1945

After leaving British Vogue in 1945, Lesley Blanch freelanced for a year, and was a regular contributor to Edward Hulton’s The Leader (sister publication to Picture Post). She covered film and photography – still relatively new media – and profiled rising stars; Vivien Leigh, Peter Ustinov and Billy Wilder among them. A fellow contributor and friend, Robbie Lantz, later became her agent when they were both living and working in the US. He also took on her husband Romain Gary as a client.

Film Orientations is the first in a series of feature articles by Lesley Blanch being republished that originally appeared in Edward Hulton’s The Leader (sister publication to Picture Post) in August 1945.

Since I wrote some weeks back, on the manner in which one nation presents another on the screen, so many people have written asking my views on Western versions of the East, that I shall go into the question more fully, here and now.

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