Melon Farmers Original Version

Hot Shots Films

Detailed BBFC cuts


Cutting Edge Episode 16: Hot Shots! and Part Deux...

The BBFC cuts wild free sex from Part 1 and Part 2

Link Here 4th January 2015

Jim Abraham's directed both Hot Shots! and Hot Shots! Part Deux for 20th Century Fox in 1991 and 1993 respectively, and both films were released in the United States with a PG-13 rating. They received the British equivalent of the PG-13 rating in the form of a 12 classification from the BBFC for their theatrical releases, but only after some cuts were made. Both films would later receive slightly heavier cuts on video, and in this edition of Cutting Edge, we'll be examining the BBFC cuts made to both Hot Shots! films on film and video.

Hot Shots!


Cuts for 12 rated cinema release: The BBFC hasn't a fucking clue

The first film came before the BBFC in late 1991 for a UK theatrical certificate, and in order for the distributors to get a 12 rating, the BBFC demanded minor changes to two scenes.


Modified Scenes: Dangerous balloon

The first of these occurred in reel 1, and was not actually a cut but an addition to one scene. As the BBFC note in their file:

A warning was attached during the scene [of] the hero's inhalation of peace pipe with helium-filled balloon attached, notifying that inhalation of helium is dangerous and can cause injury or death.

Cut Scenes: Not a 'fucking' clue

The next change made by the BBFC also occurred in reel 1, with the Board stating:

When Benson looks over map, remove the word 'fucking' from his line I don't have a clue, not a fucking clue.

The 12 rating had only been introduced for cinema releases in 1989, and whilst the presence of strong language at the 12-level is commonplace now, the use of strong language in 12 films in the early 1990s was presumably weighed up contextually on a case-by-case basis. A similar case worth mentioning here is the Richard Attenborough film Chaplin, which was cut on film in 1992 to, again, remove a single use of the word 'fucking'.

Following these two small changes, the BBFC passed Hot Shots! with a 12 rating on November 15th 1991, although the BBFC website database does not give a precise amount of the cuts made.

Cuts for PG rated VHS: The BBFC throws the big game

When Hot Shots! was submitted for a video classification the following year, the pre-cut UK cinema version was the version seen by the BBFC. It would be another two years before the 12 rating was introduced for video works, so Hot Shots! would either need to be classified with a 15 rating or edited further for a PG certificate.

Cut Scenes: Throwing the big game

Indeed, one further cut was demanded by the BBFC for a PG rating on video, with the Board stating:

After hero tells Commander, Nobody likes playing for a coach who throws the big game and receives response, 'What's that supposed to mean?', remove hero's references to sleeping with sister and bestiality, resuming as he says, I think you get my point, sir.

Following this change, the BBFC passed Hot Shots! with a PG rating on May 5th 1992. This cut version was then released on VHS.

Cuts for PG rated DVD: The BBFC still hasn't a fucking clue

Hot Shots! DVD

When the DVD version came in for classification some nine years later, a slightly different print was seen by the Board.

Cut Scenes: Not a 'fucking' clue

The distributors had pre-cut the film before submission, resulting in additional footage being removed. One such removal was a line of dialogue which occurs right before Benson's use of the word 'fucking', where Commander Block states:

There's also some anti-aircraft squadrons. They can send up an ack-ack umbrella high enough to make any attack ineffective.

Around 10 seconds of footage was removed due to this edit alone. The sexual references from Topper a little while later were also removed as per the video version, although Block's line, What's that supposed to mean? was also removed, making the conversation run a little less smoothly.

This overly-cut version was passed uncut by the BBFC with a PG rating on July 1st 2001 and was the edition released on DVD.

Uncut for 12 rated Blu-ray: The BBFC gets clued up

Hot Shots! Blu-ray

Hot Shots! came before the BBFC most recently in 2013 for a Blu-ray classification, with the distributors submitting the uncut PG-13 version of the film. The Board passed the film with a 12 rating on May 24th, waiving the previous film- and video cuts, stating that the film contained:

Infrequent strong language and moderate sex references.


Hot Shots! Part Deux


Cuts for 12 rated cinema release: The BBFC's Basic Instinct to censor

The second film was submitted to the BBFC in the summer of 1993 for a UK theatrical certificate, but cuts in two of the film's reels were made by the Board before it could be passed with a 12 rating.

Cut Scenes: Rope dance

At this point in time, BBFC director James Ferman's blanket ban on martial arts weaponry was still in full swing, which regularly resulted in the sight of shuriken, nunchaku and certain types of knives being automatically cut on sight from many films during his tenure, even at the 18 level. As a result of this, the first cut to Hot Shots! Part Deux occurred early in the film in reel 1, with the Board's cuts list stating:

Remove all sight of chainsticks wielded by Chinese fighter before hero's rope dance.


Cut Scenes: Basic Instinct Bedroom scene

The second cut occurred in the next reel, which slightly reduced the Basic Instinct spoof. The BBFC cuts list stated:

After woman strips to knickers and dives on man from diving board, remove all sight of man's wrists being tied to bed, resuming on woman finding screwdriver in bed-clothes.


A point worth noting here is that the film's sole use of the word 'fuck' at the end of the film was left intact for the cinema version, suggesting that the Board's policy on the use of strong language in 12-rated films had progressed somewhat since the classification of Hot Shots! two years previously.

With the necessary alterations made, Hot Shots! Part Deux was passed with a 12 rating on August 5th 1993 after almost 54 seconds of cuts for a UK theatrical release.

Cuts for PG rated VHS: The BBFC's Basic Instinct to censor more

When it was submitted for a video certificate almost a year later, the distributors submitted the pre-cut UK cinema version for classification to the BBFC; mirroring the actions taken with the first film. Further cuts were made to the film in order for it to receive a PG rating.

Cut Scenes: Basic Instinct Bedroom scene

The first of the additional cuts was to the already-reduced Basic Instinct parody:

After scene in car, remove whole sequence in which woman strips to knickers, jumps off diving board and has sex with man bound to bed, resuming on bowl of tulips.


Cut Scenes: Remember all the fun

The next cut occurred near the end of the film, with the BBFC objecting to the use of the word 'fuck ' that had been left intact for the cinema version:

After woman in front of helicopter says Remember all the fun we had.. , remove the line, I'll fuck up your life if it's the last thing I do.

BBFC guidelines, which are based on public attitudes, do not allow the use of strong language in PG-rated films, and so this was a compulsory category cut.

Cut Scenes: Wild free sex

The final change occurred around five minutes later, with the Board demanding:

As woman talks to Charlie Sheen by helicopter, remove her line, sex - wild free sex!.

These three cuts amounted to 67 seconds on PAL video, which meant that in comparison to the US version of the film, Hot Shots! Part Deux was missing around two minutes of footage with both the film- and video cuts combined.

The BBFC passed the UK video version on July 12th 1994, and this version was released on VHS.

Cuts for PG rated DVD: Distributors share a Basic Instinct to censor

Hot Shots 2 DVD

Like the previous film, Hot Shots! Part Deux was resubmitted for a DVD rating in 2001, and was again submitted to the BBFC in a pre-cut version compiled by the distributor. Like the previous film, the company had overly cut the film, which meant that the DVD ran almost two minutes shorter than the cut VHS version.

Cut Scenes: Taxi to a Basic Instinct bedroom scene

The majority of this footage is accounted for when examining the comic sex scene between Topper and Michelle. Not only was the previously-offending footage removed from the bedroom scene, but the entire preceding sequence in the back of the taxi cab was also excised. The omission of this funny scene was quite a loss for UK DVD buyers; particularly when you take into account that the BBFC had not objected to this scene on film or on video.


Cut Scenes: Remember all the fun

Two further cuts were made to Ramada's dialogue near the end of the film. Whilst the BBFC had only requested the removal of the line, I'll fuck up your life if it's the last thing I do, the distributors instead cut her speech entirely for the DVD version, removing her preceding dialogue, Remember all the fun we had in class.

Cut Scenes: Wild free sex

A similar situation happened a few minutes later, when Ramada is talking to Topper by the helicopter. Whilst the BBFC had only removed the line, Sex. Wild, free, passionate, unbridled sex, the distributor cuts also removed Ramada's words that followed this line, resulting in the removal of the dialogue, I'd fondle you in ways you can't imagine. Annoyingly, these words had not posed a problem at the time of the BBFC's classification of the VHS version, so their removal was unwarranted.

This cut version was passed five days after the DVD version of Hot Shots! had been classified by the BBFC, with the Board giving Hot Shots! Part Deux a PG rating on July 6th 2001.

Uncut for 12 rated Blu-ray: The BBFC finally sees the funny side


Like its prequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux was also resubmitted for a Blu-ray classification in 2013, and it too was seem by the BBFC in its uncut PG-13 form. The film was passed with all previous cuts waived with a 12 rating on the same day as its predecessor on May 24th 2013 for:

Moderate sex, sex references and one use of strong language.

Following the 2013 classifications of the Blu-ray versions, the UK now had full uncut versions of both Hot Shots! films for the first time in 20 years.

Cuts in Australia: BBFC pass me downs

Double DVD pack

   The UK's censored double DVD pack was repackaged for the Region 4 market

As a closing point, it is worth mentioning that Hot Shots! was also released theatrically in a cut form in Australia, so that it would receive a PG rating instead of an M rating. The film's sole use of strong language was removed, and this PG version was later released on VHS. The second film, however, was passed with an M rating by the OFLC for its single use of strong language.

A DVD double pack of both Hot Shots! films was later released in Australia, but annoyingly for Aussie fans, these versions of the two films were the censored UK DVD versions. Later separate releases of both films were thankfully uncut, and can be identified by the presence of English, German and Spanish audio tracks.

Cutting Edge Video: Episode 16: Hot Shots and Part Deux



All articles are original works compiled by Gavin Salkeld, with occasional help from a small team of researchers. Particular thanks are due to the BBFC for their diligent and helpful explanations of their interventions.

Gavin has written about film censorship for Melon Farmers since the year 2000. See more on the Cutting Edge Facebook Page.
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