Date: 9th June 2003

Censors pass Nicholson drug film

A cult film written by Jack Nicholson has finally been passed by censors after 35 years of being effectively banned.
The Trip, starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, was refused a ratings certificate because of its graphic depiction of drug use.

Now the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has granted it an 18-certificate because viewers would no longer be convinced by the characters embarking on an LSD "trip".

Nicholson wrote the film in 1967 and it was directed by legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman, but the BBFC twice refused to grant it a rating

"The board concluded that its portrayal of the hallucinogenic experience was unlikely to convince a modern viewer of and took account also of the film's depiction of the downside as well as the pleasure of drug use," a BBFC spokesman about the change in stance.

The 75-minute film, which was made two years before Fonda and Hopper starred in the road movie Easy Rider, has been now passed without any cuts.

In The Trip, Fonda was cast as a TV commercial director who moves on from smoking marijuana to experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs.

The film has the sub-title a Lovely Sort of Death, taken from the initials LSD, and has gone down in screen history for its vivid representation of drug use.

Although attempts in 1967 in 1988 to secure a cinema and video release failed, it has had one-off screenings for which a certificate is not always necessary.

MGM holds the rights to the film but it is not known whether it has any immediate plans to release it on DVD or video in the UK.

Source: Press Release