Film with abortion theme is given 18 certificate


A film which can be seen by anyone aged 12 and over in Britain and Northern Ireland has been restricted to audiences over 18 in the Republic.

Nominated for seven Oscars, The Cider House Rules was given the 18 certificate by the film censor, Mr Sheamus Smith, because of its themes of abortion, incest and drugs, said the film's distributor, Mr Brendan McCaul, vice-president of Buena Vista International (Ireland).

"I thought the 12 certificate in the UK was a bit lenient," Mr McCaul told The Irish Times yesterday. "I thought a 15 cert. would have been more appropriate, but I'm not the censor. We had a couple of discussions about the film and the censor did think at length about the certificate he would give it. In the end of the day, I respect his decision."

Mr McCaul has decided not to appeal the decision. Mr Smith, who is abroad, was not available for comment yesterday. Based on a novel by John Irving, The Cider House Rules is set in 1940s New England and features Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine. In his teens, Homer helps to deliver babies at the orphanage, but initially draws the line at assisting Larch in carrying out abortions, which the doctor justifies as saving women from back-street abortionists.