The Watford Blue Movie Trial: Regulating Rollers in 1970s Britain

Carter, Oliver (2021) The Watford Blue Movie Trial: Regulating Rollers in 1970s Britain. Porn Studies. ISSN 2326-8743

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This article uses the example of a forgotten obscenity case from 1974 to provide further understanding of the processes involved in the production and distribution of British hardcore pornographic 8mm films, known in the trade as rollers. It also gives attention to the legal framework affecting pornography at this time, showing how the Director of Public Prosecutions, against a backdrop of increasing tabloid attention to the transnational pornography trade and corruption in the Metropolitan police, used the Obscene Publications Act (1959) in conjunction with other laws to enhance the possibilities of a conviction. It draws on the findings from a methodology that combines approaches from law with other methods, using court records alongside media reportage. I suggest that such an approach can help to further understand the legal frameworks for the pornography business, as well as showing how the trade has been subject to regulation and control.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
14 February 2021Accepted
1 December 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Law, obscenity, British pornography, political economy,regulation
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Oliver Carter
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2021 17:10
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:16

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