Movie Sex in the 60’s
The interesting point about Trevelyan’s excisions was that all but one were in matters of dialogue and the majority were taken from the one speech by Molly. This is undoubtedly a monologue of great power and it was wedded to rather mundane visual images. Indeed, to hear
the speech without watching the film is to experience most of its effect. A few of the deletions concerned four-letter words. In the following passage the excisions are bracketed so that the reader may compare for himself the effect of the Joycean prose with the version which appeared on British screens:
‘I wish he was here or somebody to let myself go with (and come again like that I feel all fire inside me or if I could dream it when he made me spend the second time tickling me behind with his finger I was coming for about five minutes with my legs round him) I had to hug him after Oh Lord I wanted to shout out all sorts of things (fuck or shit or anything at all) only I would look ugly all those lines from the strain.’ (The lack of punctuation is as it appears in Appendix 2 of ‘What the Censor Saw’; the bracketed material was taped from a television showing of the film and has been kept punctuationless.)
Most of the passages deleted were concerned with sexual allusions, innuendo and descriptions. The following are a selection to give a flavour of the censor’s objections:
‘Yes because he must have come three or four times with that tremendous big red brute of a thing he has though his nose is not so big’; ‘What’s the idea making us like that with a big hole in the middle of us like a stallion driving it up into you’; ‘Always having to lie down for them better for him to put it in from behind the way Mrs Mastiansky told me her husband made her like the dogs do it’; ‘Of course compared with what a man looks like with his two bags full and his other thing hanging down out of him or sticking up at you like a hat-rack no wonder they hide it with a cabbage leaf; ‘First I’ll look at his shirt or I’ll see if he has that French letter still in his pocketbook’.
Molly’s discontent stems from the fact that she and Bloom have not had full sexual intercourse for ‘ten years, five months and eighteen days – not since five weeks prior to the birth and death of their only male issue, Rudolph Bloom, junior, aged eleven days’. In her fantasies she thinks of other men. The longest deletion came in the middle of a passage about young men and must have been demanded because of its specific reference to oral intercourse: