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Swear Cuts – Oscars 2012 Profanity Reels – Reverse Censorship

In the nick of time…
Update: I’ve added a “Strict” edit of all the movies that leaves only the swear words found in the No Swearing dictionary or Google dirty words list, and removes the insults, curses, some other fun and random words. Also added: better stats, more words, other odds and ends.

A few years ago I edited the Oscar nominees for the ‘Best Picture’ category into swear reels, removing everything but the profanity/swears/insults, and ended up with a few fast bursts of jump cut cursing. The resulting reels were somewhat entertaining and maybe gave a different perspective on the nominees; allowing a movie to be judged solely on how it carries itself in the strange land of the profane; or something deep like that. Yeah. Mostly somewhat entertaining.

Well, time for another go around! With almost twice the movies, for your consideration:

The Nominees

All nine movies for the ‘Best Picture’ category of the 84th Academy Awards ceremony a.k.a. Oscars 2012 cut into separate profanity reels! (Click Name/Pic to view on Youtube or watch them together below)

(SPOILERS)
The Artist

The Artist

Trailer | IMDB rating: 8.4 | PG-13
Runtime : 100 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:21 min | Ratio: 285:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~9 | 0.09 swears/minute | Strict : 2
Least Offensive : Toys!
The Descendants

The Descendants

Trailer | IMDB rating: 7.6 | R
Runtime : 115 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 1:13 min | Ratio: 94:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~103 | 0.90 swears/minute | Strict : 79
El Cloon : You little fuck! Do you get hit a lot?!
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Trailer | IMDB rating: 6.5 | PG-13
Runtime : 129 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:36 min | Ratio : 215:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~31 | 0.24 swears/minute | Strict : 11
Harshest : I wish it were you in the building…
The Help

The Help

Trailer | IMDB rating: 8.0 | PG-13
Runtime : 146 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 1:30 min | Ratio: 97:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~106 | 0.72 swears/minute | Strict : 30
I said: Eat. My. Shit!
Hugo

Hugo

Trailer | IMDB rating: 8.0 | PG
Runtime : 126 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:56 min | Ratio: 135:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~46 | 0.37 swears/minute | Strict : 0
Best : Sacha Baron Cohen’s visiognamy.
Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris

Trailer | IMDB rating: 7.8 | PG-13
Runtime : 94 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 1:01 min | Ratio: 92:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~58 | 0.61 swears/minute | Strict : 8
Money Shot : Crypto fascist airhead zombie
Moneyball

Moneyball

Trailer | IMDB rating: 7.7 | PG-13
Runtime : 133 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:41 min | Ratio: 194:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~44 | 0.38 swears/minute | Strict : 22
Hidden : Daughter sings “loser” over credits.
Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Trailer | IMDB rating: 7.0 | PG-13
Runtime : 139 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:26 min | Ratio: 321:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~12 | 0.086 swears/minute | Strict : 0
Passive agressive achievement unlocked.
War Horse

War Horse

Trailer | IMDB rating: 7.2 | PG-13
Runtime : 146 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 0:49 min | Ratio: 179:1
Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~43 | 0.29 swears/minute | Strict : 11
Naught too fancy, ‘twar simpler times.

All of the above:

All nine edited movies put together in one long burst:

Sorry about the logo in between the movies, it’s a leftover from stringing the above together, and I didn’t have the time or imagination to change all nine endings… If you like your Swear reels a bit more basic see the Strict edit below.

Runtime : 1128 min | Swear Cuts Edit : 7:57 min | Ratio: 142:1 | Nr Of Swear Cuts : ~452
0.41 swears/minute | Strict : 164
Well! That’s something!

Strict

I went through the reels again and removed everything but the swears/bad words that are either in the No Swearing dictionary, or the Dirty words list from Google. If you think the above is too inclusive then this bare bones version should do the trick.

Runtime : 1128 min | Strict Edit : 1:41 min | Ratio: 670:1 | Strict Swears: 164
0.145 swears/minute

And for some stats and words:

First of all, most counts are a bit on the low end, not only because I must have missed a few, but some had just too much background noise to make out anything and had to be left on the cutting board. Around a dozen I’d guess.

It is also kind of hard to say when a swear is worthy and where to exactly draw the line on what to include in the edits; censorship stuff, violence/nudity, insults, just very bad things to say. Some things were just too good to leave out from an entertainment perspective, others helped with the rhythm/flow or were somehow essential to the movie. In the end the original Swear Cuts were made thinking of the intent of the characters in a broad manner, leaving something around the insults to give them a tiny bit of context; while the Strict version strips away everything but the actual words on the naughty lists.

The total number of swears

Sorted from most to least by amount of Strict swears:

MovieSwear CutsStrict ˅
The Descendants10379
The Help10630
Moneyball4422
Extremely Loud and Incredible Close3111
War Horse4311
Midnight in Paris588
The Artist92
Tree of Life121
Hugo460
Total:452164
Average:50.218.2

“The Descendants” is this year’s most profane movie, ending up with a solid 79 Bad words (and a couple dozen more insults and such), beating competition from “The Help” which can’t cut it when the Strict lists are concerned.

The middle is taken by “Extremely Loud & Incredible Close”, ‘Moneyball” & “Midnight in Paris”, movies using mostly modern language and expletives; and “Warhorse”, which has about the same amount but of a more naive nature. Still pretty solid with something “bad” every ~2 and a half minutes.

Making up the rear are “Hugo” and “Tree Of Life”, but neither can really claim to be any cleaner than “The Artist”. Hugo uses everything but a strict swear word, “Tree Of Life” is so loomingly aggressive that the words don’t really matter.

Swear Frequency

A table of all the swears in the Strict edit, counting all the shit variants (shit, bullshit, dipshit & shitting) as one, to give a final tally of the most frequently used swear words in the Oscars 2012.

Root + VariantsNr.
Shit (bull-, dip-, -ting)28
Fuck(-ing, -ed, -isa$#%, -head)27
Damn (god-)15
Hell15
Twat15
Nigger (nigra)8
Ass (-hole -es)7
Christ6
Retard (-ed)6
Bitch (son(s) of (a) -es)5
Butt (-head)3
Crap3
“The Finger”3
Whore (-bag)3
Bastard2
Bloody2
Bum2
Jesus2
Spaz2
Ballsack1
Bugger1
Dick1
Douchbag1
Fanny1
Jerk1
Nuts1
Penis1
Pissed1
Prick1
Total:164

The classics “Shit” and “Fuck” are still the clear favorites, followed by some old fashioned blasphemy and a strong showing of “Twat”. The rest of the field features a little bit of everything, mostly driven by a particular movie or character’s habits.

The different edits

The largest difference between the Swear Cuts and Strict versions are the (creative) insults and some bits that were originally included purely for fun or left for effect.

In “The Help” the use of ‘black’, ‘white’ and ‘colored’ varies quite a bit, sometimes a description used without malice, at other times used to discriminate/hurt. In the end most ended up in the Swear Cuts edit simply because the flow felt “funny smooth” when strung together (no judgement), which partly explains the big difference compared to the Strict version. Old timey stuff also doesn’t make the Strict cut (see “Hugo”, “Warhorse” (well except for “bum” and “bloody” which surprisingly still makes Google slightly uncomfortable)).

Another thing happens with the “Tree of Life” where Brad Pitt might be infuriating/abusive but he manages to do so without really swearing. Low profanity doesn’t mean zilch sometimes.

Midnight In Paris has a big drop because Woody Allen is a master at creative and backhanded insults but doesn’t use straight up profanity all that much, just a few blasphemies.

And there’s the noticeable difference in the “weight” of a swear word between “Moneyball” and say, “Hugo”. Both around 45 cuts per movie, but the first has straightforward modern swearing that feels (somewhat) powerful, while the latter has completely light-hearted cuss words, insults, and some fine creative use of language aimed at children. Both count just the same in my Swear Cuts edit but the difference between them comes out in the strict version where it’s 22 versus 0 in favor of “Moneyball”.

Swears per minute

Sorted from least to most Swear Cuts. The number of swears per movie divided by its minutes, giving the average number of swears per minute.

MovieSwears Cuts ˄Strict
Tree of Life0.086
The Artist0.090.02
Extremely Loud and Incredible Close0.240.09
War Horse0.290.08
Hugo0.37
Moneyball0.380.17
Midnight in Paris0.610.09
The Help0.720.21
The Descendants0.900.69
Average:0.410.15

Nothing quite makes it to the elusive one-on-one ratio, but “The Descendants” does come pretty close as it is. According to an article by Timothy Jay at Psychcentral.com “we swear on average from 0.3% to 0.7% of the time”, pretty much exactly in line with the Swear Cuts versions clocking in at 0.41%. The Strict edit leaves a large part of the spectrum out, but gives some insight into the frequency of the worst words.

Fin!

Oh, and probably the Artist.

Nailed it!

Related posts:

  1. Swear Cuts – Oscars 2009 – Best Picture Profanity Reels

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Categories: Swear Cuts

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