Australian Council on Children and the Media

Royal Night Out, A

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Not recommended under 14; parental guidance recommended 14-15 due to disturbing scenes, sexual references and activity, and substance use.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Royal Night Out, A
  • a review of Royal Night Out, A completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 May 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not recommended due to disturbing scenes, sexual references and activity, and substance use.
Children aged 14 to15 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes, sexual references and activity, and substance use.
Children aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Royal Night Out, A
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

On the 8th of May 1945 the end of World War II is declared and all of London is out on the streets to celebrate. A Royal Night Out is a fictionalised account of what happens when Princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bell Powley) leave the palace to join the party despite the concerns of their parents the Queen and King (Emily Watson and Rupert Everett).

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; drugs and alcohol; gambling; crime; death

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Because the film is set at the end of World War II there is talk of the violence of the war and people being killed.
  • Jack gets thrown out of a pub
  • When Margaret tries to leave a pub the man she is with grabs her arm to try and make her stay. Elizabeth’s friend Jack punches him and Elizabeth hits him over the head with a can so Margaret can get away.
  • Soldiers are shown hitting a stuffed Hitler doll with pipes and sticks.
  • Soldiers start punching Elizabeth’s friend Jack and start to drag him off but Elizabeth orders them to stop.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • There are large crowds of people who are shouting and drinking. The Princesses often get lost in these crowds and this is quite scary.
  • One of the pubs that the princesses go to is in a dark and scary part of town. When Elizabeth is walking down an alleyway a man lunges at her and she screams and runs away. This part of town is also described as ‘the murder capital’ of London.
  • Some of the scenes show buildings that have been bombed in the war
  • One disturbing scene shows a dead horse being cut up for meat.
  • Jack vividly describes the death of his friend in the war. This is sad and may be scary for children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared or disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared or disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Men on the streets often call the Princesses "darling" or "sweetheart" in a provocative way.
  • There are frequent references to the men “getting some action tonight” or having “certain expectations for this evening”.
  • The Princesses meet some women who refer to themselves as ‘working girls’

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • There is a sex scene between an officer and three women. The camera shows the man half naked with a woman’s legs around his neck.
  • At midnight everyone starts kissing and a stranger kisses Elizabeth on the check.
  • A soldier is shown running through the hotel in his underwear.
  • Elizabeth and Margaret enter a brothel which is disguised as a pub. Women are shown mostly naked with a small amount of material covering their nipples and genitals.
  • Elizabeth and Jack kiss as they say goodbye

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • This movie frequently shows people drinking alcohol and smoking, and frequent drunkenness. The Princesses who are 19 and 14 years old are shown drinking and 14 year old Margaret gets very drunk and has to be pushed along in a wheelbarrow.
  • A man drugs Margaret’s drink and she starts to feel dizzy and unwell.

There are also some scenes which show people gambling.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • blooming; prick; bloody; tosser; piss off; buttocks; bollocks; damn; tarts

In a nutshell

A Royal Night Out is a comedy drama which gives an interesting look at what London was like on the night World War II ended and an imagined version of what might have happened to the two British Princesses that night. It is likely to be enjoyed by adults and older teens who enjoy historical fiction. Because of the sexual references, disturbing scenes and substance use, this film is not recommended for children under 14, with parental guidance recommended for slightly older teens.

The main messages from this movie are

  • Accept everyone for the person they are, not their status.
  • The future belongs to everyone, not just those in power

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • kindness
  • independence
  • acceptance of others

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children:

  • the history of World War II and the affect that it had on society
  • the difficult life of a teenager growing up as part of a royal family.

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