The Battle of Algiers was listed as one of the greatest films of all time. It strongly criticized the French government's actions in the North African country of Algeria. Surprise, surprise, France didn't appreciate it, and banned the film for it's pro-Algerian message.
Nazi Germany, the UK and France didn't agree on much. But they all agreed to ban this movie. The reason? They thought it promoted Marxist ideology. They thought this for a few reasons, one of which being this absolute masterpiece of technical craft actually was made as a Soviet propaganda film.
This 2014 comedy tells the story of trying to assassinate Kim Jong-un of North Korea. So naturally, it was banned in North Korea, and even in parts of America for fear of retaliation. North Korea is a strange, scary place.
One of Stanley Kubrick's greatest works, this movie took a satirical look at the Cold War right in the middle of it. Unfortunately, Cold War paranoia was rampant at the time. Finland banned the movie, fearing the depiction of an international incident in the film may lead to one in real life.
Kubrick was used to having his films met with controversy. A Clockwork Orange was no exception. The film depicts graphic acts of violence and cruelty, but that's not why it was banned. It was pulled from many theaters in the UK because Kubrick and his family received death threats over it. It wasn't screened again until 1999, after the director passed away.
Who doesn't love Charlie Chaplin? Nazis and Nazi sympathizers, that's who. The 1940 film was banned in Germany (duh) and parts of Latin America. It was also seen as scandalous in the U.S. because our nation was still formally at peace with Germany at the time and many feared this film would drag us into the war.
As we've seen, making your film about politics is a great way to get it banned. Making it about religion is an even better way. The ending to The Last Temptation Of Christ where Jesus foregoes his destiny and accepts Satan's offer got it banned in several countries as well as parts of the American Bible Belt.
Darren Aronofsky's film about the great flood was banned in several countries in the Middle East. For one, it contradicts the teachings of Islam. The film was seen as blasphemous, as it's forbidden to depict prophets. Especially as Russell Crowe.
The graphic, sexual nature of this film is legendary. It was actually banned in Italy until 1986. What makes that even crazier is that's the home country of the director, Bernardo Bertolucci. Even crazier still, prints of the film were burned and Bertolucci was sentenced to four months of prison time for obscenity for making this. Somehow, all that makes me want to see it even more.
Anyone who's seen this film knows there's an excessive amount of excess in it. That didn't sit too well with countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nepal and Malaysia, who banned it. Some countries just made massive edits before screening it, although the new, clean cut was completely incoherent.
Speaking of Malaysia, they banned Zoolander. Sort of makes sense considering a huge part of the plot was Malaysian sweatshops and a plot to assassinate their prime minister. The film was also banned in several other countries for gay themes.
This film may have started the whole "found footage" genre. The problem was, since it was such a new concept and the film was so graphically violent, many people thought it was real. It was banned in 40 nations and is to this day still banned in New Zealand.
This film is legendary for how disturbing it is and how hard it is to find. To this day, prints of it are still hard to come by. A large reason is because this film about carnival sideshow performers used actual actors with real deformities to portray the characters. Times were very different before special effects and CGI.