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For nearly the entire history of film production, certain films have been banned by film censorship or review organizations for political or moral reasons. Censorship standards vary widely by country, and can vary within an individual country over time due to political change or shifting moral attitudes.

Many countries have government-appointed or private commissions to censor and rate productions for film and television exhibition. While it is common for films to be edited to fall into certain rating classifications, this list includes only films that have been explicitly prohibited from public screening.


Bans by country



Australia's OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification) uses the Commonwealth Classification Act 1995 as a guide for the majority of the censorship within the country, however each state and territory is free to make additional legislation. See also Censorship in Australia.

In practice, films still get a short cinematic run before they are reviewed & prevented from being shown at cinemas or released on DVD.

Year Name Reason Citation
1907 The Story of the Kelly Gang Banned in Benalla and Wangaratta due to bushranger content. [2]
1911 The Story of the Kelly Gang Banned in Adelaide due to bushranger content. [2]
1912 The Story of the Kelly Gang Banned in New South Wales due to bushranger content. [2]
1928 - 1941
 ? Dawn  ? [citation needed]
 ? Klondike Annie (starring Mae West)  ? [citation needed]
 ? Applause it contained chorus girls [citation needed]
 ? Compulsory Hands  ? [citation needed]
1931 Cape Forlorn  ? [citation needed]
1928 The Ladies Man sexual overtones [citation needed]
 ? White Cargo interracial themes [citation needed]
 ? The Five Year Plan discussed communism [citation needed]
1930 All Quiet on the Western Front  ? [citation needed]
 ? Gang Bullets  ? [citation needed]
 ? Each Dawn I Die  ? [citation needed]
1939 Hell's Kitchen  ? [citation needed]
 ? The King and the Chorus Girl  ? [citation needed]
 ? The Birth of a Baby "not in the public interest"[citation needed] [citation needed]
 ? The Green Pastures  ? [citation needed]
 ? Susan and God blasphemy [citation needed]
 ? Reefer Madness  ? [citation needed]
1939 Of Mice and Men sex and violence in combination [citation needed]
1942 The Monster and the Girl, The Man With Two Lives, Invisible Ghost, and King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula plus their respective sequels Banned due to high impact scary violence and cruelty. [citation needed]
  • 1964 - 1970: R. J. Prowse is appointed Chief Censor and Campbell goes into the Appeals Board. During the 1960s many more films were being banned including The Miracle, Viridiana, La Dolce Vita, Satyricon, The Silence, Blowup and Zabriskie Point.[citation needed]
  • 1971: Customs Minister Don Chipp begins the development of a new classification system which includes the much-needed R18+ rating for adult content, meaning movies that were once banned are gradually released.[citation needed]
  • 1972: Pink Flamingos was banned until 1984, when it is passed with an X18+ rating. Soon after the X18+ guidelines were amended and the film was effectively banned again. In 1997, the 25th anniversary of its release, the uncut version of the film was refused classification.[3]
  • 1974: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre[4]
  • 1975: Under pressure from Western conservatives, the OFLC viewed the arthouse Belgian film Vase de Noces (also known as Wedding Trough) and banned it from being played at the Perth International Film Festival (before this, film festivals were not held by restrictions of the censors). In a controversial move, the board lifted the ban on appeal, and the film was allowed to be screened.[citation needed]
  • 1976: Pasolini's Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma is banned. Vase de Noces is re-banned, and it remains banned to this day.[citation needed]
  • 1982: Four years after its 1978 international premiere, a cut version of I Spit on Your Grave is released with an R18+ classification.[citation needed]
  • 1984: A governmental conference is held, resulting in the X18+ rating being introduced to cope with the upsurge in hardcore pornographic films, and the later abolition of X18+ rated material in most Australian states (ownership of hardcore porn remains legal). Cannibal Holocaust, an extremely graphic cannibal film by director Ruggero Deodato, was banned until 2005.[citation needed]
  • 1986: Lucker the Necrophagous is banned due to its graphic necrophilia content.[citation needed]
  • 1986: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was banned due to its violent content. The original uncut version that was issued on video to retailers throughout Australia was done so illegally by a duplicating house and without the knowledge of the OFLC; When word leaked amidst the video industry, a number of retailers and the duplicating house was raided by Federal Customs.[citation needed]
  • 1987: I Spit on Your Grave survives an appeal to have the film banned.[citation needed]
  • 1990: Gail Malone is fired and the Queensland Film Board of Review is disbanded when the new Labor Premier Wayne Goss is outraged that the Board had banned an edited version of Bad Taste after a three-week run in cinemas (the South Australian Classification Council cut it by a further 4 min 30 sec for an M rating). It is later released uncut on DVD. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was also banned for a brief period, but later released on VHS and DVD.[citation needed]
  • 1992: The Chinese gore film Dr. Lamb, previously banned, is released with 9 m 30s cut. Nekromantik, its sequel Nekromantik 2 and Joe D'Amato's Buio Omega are banned for necrophilia content, The Beast in Heat is banned for excessive sexual violence and Final Exit are banned for controversial themes after customs confiscations. Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend becomes the first animated feature to be banned in Australia. A censored version of the film is later released, as are all its sequels.[citation needed]
  • 1993: The ban on Pasolini's Salò is lifted. The MA15+ classification is introduced.[citation needed]
  • 1995: Twelve queer films are banned from Tasmania's Queer film festival, including Spikes and Heels, Coming Out Under Fire, What a Lesbian Looks Like, Mad About the Boy, 21st century Nuns and Sex Fish. [1]
  • 1996: The Frighteners was banned in Tasmania because of sensitivity to the nature of the then recent Port Arthur massacre (including a similar appearance of the film's antagonist and the gunman, Martin Bryant). The film has since been televised and released on VHS and DVD without problems.[citation needed]
  • 1997: Pasolini's Salò is re-banned, a ban still in force. I Spit on Your Grave is banned.
  • 2000: Romance is banned, but is later passed on appeal by the OFLC with an R18+ rating.[citation needed]
  • 2002: Baise-moi is banned after initially being passed with an R18+ rating.[citation needed]
  • 2003: Ken Park is banned, and NSW police close down a planned screening of the film.[citation needed]
  • 2004: The uncut version of I Spit on Your Grave was unbanned and awarded an R18+ classification.[citation needed]
  • 2005: Wolf Creek was temporarily banned in the Northern Territory to avoid influence during the trial of Bradley John Murdoch for murder. It was re-released in the Northern Territory in January 2006.[5] The OFLC unbanned a number of previously banned films including Cannibal Holocaust[citation needed] and The New York Ripper[citation needed] after a lengthy review. The South Australian Classification Council upgrades the classification of 9 Songs from R18+ to X18+, effectively banning it in South Australia (it remains R18+ in the rest of the country).[citation needed]
  • 2006: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was finally passed for official release in Australia on November 30.[citation needed]


  • 1974: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre[4]
  • Di Cavalcanti (1977) was banned outright.[citation needed]
  • Beyond Citizen Kane (1993) this movie was censored due to several law suits from the media giant TV Globo and it is still not freely available to the public.[citation needed]



(*)=Banned Outright


Prior to the late 1980s and early 1990s, all Canadian provinces banned films with no purpose other than the display of explicit sexuality or excessive violence.[citation needed]

At present, only films containing prohibited material (such as child pornography) or under court order (such as libel or copyright infringement) are banned in Canadian Provinces.[citation needed]


  • 2005: Human or Ghost, for containing excessive sexual content.[citation needed]
  • 2008: The Red Sense, for its Khmer Rouge topical material.[citation needed]



Because only 20 imported films are granted permission to screen each year in China, only blockbuster or widely known films are listed. It may be noted that many films which do not arrive in theatres nonetheless become widely available as pirated DVD editions, thus making the term "banned" somewhat inaccurate.

  • 1960: Ben-Hur, for containing "propaganda of superstitious beliefs, namely Christianity." (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 1972: Chung Kuo, Cina, a documentary about contemporary China by Michelangelo Antonioni; accused for being anti-Chinese and counterrevolutionary.[citation needed]
  • 1994: To Live, for its satirical portrayal of various policies and campaigns of the Communist government. (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 1997: Kundun - regarded as Tibetan nationalism (Banned outright along with director Martin Scorsese)[citation needed]
  • 1997: Seven Years in Tibet, for its view on a free Tibet. (Banned outright along with actors Brad Pitt and David Thewlis for life)[citation needed]
  • 2000: Devils on the Doorstep, for its controversial portrayal of the Japanese Occupation of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War despite being a Chinese-made film (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 2005: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, for its unflattering depictions of Chinese society (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 2006: Memoirs of a Geisha, over concerns it could rouse anti-Japanese sentiment. (Banned outright)[citation needed]
  • 2006: Brokeback Mountain, for its depictions of homosexuality. (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 2006: Scorsese's The Departed, for suggesting that the government intends to use nuclear weapons on Taiwan, which is a very sensitive political issue. (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 2006: Over the Hedge was banned due to a difficulty with the DVD copy and some killing scenes to the animals. (The film is currently permitted only on DVD)[citation needed]
  • 2006: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, for its depiction of incest. (Never given permission to screen)[citation needed]
  • 2007: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was banned because according to Xinhua, the state news agency of the People's Republic of China, 10 minutes of footage containing Chow Yun-Fat's portrayal of Singaporean pirate Sao Feng have been trimmed from versions of the film which may be shown in China. Chow is onscreen for 20 minutes in the uncensored theatrical release of the film. No official reason for the censorship was given, but unofficial sources within China have indicated that the character offered a negative and stereotypical portrayal of the Chinese people.[8]
See also: Censorship in the People's Republic of China, Film


  • In 1937, Ryska snuvan was banned.[citation needed]


  • 1956: The Ten Commandments was banned due to its controversial religious nature[citation needed]
  • Early 1960s: The government of Gamal Abdel Nasser banned all films starring Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and several other American actors and actresses due to their strong, public support of Israel.[citation needed]
  • 2003: Bruce Almighty was banned due to "sacrilegious content".[citation needed]
  • 2003: The Matrix was banned due to what government censors claimed was anti-religious content, although critics have argued that the ban had more to do with the fact that the film's heroes inhabit a city called Zion.[citation needed]
  • 2006: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was banned outright.[citation needed]
  • 2009: Bruno was banned outright.[citation needed]


Other films banned in Finland include:


NB : Paths of Glory was never banned but not distributed by United Artists, fearing reactions and boycotting from army supporters, or simply by commercial cowardice. The movie saw its first French release in 1975, meeting public acclaim.[citation needed]

  • 1960: Le Petit Soldat was banned on political grounds and the ban was lifted in 1963 with certain cuts.[10]
  • 1966: The Battle of Algiers was banned for five years, due to the political sensitive nature of the film that depicted the Algerian War.[citation needed]


Year Name Reason Citation
1919 Different from the Others Banned due to homosexual themes [2]
1936 The Bohemian Girl (1936 film) This Laurel & Hardy film was banned in Nazi Germany, because it depicted gypsies. (Source: LEEFLANG, Thomas, "Laurel & Hardy Compleet".)
West Germany



  • 1948 - Ének a búzamezőkről (Song of the Wheat Fields): banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1956 - Keserű igazság (Bitter Truth) and Az eltüsszentett birodalom: both banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1957 - A nagyrozsdási eset: banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1969 - A tanú (The Witness): banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1974 - Bástyasétány '74: banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1983 - Álombrigád (Dream Brigade): banned for political reasons.[citation needed]


Year Name Reason Citation
1984 The Last House on the Left Banned due to high impact violence, rape, and cruelty. [citation needed]
1984 Friday the 13th Banned due to high impact violence and gore. [citation needed]
1984 Cannibal Holocaust Banned due to high impact violence and animal cruelty. [citation needed]
1985 - 1999 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Banned due to high impact scary violence and cruelty. A censored version was later released. [4]
1986 To All a Good Night Banned due to high impact scary violence. [citation needed]
1987 Re-Animator Banned due to high impact scary violence. [citation needed]
1987 Amazonia Banned due to high impact violence. [citation needed]
1990 Halloween 5 Banned due to high impact scary violence. [citation needed]
1994 Once Were Warriors Banned due to high domestic violence. [citation needed]
1996 Halloween 6 Banned due to high impact scary violence. [citation needed]
2006 Hostel Banned due to high impact scary violence, cruelty, rape, and torture. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]
2007 Hostel: Part II Banned due to high impact scary violence, cruelty, rape, and torture. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]


  • 1959 - Neel Akasher Neechey was banned for two years for overt political overtones; it showed the troubles faced by an immigrant Chinese wage laborer in 1930s Calcutta[11]
  • 1963 - Nine Hours to Rama was banned for depicting the psychological motivations / reasons of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi[citation needed]
  • 1970 - Kissa Kursi Ka was banned for political reasons.[citation needed]
  • 1971 - Sikkim (film) was banned for showing Chogyal ruled Sikkim as a sovereign state[citation needed]
  • 1984 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was banned for its "racist portrayal of Indians and overt imperialistic tendencies".[citation needed]
  • 1991 - Kutrapathirikkai was banned for 15 years for portraying the events that followed after Rajiv Gandhi's death. Was proclaimed to be a pro-LTTE film, justifying LTTE's activities. However, film was censored and released in 2007 after cuts on a large number of scenes.[citation needed]
  • 1992 - City of Joy was banned in Calcutta for showing the city in a bad light.[citation needed]
  • 1996 - Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (cut version available)[citation needed]
  • 1996 - Fire On its opening day in India, some movie theaters were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists, and the movie was banned for a period, but theater screenings resumed later[12].
  • 2004 - Hava Aney Dey Banned in India for showing inter-communal tension[citation needed]



Note: any film depicting homosexuality, gay rights, anti-Islamic attitudes, or anything deemed contrary to Islamic morals is banned outright in Iran.



Due to the small size of the Republic of Ireland, films banned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) were rarely even submitted for release in Ireland, due to the high costs of promotion and distribution for such a small audience. Similarly, BBFC cuts are often left in DVD releases due to the difficulties in separating the two supplies.

This changed in 2000 and meant that many of these films have since been un-banned and rated anywhere from PG to 18. During that review process it was decided that no more films would be banned for either theatre or video release, but some bans are still in place. Banned movies can still be viewed at private members clubs with 18+ age limits.


Although there is a censorship board run by the government and in which one member is drawn from the Roman Catholic Church, very few movies are not certified for release.

  • Banned under Mussolini was the two-part film Noi vivi and Addio, Kira, which were an adaptation of We the Living by Ayn Rand.[citation needed]
  • Cannibal Holocaust, was banned in Italy from 1980-1984. It was banned on the belief that the actors were actually killed for the movie (i.e. that it was an actual snuff film). When this was proven false, it was banned by an animal cruelty law (the film features the actual slayings of many animals), until the verdict was overturned in 1984.[citation needed]


Despite Japan's strict censorship policy on nudity (see Pornography in Japan), very few films are banned there.[citation needed]

Those that are banned are usually put under self imposed studio bans by the companies that produced them.[citation needed]

  • 1945: The Akira Kurosawa directed movie The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail was temporarily banned by the SCAP because it portrayed feudalism in a positive light.[citation needed]
  • 1955: The Toho production Half Human, directed by Ishirō Honda was put under a self imposed ban by Toho after it was feared that the film would be seen as degrading portrayal of Japan's Ainu minority. The film was never released on laserdisc or DVD, even though there were several home video releases and to this day the only way to see it is through its heavily edited US version.[citation needed]
  • 1958: Varan the Unbelievable was put under a self imposed studio ban by Toho for some of the same reasons that Half Human was but was finally released in the 1980s on VHS and laserdisc (with a few lines of reportedly racist dialogue removed from the film).[citation needed]
  • 1969: Teruo Ishii's exploitation flick Horrors of Malformed Men‎ was put under a studio ban by Toei due to the film's numerous offensive elements. These days, with the film currently unavailable in any format in Japan, the only way to see it is through the occasional screening and the 2007 USA DVD release of Horrors of Malformed Men.[citation needed]
  • 1974: Toho placed yet another one of their films under a self imposed ban, this time Prophecies of Nostradamus, an apocalyptic disaster film after a group of hibakusha, or nuclear radiation survivors, saw the film and were highly offended by sequences showing a research party being attacked by radioactive cannibals and a pair of horribly deformed post-apocalyptic mutants fighting over a worm. After airing the film uncut on television in 1980, Toho withdrew the film from circulation entirely. Toho attempted releasing this film onto VHS in the late 1980s but was stopped due to protests. The only way to see the film is through the film's US version The Last Days of Planet Earth or through a grey market copy of the uncut version containing the time code at the top of the screen.[citation needed]
  • 1984: Cannibal Holocaust banned due to banning on extreme cruelty to animals and was unable to make bootleg copies.[citation needed]


  • 2005: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Which Borat insults Kazakh culture and government, Borat is banned in Kazakhstan.)[citation needed]





The Netherlands

  • 1932: Scram On its initial cinematic release in the Netherlands this Laurel & Hardy film was banned by Christian moral watchdogs who claimed the scene where the duo sat on a bed with a woman whom they weren't married to was "indecent". Today the film isn't banned anymore in the country.[17]

New Zealand


Year Name Reason Citation
1964 - 1971 491 Banned due to homosexual themes. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]
1974 - ? The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [4] 1977 - 2003 Suspiria Reason unknown. Ban lifted [citation needed]
1980 - 2008 Friday the 13th Banned due for high impact violence and extreme cruelty/torture. A censored version is later released. [citation needed]
1980 - 2006 Monty Python's Life of Brian Banned due to offensive jokes to religious people. Ban later lifted. [4]
1984 - 2005 Cannibal Holocaust Banned due to high impact violence and animal cruelty. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]
1990-2003 Robocop 2 Banned due to high impact violence. [citation needed]
1998 Kite Banned due to high impact violence, cruelty and child pornography. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]
2009 Ichi the Killer Banned due to high impact violence and cruelty. [citation needed]



  • 1982-1989: Interrogation (1982) (Przesluchanie)[citation needed], a prison film depicting the corrupt interrogation tactics of the Stalinist regime in post-WWII Poland. The film has garnered attention for being one of the most controversial yet important Polish films ever made.
  • 1982-1987: Blind Chance, like many of Kieslowski's films, it was banned for politically sensitive themes[citation needed]
  • 1997: Witajcie w życiu (Welcome to the Life), a documentary film by Henryk Dederko about Amway in Poland was banned after the Polish office of the Amway Corporation managed to get a court ban on the movie because they claimed it was libelous.[citation needed]


  • 1970: Catch-22 was banned until 1974 for the scene showing Capt. Yossarian naked in a tree.[citation needed]
  • 1972: Last Tango in Paris was banned for its strong sexual content. Unbanned in 1974.[4]



  • 2006: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan banned as "offensive".[25] (possibly because of Russia's close relationship with Kahzakhstan).



  • 1971: A Clockwork Orange was banned for over 30 years before an attempt for release was made in 2006. However the ban was not lifted when the submission for a M18 rating was rejected.[4]
  • 1973: The Exorcist[4]
  • 1973: The Last Tango in Paris[4]
  • 1974: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was prohibited from releasing in the island since the 1970s. [4]
  • 1979: Monty Python's Life of Brian contains 'inappropriate' religious content which led the film to be banned.[citation needed]
  • 1980: Cannibal Holocaust was banned outright for its extreme violence.[citation needed]
  • 1981: The Evil Dead has been banned since its release in 1981. The authority disallowed it for "excessive graphic violence and gore".[citation needed]
  • 1986: Along with its prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was categorised as banned by the authority. No submittance for re-rating was ever made.[citation needed]
  • 1988: The Last Temptation of Christ was never allowed to be screened or released in video formats to the public for its controversial religious content.[citation needed]
  • 1995: Lie Down with Dogs was banned for strong sexuality.[citation needed]
  • 1998: A Night on the Water was banned for strong sexuality.[26]
  • 1999: The movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut shared the same fate with its banned television series.[citation needed]
  • 2003: 15 was initially banned, and the Singapore board of censors later ruled that the film should be rated R(A) and made 27 cuts to the film.[citation needed]
  • 2004: A Dirty Shame was banned for its crude humour and sexuality.[citation needed]
  • 2004: Formula 17 was banned because it "portrayed homosexuality as normal, and a natural progression of society."[27]
  • 2005: Hostel was banned for extreme impact violence of high impact gore with cruelty and racism to Singapore.[citation needed]
  • 2005: Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story shared the same fate that the banned television series did.[citation needed]
  • 2006: Shortbus was banned for its explicit sexual content.[citation needed]
  • 2006: The movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was banned for the extreme nudity during the fight in the hotel scene. It was cut off during its screening.[citation needed]

Solomon Islands

South Africa

  • 1978: Up in Smoke was banned because the South African censor board feared it might inspire youth to take up marijuana smoking.[citation needed]
  • 1979: Monty Python's Life of Brian was banned because of offensive jokes about religion.[citation needed]
  • 1980: Cruising was banned because of homosexual themes.[citation needed]
  • 1984: Cannibal Holocaust was seized by customs (specific year is unknown at this time). It was given an XX rating, which prevented it from being sold in the country. It is now rated 18 for a cut version (the uncut version is still banned).[citation needed]
  • 1990: Henry & June[citation needed]
  • 1991: Whore[citation needed]
  • 1995: Showgirls[citation needed]
  • 2007: Hostel: Part II[citation needed]

Soviet Union

  • 1967: Komissar It was re-released in the late 1980s, winning nine awards, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.[citation needed]

South Korea

Bans made prior to 1980 have all been lifted.[citation needed]


Sri Lanka

  • 1984-2007: Cannibal Holocaust[citation needed]
  • 1999: South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut The television show South Park is banned outright.[citation needed]
  • 2006: The Da Vinci Code. Banned by presidential order of Mahinda Rajapakse Decision was made after his wife (Converted Catholic) influenced him to do so. [4]
  • 2006: Aksharaya (Letter of Fire) was banned for dealing with issues of incest, murder, and rape.[32] (Banned outright)


Year Name Reason Citation
1922 - 1972 Nosferatu Banned due to high impact scary violence and cruelty. A censored version was later released. [citation needed]
1968 Django Banned due to high impact violence and cruelty. [citation needed]
1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Unknown [4]
1981 Mad Max Banned due to high impact violence and cruelty. [citation needed]
1981 The Burning Banned do to high impact scary violence and cruelty for the VHS market.
1984 Tenebre High impact scary violence. [citation needed]
1984 - 1999 Cannibal Holocaust High impact violence and animal cruelty. A censored version has since been classified "15". However, bootleg copies for the uncut version are available and since the beginning of the 2000's it has been legal uncut in Sweden. [citation needed]
1997 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation High impact scary violence and cruelty [33]


  • 1994: Blutgeil[citation needed]


Trinidad and Tobago


  • 2007: 300 was banned.[citation needed]


  • 1922-2006: Nosferatu from the 1920s was banned due to its portrayal of extreme blood and gore. Banned Outright[citation needed]
  • 1972-2000: Pink Flamingos was banned for extreme nudity not used for Turkey. Screened Without Permission[citation needed]
  • 1984: Cannibal Holocaust was officially banned due to the killing of the animals. Banned Outright[citation needed]


United Arab Emirates

  • 2006-2009: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan[citation needed]
  • 2008: You Don't Mess with the Zohan[citation needed]
  • 2009: Bruno[citation needed]

United Kingdom

Year Name Details Citation
1932 - 1963 Freaks Rejected by British censors and banned. It was again rejected for a cinema rating certificate in 1952. Available from 1963 - passed with an X rating. [citation needed]
1954 - 1967 The Wild One Banned from distribution in the United Kingdom until 1967. [citation needed]
1960 - 1968 Black Sunday Mario Bava's movie was banned due to its violent content until 1968. [citation needed]
1968 - 1988 The Trip Roger Corman's film was banned due to glorification of LSD. It is later unbanned, but was not released in Britain until 1988. [citation needed]
1972 - 2002 The Last House on the Left Banned by the BBFC until 2002 and not passed uncut until 2008. [citation needed]
1973 - ? The Exorcist [4] 1973 - 1999 A Clockwork Orange Banned, two years after its release, by its own director Stanley Kubrick. This was not because of the copy cat violence allegedly inspired by the film, as is commonly believed. Kubrick received death threats to his family and consequently arranged to withdraw the film from UK cinemas. It was not allowed to be shown again in the United Kingdom until after his death. Throughout the decades the film acquired a mythical status in the country until Kubrick died in 1999 and the ban was finally lifted. [4]
1974 - 1999 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Banned; it was passed uncut in 1999.
1975 - 2003 Il paese del sesso selvaggio Umberto Lenzi's movie was banned. Passed in 2003 [citation needed]
1989 - Visions of Ecstasy Banned under blasphemy laws, and is the only film ever to be banned in the UK due to blasphemy. As the UK's blasphemy laws were repealed in 2008, the film is likely to be passed in the near future. [citation needed]
1990 - 2004 Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Banned; passed uncut in 2004
1993 - Mikey Originally certified 18 in November 1992 but banned before its official release. In the aftermath of the widely-publicised murder of Jamie Bulger, the UK government banned the film because it features a child as a killer, which the government believed might cause children who watched it to act violently. [44]
2009 - Grotesque Banned due to a high level of sexual torture.
  • 1984 - The infamous video nasty list is created to protect against obscenity. Films on this list were banned and distributors of said films were viable to be prosecuted (some of the films were banned before this list was made). This list banned 74 films at one point in the mid-1980s, but the list was eventually trimmed down when only 39 films were successfully prosecuted. Most of the films (even of the 39 successfully prosecuted) have now been approved by the BBFC either cut or uncut (see Video Recordings Act 1984). There is currently no legislation in force owing to a legislative mistake in 1984. It is anticipated that the system described will continue on a voluntary basis, and the legal structure will be enacted in November 2009[46].

United States

The United States has no federal agency charged with either permitting or restricting the exhibition of motion pictures. Most instances of films being banned are via ordinances or proclamations by city or state governments. Some are instances of films being judicially found to be of an obscene nature and subject to specific laws against such material (i.e. child pornography). Such findings are usually only legally binding in the jurisdiction of the court making such a ruling.

The established film industry in the United States began a form of self-censorship in the late 1920's called the Motion Picture Production Code to forestall any possible formation of a federal censoring agency. In 1968, the Production Code was superseded by the MPAA film rating system.

  • 1908: The James Boys in Missouri[citation needed] and Night Riders are banned in Chicago.[citation needed]
  • 1915: The Birth of a Nation banned in several American cities, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, and the states of Ohio, Kansas, and West Virginia [5]. Unbanned in 1916 outside of Kansas. [6]
  • 1917: The film Birth Control, produced by and starring Margaret Sanger banned, with the New York Court of Appeals holding that a film on family planning work may be censored "in the interest of morality, decency, and public safety and welfare".[47] Message Photo-Play v. George H. Bell, 179 A.D. 13 (1917).
  • 1919 - 1920: Within Our Gates banned in Chicago, New Orleans, and Omaha, for its depiction of interracial rape, lynching, and racial discrimination.[citation needed]
  • 1926: The Red Kimono, based on a real-life Chicago murder case and political scandal, banned in Chicago. The film was also the target of an unsuccessful lawsuit for defamation in California seeking an injunction to prohibit its public viewing, which California courts refused to grant.[citation needed]
  • 1928: The Racket banned in Chicago.[citation needed]
  • 1931: Frankenstein banned in Kansas for its portrayal of cruelty.[citation needed]
  • 1932: Freaks banned in Cleveland.[citation needed]
  • 1936 - 1966: The 1931 version of "The Maltese Falcon" (not to be confused with the better known "cleaned-up" 1941 version) could not be shown in its unedited "lewd" version.[citation needed]
  • 1945: Scarlet Street banned in New York City, according to Jan Morris' book Manhattan '45.[citation needed]
  • 1949: Pinky was banned by the city of Marshall, Texas because it portrayed an interracial couple, a violation of the city's censorship code.[citation needed]
  • 1953: The Moon Is Blue banned in Jersey City, New Jersey as "indecent and obscene."[48]
  • 1961: Victim banned in many American cities due to language. [7]
  • 1966 - 1968: Viva Maria! banned in Dallas for sexual and anti-Catholic content, prior to the United States Supreme Court striking down the ban and limiting the ability of municipalities to ban films for adults in Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. City of Dallas.[citation needed]
  • 1968 - 1991: Titicut Follies is barred from distribution to the general public by court order because the movie was considered a violation of the privacy of the prison inmates it filmed.[47]
  • 1969: I Am Curious (Yellow) is banned as pornography. After three court cases, it was unbanned when the anti-obscenity laws concerning films was overturned.[47]
  • 1979: Monty Python's Life of Brian was banned in several towns for showing controversial themes about Christianity.[47]
  • 1987: Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is banned from sale, distribution, and public exhibition by court order after a civil trial on copyright infringement. Director Todd Haynes had failed to obtain the proper licenses to use several Carpenters songs in the film.[47]
  • 1988: The Last Temptation of Christ banned in Savannah when city leaders sent a petition to Universal Studios requesting a ban. However, opened in Savannah on September 23, 1988, 6 weeks after national and worldwide debut.[citation needed]
  • 1997: The Tin Drum was briefly banned in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, when a district court judge deemed the film child pornography. The shot in question depicted a minor performing oral sex. The verdict was overturned on appeal.[citation needed]
  • 2002 - present: The Profit, a film that borrows elements of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, was prevented from release when the Church of Scientology claimed the film could taint the jury pool in the wrongful death trial of former member Lisa McPherson. A legal dispute with investor Robert S. Minton has kept it from being released even after the suit was settled. The Disinformation Book Of Lists and The Times have characterized The Profit as a "banned film" in the United States.[47][49]

Theoretically, free speech in the U.S. can also be limited if it might cause a clear and present danger of an imminent lawless action, or constitutes a copyright violation.

Vatican City



  • 2006: The Omen[citation needed]
  • 2006: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Sterritt, David (2003). The Films Of Jean-Luc Godard (Cambridge Film Classics). Cambridge University Press. pp. 166. ISBN 0521589711. 
  2. ^ a b c Innes, Lyn (2008). Ned Kelly: icon of modern culture. Westfield, Hastings, UK: Helm Information. p. 119. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  3. ^ [h "Pink Flamingos"]. h Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Davis, Laura (16 August 2009). "Gratuitous Gore and Sex". Tonight (New Zealand: Tonight & Independent Online). Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "'Wolf Creek' ban puzzles director". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): February. Thursday, December 15, 2005. 4:24pm (AEDT). Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ Evans, Gary (1991). "'On a Chariot of Fire': Sydney Newman's Tenure". In the National Interest: A Chronicle of the National Film Board of Canada from 1949 to 1989. University of Toronto Press. pp. 177-187. 
  7. ^ "1976". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved January 28th 2010. 
  8. ^ "China gives bald pirate the chop". Associated Press. 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2006-06-15. 
  9. ^ Milne, Tom (1986). "Commentary". Godard on Godard: Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard. Da Capo Press. pp. 267. ISBN 0306802597. 
  10. ^ Milne, Tom (1998). "Jean-Luc Godard and Vivre sa vie". Jean-Luc Godard: Interviews (Interviews With Filmmakers Series). University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578060818. 
  11. ^ "Mrinal Sen". sscnet. Retrieved 2010-23-02. 
  12. ^ The Naz Foundation Trust, "History's Flirtation with Fire", 1 August 1999. Accessed 7 March 2008.
  13. ^ Da Cunha, Derek (2002). Singapore in the new millennium: challenges facing the city-state. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 258. ISBN 981-230-131-3. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Indonesia 'bans' film on journalists' deaths in E Timor". BBC. 2 December 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Chapman, James (2003). Cinemas of the world: film and society from 1895 to the present (illustrated ed.). Reaktion Books. pp. 200. ISBN 9781861891624. 
  16. ^ "Film "Rumah Dara" Dicekal di Malaysia" (in bahasa Indonesia). ESQmagazine. 2010. 
  17. ^ Thomas Leeflang: Laurel & Hardy Compleet
  18. ^ "Mad Max, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  19. ^ "Mad Max, VHS, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  20. ^ "Puni Puni Poemy, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  21. ^ "Bumfights: Cause for Concern, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  22. ^ "Bumfights 2: Bumlife, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  23. ^ "Cannibal Holocaust, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  24. ^ "Hostel Part II, OFLC decision". Office of Film and Literature Classification, New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  25. ^ `Borat' Film Banned by Russian Regulator as Offensive
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Singapore censor passes Brokeback". BBC News. 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  28. ^ Kim Ik-sang (김익상) (June 2, 1998) (in Korean) 열여섯살 소년의 꿈 (A dream of 16 years old boy) Cine 21
  29. ^ "A Korean master: Kim Ki-Young retrospective at the French 'Cinematheque'". Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  30. ^ Daly, Bridget (October 23, 2009). "Spain Bans Saw VI". DNA Group, Inc ( 
  31. ^ "Spain Bans Saw VI". October 23, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  32. ^ Dias, Wije (2006-05-30). "Sri Lankan government bans local film Aksharaya (Letter of Fire)". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  33. ^ "TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION" (in Swedish). Sweden: Statens biografbyrås. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  34. ^ "Anna and the King's Thai ban". BBC News. 1999-12-21. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  35. ^ a b c Pakamard Jaichalard (2009-08-06). "Reeling in movies". Daily Xpress (The nation). Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  36. ^ "วธ.เผย 1 ปีบังคับใช้กม.หนัง - ไทยแบนแล้ว 10 เรื่องหนังเทศโดนเพียบ". Kom Chad Luek. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2010-02-05.  (Thai)
  37. ^ "วธ.แบนหนังมะกัน Zack and Miri Make a Porno ชี้เนื้อหาสอนเยาวชนทำหนังโป๊". Manager Online. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2009-04-27.  (Thai)
  38. ^ «Министерство культуры запретило показ фильма Бруно в Украине» — Корреспондент.net
  39. ^ «Нацкомиссия по защите морали запретила распространение фильма Хостел 2» — Корреспондент.net
  40. ^ Киноклуб НаУКМА посетила милиция
  41. ^ "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Rejected by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  42. ^ "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III rejected by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. May 22, 1990. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  43. ^ "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III rated 18 by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. March 18, 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  44. ^ Who controls the censor?
  45. ^ "Grotesque rejected by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  46. ^ Loophole over DVD age rating law
  47. ^ a b c d e f Kick, Russ (2004). The Disinformation Book Of Lists. The Disinformation Company. List 68: "16 Movies Banned in the U.S.", Page 238. ISBN 0972952942. 
  48. ^ "JERSEY JUDGE SEES 'THE MOON IS BLUE'; Superior Court Jurist Says He Will Give Decision Today on Film Seized as 'Indecent'", The New York Times: 33, October 16, 1953 
  49. ^ Purves, Libby (2007-10-26). "The Blasphemy Collection". The Times. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  50. ^ Controversial film 'Sisters' hits DVD
  51. ^
  52. ^ a b

Further reading

  • Forbidden Films: Censorship Histories of 125 Motion Pictures by Dawn Sova ISBN 0-8160-4336-1
  • Behind The Mask of Innocence: Sex, Violence, Crime: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era by Kevin Brownlow, 2nd ed. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992). Contains considerable information about film censorship in pre-1930 America, and discusses banned silent films in great detail.

External links

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