Banned Movies That Upset Sensitive Audiences

By Sophia Maddox | June 14, 2023

The BBFC Tuned In, Turned Off, And Dropped Out Of 'The Trip'

Today, hardly a day goes by where there is no controversy or public debate about whether various films or other programs have crossed a line of what is acceptable to depict on film. Such debates consume an enormous amount of the public’s collective consciousness, and it sometimes seems that it’s all we ever do. It is easy to forget, however, that such debates are as old as film itself.

Many films over the decades have been controversial for their depictions of various things. Excessive violence, sexual themes, and use of questionable language in films have been magnets for public debate around their suitability to be shown and whether they degrade society through their being shown. This list is a journey back in time and an examination of some films from yesterday that fit that description.

Warning, this article features a collection of 60 photographs from films that have been banned in some countries. Viewer discretion is advised as some of these films may still be banned in certain locations.

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(American International Pictures)

The Trip is a film directed by Roger Corman and released in 1967. The film follows the psychedelic experiences of a young man named Paul who takes a powerful LSD-like drug and embarks on a trippy journey through his own psyche. The Trip was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) four times between 1968 and 1988 due to its depiction of drug use and its potentially harmful effects on audiences.

The BBFC expressed concern that the film could encourage drug use and that it was not suitable for general audiences due to its trippy and sometimes disturbing imagery. Despite its initial rejection, The Trip has since become a cult classic and is now recognized as an important work in the history of psychedelic cinema.

'Maniac' Has An Odd Relationship With British Censors

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(Analysis Film Releasing Corporation)

Ah, Maniac, what a film. This film is definitely not for the faint of heart. In fact, it was so gory and disturbing that it was banned twice in England, first in 1981 for its theatrical run, and again in 1998 for a home video release. The film follows a serial killer as he stalks and murders young women in New York City, and it's filled with graphic violence, sexual assault, and all sorts of other disturbing content. It's not exactly the kind of movie you'd want to watch on a cozy night in, hence the ban.