Banned Movies That Upset Sensitive Audiences

By Sophia Maddox | June 28, 2023

'I Am Curious (Yellow)' Faced Censorship At Every Turn For Its Shocking Show Of Skin

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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(Grove Press)

I Am Curious (Yellow) is a 1967 Swedish art film directed by Vilgot Sjöman. The film is a political and social commentary that follows a young woman named Lena as she investigates various social and political issues in Sweden. The film is known for its frank depiction of sexuality and its use of unconventional narrative techniques.

Upon the film's release in its home country it was a commercial and critical success. However, it was banned in Massachusetts due to its depiction of sexual content, which was considered to be obscene by some groups. The film's ban in Massachusetts led to a significant amount of media attention and controversy, and it became a cause célèbre for advocates of free speech and artistic expression.

After its initial ban, I Am Curious (Yellow) was released in the United States in a modified version that removed some of the more explicit content. The film was a commercial success in the United States and received widespread critical acclaim.

Today, I Am Curious (Yellow) is widely regarded as an important and influential work within the art film world. It is known for its groundbreaking depiction of sexuality and its use of unconventional narrative techniques, and it has been credited with paving the way for more explicit and controversial films in the art house circuit.

Paths of Glory Was Banned In 1957 Based On Its Views On The Military

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(United Artists)

Paths of Glory is a film directed by Stanley Kubrick that was released in 1957. The film tells the story of a group of soldiers who are wrongly accused of cowardice during World War I and are subsequently put on trial. The film was banned in 1957 in several countries, including France, where it was set, because it was considered too critical of the military and the government. The film was also banned in Spain, where it was also set, because it depicted the Spanish army in a negative light.

On top of the ban throughout Europe, Paths of Glory was not allowed to be screened on U.S. military bases due to its anti-war sentiment. Would it have been screened anyway? Probably not.

Despite the ban, the film was a critical success and is now considered a classic of cinema. Today, it is widely viewed as a powerful anti-war film that highlights the horrors of conflict and the inhumane treatment of soldiers. The film's ban did not have a significant impact on Stanley Kubrick's career, as he went on to become of the greatest directors in history.