Banned Movies That Upset Sensitive Audiences

By Sophia Maddox | October 4, 2023

'Vixen!' Banned In Cincinnati!

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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(Eve Productions)

Vixen! is a film directed by the voyeuristic exploitation director Russ Meyer that played across America except for Cincinnati, Ohio where it was banned for its explicit sexual content. The film was considered too scandalous for audiences in Cincinnati at the time.

Many members of the audience may have found the film titillating, and but others likely found it offensive or inappropriate despite its critically acclaimed. Supposedly the film is still banned in Cincinnati in spite of the fact that it's readily available on home video.

Häxan Had A Devil Of A Time Screening In The States

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(Skandias Filmbyrå)

Häxan is a 1922 Swedish-Danish silent horror film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. The film is a historical and supernatural exploration of the subject of witchcraft, including a depiction of various torture methods used against accused witches in the Middle Ages.

Häxan was banned in several countries, including the United States, due to its depiction of graphic violence and sexual content. It was also criticized for its portrayal of witches as evil, which was seen as promoting superstitious beliefs. The film was eventually released in the United States in 1968, after being re-edited to remove some of the more graphic content. It is not currently banned in the United States.