IMDb Polls

Poll: Banned Films

All films on this list were or are banned in different countries, and for different reasons. Which film, or which of the reasons for it being/having been banned in certain places, are you most surprised to find on the list?

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Schindler's List (1993)

    Banned in Indonesia as a film that is sympathetic to the Jewish cause. (according to wikipedia) Also banned in Malaysia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, due to its scenes of "violence, torture and nudity"
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    All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

    The film was banned in Germany by Nazi Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick on the grounds that it ignominiously represented Germans as cowards. Ironically, in neighboring Poland, that country's censorship board proscribed the film on account of it's being "pro-German." The film was also banned in Austria until 1956, when it was also shown in Germany. Banned after short initial screening in France until 1963. Banned in Italy until the early 1980's. (various sources: IMDb trivia, wikipedia)
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    Ulysses (1967)

    An adaption of probably the most famous work of Irish literature by one of the foremost writers the country ever produced and a Nobel Prize laureate for Literature, James Joyce, this film, shot in Ireland with many notable Irish actors, was not approved for general release in Ireland until 2000 because of scenes of nudity and sexuality. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Vanishing Prairie (1954)

    The Walt Disney documentary was banned in New York in 1956 because it showed a buffalo giving birth. The ban was lifted after a complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Wild One (1953)

    Banned in the UK until 1967. (according to wikipedia)
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    Battleship Potemkin (1925)

    Banned in many Western countries until after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 for fear it could inspire a revolution (France) or promote Marxism (Germany) and similar reasons. (several sources, including wikipedia)
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    Ben-Hur (1959)

    Banned in China for containing "propaganda of superstitious beliefs, namely Christianity." (Never given permission to screen). (according to wikipedia)
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    Back to the Future (1985)

    Banned in China because of the government's belief that time travel is a dangerous element in fiction and because the actions of Marty McFly are highly inappropriate. (according to wikipedia)
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    Valley of the Wolves: Palestine (2011)

    "Valley of the Wolves: Palestine"

    Banned in Germany, because of FSK's initial concerns over the film's perceived anti-Israeli and anti-American overtones. (according to wikipedia)

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    Noah (2014)

    Banned in Indonesia due to religious reasons. Also banned in some other countries, including Vietam and Tunisia. (according to wikipedia)
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    Brief Encounter (1945)

    On initial release, the film was banned by the strict censorship board in Ireland on the grounds that it portrayed an adulterer in a sympathetic light. (according to wikipedia)
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    Life of Brian (1979)

    Banned in Ireland because it was considered blasphemous. Ban lifted in 1987. It was also banned for a year in Norway, but marketed in neighbouring Sweden as "The film so funny that it was banned in Norway"). (according to wikipedia)
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    Goldfinger (1964)

    Banned in Israel for a short time. It had played for six weeks before the Nazi past of Gert Fröbe, who played the title villain, was disclosed; it was unbanned after a few months after a man went to the Israeli Embassy in Vienna and told staff that Fröbe hid him and his mother from the Nazis (which may have saved their lives). (according to wikipedia)
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    Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)

    Banned in Israel in a unanimous decision by the censorship board that Alec Guinness's Hitler was represented in too human a light. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

    Banned in Israel on the grounds that it could offend Christians. Also banned in other coutries for religious reasons. (according to wikipedia)
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    Monkey Business (1931)

    Banned in Ireland because censors feared it would encourage anarchic tendencies. Ban lifted 2000. (according to wikipedia)
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    Barney's Great Adventure (1998)

    Banned in Malaysia because the censors found it to be unacceptable for children to watch, without providing any further explanation. (according to wikipedia)
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    Borat (2006)

    Banned in Kazakhstan and Russia as "offensive". (according to wikipedia)
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    2012 (2009)

    Banned in North Korea because the year 2012 coincides with Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday. The year had also been designated "the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower."[66] Thus, a movie which depicts the year in a negative light was found to be offensive by the North Korean government. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Da Vinci Code (2006)

    Banned in Samoa outright after church leaders watching a pre-release showing filed a complaint with film censors. Also banned in Singapore. (according to wikipedia)
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    Anna and the King (1999)

    Banned in Thailand because could be construed as disrespectful towards the King of Thailand. (according to wikipedia)
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    Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    The film was banned in many Arab countries - but not Jordan, where much of it was filmed with the support of the the King - as they felt they were misrepresented. Omar Sharif arranged with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt to view the film to show him there was nothing wrong with the way they were portrayed. Nasser loved the film and allowed it to be released in Egypt where it went on to become a monster hit. (source: IMDb)
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    Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

    Banned in Thailand by the Ministry of Culture due to sexual content (characters showing how to make their own pornographic video; teens may try to mimic). (according to wikipedia)
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    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

    Dragon Tattoo It was banned in India for its adult scenes of rape and torture. The Central Board of Film Certification demanded that these scenes be cut, which the director David Fincher refused to do. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

    Banned in the USSR under the regime of Joseph Stalin, after a test screening in Poland. The film showed that even the poorest Americans could afford an automobile, unlike in the Soviet Union. (according to wikipedia)
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    Doctor Zhivago (1965)

    As with the novel itself, the film was banned in the Soviet Union. It was not shown in Russia until 1994. (according to wikipedia)
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    Scram! (1932)

    According to the book 'Laurel & Hardy Compleet' by Thomas Leeflang, this film was banned in The Netherlands in 1932. Moral crusaders thought that the scene where Laurel & Hardy lie on a bed with a woman was indecent. Not banned anymore. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Tin Drum (1979)

    In 1980, the film was first cut, and then banned as child pornography by the Ontario Censor Board in Canada. On June 25, 1997, following a ruling made by State District Court Judge Richard Freeman, who had reportedly only viewed a single isolated scene of the film, The Tin Drum was banned from Oklahoma County in the US and all copies of the film were confiscated. The confiscation of the tapes was declared illegal and the ban was lifted a few months later. (according to wikipedia)
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    Sex and the City 2 (2010)

    Banned in Vietnam because of a conflict of "cultural values". (according to wikipedia)
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    Paths of Glory (1957)

    The French government placed enormous pressure on United Artists, the European distributor, to refrain from releasing the film. As a result, the film was not submitted to French censors, and was not shown in France until 1975. In Germany, the film was not allowed to be shown for two years after its release to avoid any strain in relations with France. The film was also officially censored in Spain by the government of Francisco Franco for its anti-military content, and was not released in that country until 1986. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Hunger Games (2012)

    Banned in Vietnam due to alleged inappropriate content. (according to wikipedia)
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    Catch-22 (1970)

    Banned in Portugal until 1974 because of the scene showing Capt. Yossarian naked in a tree. (according to wikipedia)
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    Mad Max (1979)

    Both New Zealand and Sweden initially banned the film, the former due to the scene where Goose is burned alive inside his vehicle. It mirrored an incident with a real gang shortly before the film's release. It was later shown in New Zealand in 1983 after the success of the sequel, with an 18 certificate. The ban in Sweden was removed in 2005. (according to wikipedia)
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    The Simpsons Movie (2007)

    Banned in Burma, where the colours of yellow and red in a film are banned. (according to Total Film)
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    The Eternal Jew (1940)

    This Nazi propaganda film can presently only be shown for use in college classrooms and for academic purposes in Germany; exhibitors must have formal education in "media science and the history of the Holocaust." Public use in Germany is prohibited as of 2013. (according to wikipedia)