Author Topic: 50 controversial films  (Read 9814 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 11:11:56 PM »
"I noticed that none of these films were ever banned in the U.S. When it comes to films, maybe we are more liberal than I first presumed."

There is a list of banned films per country here

The USA seems like the UK, few national bans but some local bans.
Highlights from the list:

  • Battleship Potemkin was banned for a couple of decades in the UK for ""inflammatory subtitles and Bolshevist Propaganda". Also banned in Finland, France, Germany, South Korea and Spain
  • The entry on The Exorcist for the UK is incorrect as I saw it in Edinburgh in the period they said in was banned.
  • USA bannings (some for very short periods) include Birth of a Nation (!!!) and Life of Brian
  • Burma seems to have banned everything including Rambo
  • Ben Hur, AI and Avatar in China
  • The Frankenstein films and King Kong in Finland
  • The Big Sleep in Ireland and Brief Encounter (!!!)
  • a Laurel and Hardy film in The Netherlands

And who would believe Borat is banned in Kazakstan (as well as Russia).

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2011, 09:27:33 PM »
100 essential directors

Good that Ken is rightly there, and I think the choice of directors is good, but there is some of the usual sloppy writing about Ken

"When ranking descriptive words for Ken Russell’s work, “orgasmic” would land somewhere firmly in the top three; “subdued”, if it registered at all, would make a solid bottom showing".

Song of Summer?  Probably his best work.  And many more.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 10:02:32 PM »
I noticed that none of these films were ever banned in the U.S. When it comes to films, maybe we are more liberal than I first presumed.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 05:27:22 PM »
Another list of banned films from The Independent 9 May 2011

A number of times they say "banned in the UK".  Most times all this means is that some town in the UK banned it, but it could be seen alsewhere.  Maybe the same applies to other countries.  I like Life of Brian being marketed in Sweden as 'The film so funny that it was banned in Norway'.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Banned in Ireland 1971-2000, UK - by Stanley Kubrick (1973-1999), Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Spain

"...director Stanley Kubrick withdrew the film in the UK. After his death, his wife Christiane revealed that the actual reason he had the film banned was on the advice of the police after severe threats were made to him and his family."

Not really a ban if the director is the person stopping it being shown.  Kubrick also withdrew it in the UK after it had its general release and was shown around the country.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Banned in Finland (1984), UK, Brazil, Australia, West Germany, Chile, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Singapore and Sweden

It could be seen in London (I didn't go!!)

The Exorcist (1973)
Banned in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore

I saw it in Edinburgh.

Life of Brian (1979)
Banned in Norway (1979-1980), Singapore, Ireland (1979-1987)
"In 2009, the thirty-year old ban of the film in the Welsh town of Aberystwyth was finally lifted. Sweden, on the other hand, used the controversy to its advantage, marketing the film as 'The film so funny that it was banned in Norway'."

The Last Tango in Paris (1973)
Banned in Italy (1972-1986), Singapore, New Zealand, Portugal (1973-1974) and South Korea

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Banned in Austria (1931-1945) and Germany (1931-1945)
"Due to its anti-war and perceived anti-German messages, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party banned the film from Germany until the end of World War Two. During its brief run in German cinemas in 1930, the Nazis disrupted the viewings by releasing rats in the theatres."

Caligula (1979)
Banned in Canada and Iceland

The Last House on the Left (1972)
Banned in the UK (1984-2002), Singapore, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, West Germany and for over 32 years in Australia.

Freaks (1932)
Banned in Italy, Finland and Ireland

The Evil Dead (1983)
Banned in Malaysia, UK (1983-1990), West Germany (1984), Sweden, Iceland, Ireland and Singapore

When I saw Rumble Fish in London, The Evil Dead was showing on the other screen- I know because they showed an advert for it and it terrified me.

120 Days of Sodom
Banned in Italy, Finland, Australia, West Germany, New Zealand and Norway

Banned in the UK
"Opening with a boy killing his parents, the film follows Mikey, a disturbed little boy who murders his family, and moves onto his adoptive parents. Mikey had, in fact, been passed '18' uncut by the BBFC [British Board of Film Classification]... however, James Bulger was killed by two 11-year-old boys and the Daily Mail immediately pointed out that the upcoming Mikey also featured a child killer. Head Censor of the BBFC James Ferman... demanded the return of Mikey's certificate, making it banned in the UK."

I Spit on Your Grave
Banned in Finland (2006), Australia (1997-2004), China, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, Norway, West Germany, Ireland (2002), UK (1984-2001)

Cannibal Holocaust
Banned in Singapore, Australia, Norway (1984-2005), Finland (1984-2001), Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand (2006), Ireland, Iceland (1984-2006), West Germany, Italy (1980-1984) and the UK (1984-2001)

Visions of Ecstasy
Banned in the UK

Faces of Death
Banned in New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Norway and the UK (1984-2003)
No Pressure (2010)
"A short film... on behalf of the 10:10 environmental campaign... was withdrawn following complaints about its graphic scenes of exploding climate change refuseniks.

The four-minute video was taken down from the 10:10 website and plans to distribute it to cinemas were ripped up after members of the public and key backers of the campaign, including the charity ActionAid, said they were "appalled" by its portrayal of zealous greenhouse gas activists using a red button to blow up reluctant supporters, such as the actress Gillian Anderson and former footballer David Ginola."

Not actually a film but an advert, but I thought it was pretty funny.  You can still find it online.

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse Banned in Finland (1933), Germany (1933-1945) and Sweden (1933-1952)
"Despite Goebbels saying he was 'struck by the dullness of its portrayal, the coarseness of its construction, and the inadequacy of its acting' he still organised private viewings for his friends...."

Banned in Austria
"This short horror film is directed by Nacho CerdĂ  and doesn't actually feature any dialogue. The audience sees a mortician after hours in the morgue, as he mutilates the corpse of a young woman who died in a car crash. Shortly after, he has sex with the dead body, taking pictures in the process. He then brings her heart home to feed his dog.
Unsurprisingly, the necrophilia is the controversial topic in the film which shocked audiences, but it has also been praised for its attention to detail and cinematography."

The Devils
Banned in Finland (1985, 1971), Ireland and Italy
"Ken Russell's film was banned from Italy and its stars Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed were threatened with three years' jail time if they set foot in the country. "

Straw Dogs
Banned in the UK (1999)

It could be seen in London.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 11:43:05 PM by Iain Fisher »

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 03:25:52 PM »
Interesting list.  Obviously I have not seen them all but classics from the list for me are

The David Lean films
14. In Which We Serve (also credited to Noel Coward but the direction was Lean's)
16. This Happy Breed
18. Blithe Spirit
52. Ryan's Daughter

The Olivier films
17. Henry V
35. Richard III
I've not included Hamlet because I didn't like the film, but maybe I need to revisit

05. Things to Come (if it is the film I remember)
09. Pygmalion (good but I prefer My Fair Lady)
12. The Thief of Baghdad
13. Odd man Out (good Carol Reed/ Graham Greene who would later do The Third Man)
26. The Rocking Horse Winner (based on D.H. Lawrence, it influenced singer Scott Walker a lot)
27. The Blue Lamp (the actor who plays the policeman who was killed, then went on to play the same character (his death was forgotten) in the British TV series Dixon of Dock Green for 21 years, retiring as acting a policeman at the age of 81
40. Whistle Down the Wind
44. Seance on a Wet Afternoon (cult classic)
45. A Hard Day's Night (Beatles best film)
47. Darling- it was a cult film at the time but I don't like it other than that Zakes Mokae appears in it.

One I definitely would exclude

22. Caesar and Cleopatra (going through the motions version of the play)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 12:02:16 AM by Iain Fisher »

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: 50 controversial films
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 09:41:15 PM »
Any other views?

A good list, but I have a better one. In 1978, Jerry Vermilye's "The Great British Films," which featured the 75 greatest British films released between 1933 and 1971, was published. Besides Ken Russell, he included the following films, which were not included on the other list.

01. The Private Life of Henry VIII
02. Evergreen
03. Nell Gwynn
04. The Passage of the 3rd Floor Back
05. Things to Come
06. Rembrandt
07. Fire Over England
08. Victoria the Great
09. Pygmalion
10. The Stars Look Down
11. Gaslight
12. The Thief of Baghdad
13. Major Barbara
14. In Which We Serve
15. The Man in Grey
16. This Happy Breed
17. Henry V
18. Blithe Spirit
19. Perfect Stranger
20. The 7th Veil
21. I Saw a Dark Stranger
22. Caesar and Cleopatra
13. Odd man Out
24. Hamlet
25. Oliver Twist
26. The Rocking Horse Winner
27. The Blue Lamp
28. The Happiest Days of Your Life
29. 7 Days to Noon
30. The Lavender Hill Mob
31. The Browning Version
32. The Importance of Being Ernest
33. The Holly and the Ivy
34. Hobson's Choice
35. Richard III
36. A Night to Remember
37. Room at the Top
38. The Entertainer
39. Tunes of Glory
40. Whistle Down the Wind
41. A Touch of Honey
42. A Kind of Loving
43. Tom Jones
44. Seance on a Wet Afternoon
45. A Hard Day's Night
46. King and Country
47. Darling
48. The Family Way
49. The Whisperers
50. Isadora
51. Women in Love
52. Ryan's Daughter
53. The Virgin and the Gypsy
54. Entertaining Mr. Sloane

Despite the efforts of Ken Russell, and the decline is not as bad as I first thought, from the films that are listed, I think one can say there has been a decline in the quality of British films over the past forty years.

Of course, British films are not the only ones experienceing a decline. I think it is acknowledged that the overall quality of American films was higher in the first four decades of sound filmmaking in Hollywood, then the the most recent four decades.

Offline Iain Fisher

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100 best British films
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 01:54:07 AM »
Tme Out, London's entertainment magazine, has given the top 100 British films according to film professionals.

Nothing by Ken!!

Polanski (French/ Polish) and Kubrick (American) are on the list because the films were made in Britian (and I agree with their inclusion) but Roeg's Walkabout filmed in Australia is also included.  I don't see the logic.

TV is also included, but not the three milestones of British TV films, Ken Loach's Cathy Come Home and Ken Russell's Elgar and Song of Summer (Delius).  The Bill Douglas Trilogy is included (yes) but I fear no-one outside Scotland will understand the dialogue.

Two Derek Jarmans, both of which I like, but is Caravagio really better than The Devils, and Blue is admirable but should it be in the top 100?  Above Savage Messiah or The Devils?

Nice to see Peeping Tom, Brazil, Wicker Man, Dr. No.

Good films but top 100? - 28 Days Later, Whisky Galore (presumably unknown outside the UK), Four Weddings and a Funeral.

And the ones that everyone rates but I just don't get (my fault)
- Witchfinder General, If, Get Carter, Blowup, This Sporting Life, Billy Liar.

Any other views?

The list is
1: Don't Look Now (1973)
2: The Third Man (1949)
3: Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
4: Kes (1969)
5: The Red Shoes (1948)
6: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
7: Performance (1970)
8: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
9: If... (1968)
10: Trainspotting (1996)
11: Naked (1993)
12: Brief Encounter (1945)
13: The 39 Steps (1935)
14: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
15: Withnail & I (1987)
16: Black Narcissus (1947)
17: A Canterbury Tale (1944)
18: The Innocents (1961)
19: Barry Lyndon (1975)
20: Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
21. Nil by Mouth(1997)
22. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning(1960)
23.Lawrence of Arabia(1962)
25.Great Expectations(1946)
26.'I Know Where I'm Going!'(1945)
27.My Childhood(1972)
28.The Wicker Man(1973)
29.Peeping Tom(1960)
30.The Ladykillers(1955)
31.The Lady Vanishes(1938)
32.Get Carter(1971)
33.Secrets & Lies(1996)
34.A Clockwork Orange(1971)
35.The Servant(1963)
36.The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner(1962)
37.It Always Rains on Sunday(1947)
38.Went the Day Well?(1942)
39.London(1994 Documentary)
41.Witchfinder General(1968)
42.Listen to Britain(1942 Documentary)
43.Fires Were Started(1943)
46.The Fallen Idol(1948)
50.Culloden(1964 Documentary)
51.Local Hero(1983)
52.Robinson in Space(1997 Documentary)
53.This Sporting Life(1963)
54.Monty Python and the Holy Grail(1975)
55.Radio On(1980)
57.2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)
58.Gregory's Girl(1981)
60.The Long Good Friday(1980)
62.Deep End(1970)
63.Play for Today(1970 TV Series) Episode: Nuts in May (1976)
67.Whisky Galore(1949)
68.Dead of Night(1945)
70.Bad Timing(1980)
71.Edvard Munch(1974 TV Movie)
72.The Long Day Closes(1992)
73.The Man in the White Suit(1951)
74.Four Weddings and a Funeral(1994)
75.A Room for Romeo Brass(1999)
76.Play for Today(1970 TV Series) Episode: Penda's Fen (1974)
78.Billy Liar(1963)
79.The Offence(1972)
80.Under the Skin(1997)
81.Dr. No(1962)
83.A Cottage on Dartmoor(1929)
84.Fish Tank(2009)
85.I'm All Right Jack(1959)
86.The Bridge on the River Kwai(1957)
87.Night and the City(1950)
88.This Is England(2006)
89.The Go-Between(1970)
91.Land and Freedom(1995)
92.Dead Man's Shoes(2004)
94.24 Hour Party People(2002)
95.London to Brighton(2006)
96.Theater of Blood(1973)
97.28 Days Later...(2002)
98.School for Scoundrels(1960)
99.The Railway Children(1970)
100.In This World(2002)

Offline Iain Fisher

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50 controversial films
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 10:04:28 PM »
A list of the most controversial films ever,1&_r=true

The Devils is at 47, apparently less controversial than Basic Instinct (46), Dirty Harry (35), Silence of the Lambs (24) and Bonnie and Clyde (9).  Try telling Warner Bros that The Devils is mild compared with Bonnie & Clyde so should come out on DVD.

The top 5 are:

5. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971). It is often incorrectly said this was banned in the UK, it wasn't.  Kubrick himself refused to allow it to be revived  

4. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915).  A great silent film by DW Griffith but the Ku Klux Klan as the heroes rescuing the women from the rioting negroes is a bit hard to take

(image from here
This must be the longest web address ever!

3. SALĂ’, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975).  Also great (I love Pasolini), and faithful to the book by de Sade
2. TRIUMPH OF THE WILL (1934).  Ken praised this film often called pro-Nazi

(image from here

1. THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (1988).  A bit predictable.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 02:27:31 AM by Iain Fisher »