While the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to Free Speech, sometime movies get banned because they impedes others people’s right to Free Speech. Although most of the movies below are available to watch in some way or another, here are 11 movies that were once banned in the United States at one point in time.
1. The Tin Drum.
The German film The Tin Drum was banned in Oklahoma when it was released in the late 70s. Oklahomans objected to an oral sex scene between a young boy and an older woman. The ban was eventually lifted, while The Tin Drum won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The original 1932 version of Scarface was banned in five different states when it was first released. Some people felt that the movie featured scenes that were a “glorification of crime and violence.”
3. The Last Temptation of Christ.
Martin Scorsese’s film about Jesus didn’t bode well for the people of Savannah, Georgia. They objected to the film’s portrayal of Jesus Christ because he doesn’t die on the cross in a fantasy sequence. It’s important to remember that he does eventually die at the end of the film. The ban lasted for six weeks.
4. Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
The comedy was banned in a few small towns across the United States because it poked fun of Christianity. It should also be pointed out that Life of Brian is a satire.
5. The Profit.
The Church of Scientology managed to block the parody The Profit from getting a release because it borrows heavily from the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, and how he duped people into joining his new religion.
6. Birth Control.
In 1917, sex education teacher Margaret Sanger made a movie about birth control, while the New York Court of Appeals banned the movie. They believed it was “in the interest of morality, decency, and public safety and welfare” to do so.
7. I Am Curious (Yellow).
During the late 60s, Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) was banned in the United States as pornography. The movie is now available to watch because anti-obscenity laws were overturned.
8. The Vanishing Prairie.
This is a documentary from the Walt Disney Company about pioneers on the Oregon Trail. It was banned in New York for depicting the real-life birth of a Buffalo.
9. Song of the South.
The Walt Disney Company buried Song of the South because it’s very racist depiction of former slaves living in Reconstruction-Era Georgia. While there was a time you could watch this movie, Disney now tries to distance itself from Song of the South in the 21st Century.
In 1922, the United States banned the Danish film Häxan for its depiction of witchcraft with torture and nudity.
11. The Birth of a Nation.
Many cities in the United States banned The Birth of a Nation because it portrays the Ku Klux Klan as heroes and black Americans and progressives as villains. Unfortunately, the film is a cornerstone of cinematic art and technique, while its content and subject matter are odious and backwards.