Propaganda, sexuality, and much worst. These are the most controversial movies ever made:
10. Twilight Zone: The Movie
Anyone who has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie might not know that it was one of the most controversial movies of its time. However, the circumstances surrounding the movie were horrifying and tragic.
The movie faced criticism after a helicopter exploded on set, killing three people, including two children and famed actor Vic Morrow:
John Landis, who directed the scene, was accused of putting the actors at risk in an unsafe situation. At the end of the trial, new laws concerning aviation safety were passed, while Landis was acquitted of manslaughter.
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9. The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse
The movie The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse is often seen as an allegory for the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany.
It was made in 1933, the same year that Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. The movie courted controversy and ran into trouble with the authoritative Nazi government in the early 1930s.
8. Titicut Follies
The movie Titicut Follies shows the controversial treatment of the inmates at the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane.
The movie showed inmates being neglected and abused by the hospital staff. It also showed how the staff force-fed patients, with one scene showing a guard taunting a naked, vulnerable man.
This became one of the most controversial movies in 1967 as it was a shocking expose of how the facility was being run.
7. The Last Temptation of Christ
This Martin Scorsese movie attracted the critic’s attention over the odd casting choices: David Bowie playing Pontius Pilot, Willem Dafoe playing Christ himself, and Harvey Keitel playing Judas Iscariot with his heavy Brooklyn accent.
The actual controversy surrounding the movie came from religious groups who were shocked by the movie’s content, especially in one of the later scenes where while being on the cross, Jesus is ‘tempted’ by normal life. The scene goes on to show Jesus coming down from the cross and making love to Mary Magdalene.
6. In the Realm of the Senses
Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses is known for the mature depiction of sexuality. The movie was noted for the unsimulated sex between the lead actors:
However, because of the strict censorship laws in Japan, the film was listed as a French production. And for years after its release, it faced immense pressure from censor boards all over the world.
5. Last Tango in Paris
The 1972 movie, Last Tango in Paris became a subject of controversy in recent years when a video of director Bertolucci surfaced. He claimed that the movie’s infamous rape scene was not consensual:
The scene featured Marlon Brando and 19-year-old Maria Schneider. Bertolucci was even charged for obscenity in Italy for the filming of that scene.
4. A Clockwork Orange
One of Stanley Kubrick’s most controversial movies, A Clockwork Orange, focused on ‘ultra-violence.’
The movie faced criticism for the highly-stylized violence, especially after a trend of copycat crimes began in the United Kingdom following the release of the movie.
The controversy even reached a point where protesters picketed Kubrick’s house in England and sent him death threats.
3. Salò, Or the 120 Days of Sodom
The combination of religion and sex by filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini did not go down well. This explicit movie featured the abduction and sexual torture of many teenage boys against the background of World War II by aristocratic Italian libertines.
Many of the actors were believed to be underage, and the film was banned in several countries.
2. Triumph of the Will
Triumph of the Will was focused on Nazi propaganda. While the director distanced herself from the Nazi regime after the War, many continued to believe that the filmmaker was close to Hitler and his allies.
1. The Birth of a Nation
The movie The Birth of a Nation promoted the Ku Klux Klan, and it became such a hit that it was even screened at the White House:
This three-hour-long movie was controversial for the blatant portrayal of racism. Even today, The Birth of a Nation remains the most controversial movie ever.