Not all movies find themselves in the good graces of the public; in fact, many find just the opposite. Films are banned for all types of reasons – excessive gore, offensive plots and even fear of impressionable minds. No matter the reason, everyone perceives a movie differently, and someone’s favorite title might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
There are many banned films throughout the world that people might not even be aware of. While this list includes some of the more popular and talked about banned films, it is by no means exhaustive – there are countless banned films out there, and this list only scratches the surface.
20. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A Clockwork Orange follows Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), an “ultra-violent” protagonist that leads a gang he calls his “droogs” on a murderous spree. The film showcases this spree in disturbing detail, as well as Alex’s capture and attempted rehabilitation through aversion therapy, which the government hopes to be able to implement to diminish the growing crime problems. The film is still noted for its violence and disturbing images.
Based on Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novella of the same name, Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film has been deemed groundbreaking, but not by all. In 1971, the British Board of Film Classification reviewed the film in its entirety, ultimately deciding it should be released. However, controversy continued on in the wake of the film, as violent “copycat” crimes occurred, modeling themselves off the film. Disagreeing, but ultimately defeated by the public, Kubrick delayed the release of the film in the UK, eventually pulling it from release altogether.
In its US release, Kubrick had to cut a part of the film (about thirty seconds) to transition from an X rating to R. And in 2000, twenty-seven years after it was banned, the film returned to British screens.
In 2000, the film was released on VHS and DVD, both individually and as part of The Stanley Kubrick Collection DVD set. Due to negative comments from fans, Warner Bros re-released the film, its image digitally restored and its soundtrack remastered. A limited-edition collector’s set with a soundtrack disc, film poster, booklet and film strip followed, but later was discontinued. In 2005, a British re-release, packaged as an “Iconic Film” in a limited-edition slipcase was published, identical to the remastered DVD set, except for different package cover art. In 2006, Warner Bros announced the September publication of a two-disc special edition featuring a Malcolm McDowell commentary, and the releases of other two-disc sets of Stanley Kubrick films. Several British retailers had set the release date as 6 November 2006; the release was delayed and re-announced for 2007 Holiday Season.
An HD DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD re-release version of the film was released on 23 October 2007. The release accompanies four other Kubrick classics. 1080p video transfers and remixed Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (for HD DVD) and uncompressed 5.1 PCM (for Blu-ray) audio tracks are on both the Blu-ray and HD DVD editions. Unlike the previous version, the DVD re-release edition is anamorphically enhanced. The Blu-ray was reissued for the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, identical to the previously released Blu-ray, apart from adding a Digibook and the Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures documentary as a bonus feature.