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35 Movies That Were Ridiculously Banned Around the World

Updated April 3, 2020 10.1k votes 1.1k voters 135.3k views35 items

List RulesVote for the most ridiculous cases of censorship.

The history of film is littered with movies that were banned for explicit scenes of excessive violence or gratuitous sex. But sometimes films are banned for the most arbitrary of reasons. It can be because of whatever is trending that month, or it can be that the government of certain countries are terrified of time travel. These banned movies were kept from audiences for some seriously ridiculous reason, and most of the time, it was because whoever was in control of the censorship board was just a total square.. 

Across the globe films from The Interview to The Wild One (starring Marlon Brando), and even ET have been censored for everything from an intent to incite anarchy to the possibility of a film having a negative impact on the film industry of another country. When it comes to movies, the rest of the world does not play around! Check out this list of movies that were banned across the globe and head to the comments section to let us know if there are any internationally banned films that we missed or if you think there's a movie listed here that should definitely be locked away in a vault forever. 

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  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Banned for Showing Adults as the Enemy
    Video: YouTube

    If you were a child of the '80s, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial made huge impact on your life. Whether you were touched by the heartwarming story of a boy and his alien, or you were creeped out by the scary raisin monster, the film still has a special place in your heart. Unless you grew up in Finland, Norway, or Sweden, where children were banned from seeing the movie when it was released because it portrayed adults as enemy figures.

    Trailer courtesy of Universal Pictures

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  • 2012 Banned for Contradicting North Korea's Own 2012 Prophecies
    Video: YouTube

     

    2012 was banned by North Korea for running counter to their own 2012 prophecies. To North Korea, 2012 was the 100 year anniversary of their founder Kim Il Sung, which for them was a great time of celebration. So not only was the film banned, but heavy fines were levied against anyone caught bootlegging the film. 

     

    Video courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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  • Avatar Banned in China Due to Worries it Would Promote Civil Unrest
    Video: YouTube

    The 2D version of James Cameron's film was banned in China after the government worried that the success of the film would affect their own film industry. Censors were also concerned that the film would promote civil unrest. Strangely, the film was allowed to be released in 3D for a limited period of time.

    Video courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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  • Monty Python's Life of Brian Is Blasphemy, According to the UK
    Video: YouTube

    The Monty Python comedy rode a dangerous line by telling the story of Brian, a child born in a stable near Jesus, who gets mistaken as the Messiah. Upon release, the film was considered blasphemous and banned by several UK councils.

    Video courtesy of Cinema International Corporation (UK), Orion Pictures/Warner Bros.

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