film 36 Movies That Were Ridiculously Banned Around the World  

Jacob Shelton
4.7k votes 586 voters 119.5k views 36 items

List Rules Vote 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 (BDSM! Horrifying anthropomorphic turtles that are also ninjas!), 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.

Speaking of squares, rumor has it that in 1918 all comedies were banned in Manitoba because it was believed they would make the populous too frivolous. In hindsight, the notion of a film making the citizens of a providence run wild with frivolity seems naive. Especially after viewing some of the films on this list of movies that were banned even for ridiculous reasons. 

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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Video: YouTube

The 1994 Steven Spielberg tour de force about Oskar Schindler, the German Nazi party member who risked his life to save 1,200 people was quite rightly considered a high point in Spielberg's filmmaking career (second only to his appearance in Austin Powers: Goldmember probably). But it caused an uproar in some Muslim countries for being "too sympathetic to the Jewish cause." When asked to re-edit the film the suit the Middle Eastern countries, Spielberg said "no way, Jose" and took a nap on his pile of money.

Video courtesy of Universal Pictures

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see more on Schindler's List

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If you grew up in the '80s you probably spent summer afternoons pretending travel through time in a bitchin' DeLorean with a sidekick that was 40 years older than you. Just us? Back to the Future is a touch stone of cinema history, but it was too much for the Chinese government. Upon its release, they banned the film, saying it was "the government's belief that time travel is a dangerous element in fiction and that the actions of Marty McFly are highly inappropriate."

Video courtesy of Universal Pictures

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see more on Back to the Future

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The second, and darkest, installment of the Indiana Jones franchise saw the adventurer stumble upon an ancient cult in India. Save for a couple of scenes of hearts being ripped from human bodies and a feast of monkey brains, it was a pretty fun family movie. Speaking of monkey brains, the Indian government felt that the film was racist and offensive to their culture so they banned it for a brief period of time.

Video snippet courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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The Interview Makes North Korea Really Super Mad

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Why is the banning this bro-mantic comedy about two hapless dopes that try to kill the leader of North Korea so ridiculous? Because it's absurdly hilarious that a film made by the brains behind Pineapple Express could endanger world peace. The country's UN ambassador called the film "an act of war" and affected Sony's original release plans for the film. 

Trailer courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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