11. Ecstasy (1933)
Film star Hedy Lamarr scampered nude—which was enough to get Ecstasy banned for several years. There were also close-ups of her face during sex which was considered to be way, way too much for audiences to handle. Lamarr’s husband reportedly tried to have all copies of the film destroyed.
12. Pink Flamingos (1972)
Cult director John Waters aimed to highlight trashy hijinks in his cinematic ode to bad taste starring the iconic drag queen Divine. Underground audiences loved the film, but it was banned in small towns across the nation for depicting perversity—which, of course, was the whole point of the film.
13. The Song of the South (1946)
Disney didn’t exactly ban their live action and animated hybrid film, Song of the South; they just buried it and kept it out of circulation. Both the film and the Splash Mountain ride are based on Uncle Remus stories on Br’er Rabbit. The film presents a racist rendition of life led by African Americans on a plantation. The lyrics to the famous song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” are wildly out of place and deeply troublesome.
14. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene barely got past the rating board, but the film ushered in the modern horror slasher flick. Audiences loved it and flocked to theaters in order to experience the visceral terror the film inspired. But the movie also inspired controversy and outcry. Some people found it “sadistic” and tasteless and wanted theaters to quit showing it. The outrage was enough to inspire one columnist to argue that the movie would contribute to the “degeneration of the human race.”
15. The Outlaw (1943)
Screen star Jane Russell’s “large and prominent” breasts got way too much emphasis in The Outlaw, according to the rating board. The controversy went on for years, inspiring lawsuits and bans. The film needed approval for release, but that was delayed as the board went back and forth on required cuts of breast shots. The advertising for the film included the tagline, “How would you like to tussle with Russell?” The offending billboards were ordered removed. Once the film was released, one theater manager was arrested for showing it. Projectionists were accused of cutting out salacious film images to either censor or steal for their own enjoyment. As a result of inspiring crime and indecency, the film was banned all over the country.