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Top 10 Movies Banned For Shocking Reasons

VO: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: spencer sher
Written by Spencer Sher Movies can be banned for a variety of reasons, but these ones really shocked us! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movies That Were Banned for the Most Shocking Reasons! But what movie will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Some Like It Hot, Back to the Future, or Wonder Woman? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Abellewis27 for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Scenes+Banned+For+Shocking+Reasons

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Don’t forget, it’s only a film! Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies Banned for Shocking Reasons.

For this list, the films have to have been banned for reasons that were shocking, not because the films themselves were shocking.

#10: “Goldfinger” (1964)

Of all the Bond villains that have come and gone over the years, few are as iconic as Auric Goldfinger. Played by German actor Gert Fröbe, the character was a nefarious and calculating businessman obsessed with all things gold. Unfortunately, Fröbe’s past had a blemish on it of the worst kind: he had been a member of the Nazi Party from 1929 to 1937. This led to Israel banning the film in protest of Fröbe’s participation. However, years later it was revealed that Fröbe had actually helped a family of German born Jews escape the Gestapo. Redeemed in the eyes of the Israelis, the film’s ban was eventually lifted.

#9: “Zoolander” (2001)

A word to the wise: if you’re making a film about brainwashed male models used to assassinate world leaders and you want one of them to kill the progressive, new prime minister of a country that uses sweatshop labor… just make up a fictional nation! Of course, Ben Stiller’s 2001 comedy about exactly that went in a different direction. The film refers to Malaysia as a country dependent on sweatshops and forced child labor. The real Malaysia was understandably upset and promptly banned the film; deeming it “unsuitable”. The film was also banned in neighboring Singapore, but they reversed their position in 2006, giving the film an NC-16 rating.

#8: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988)

A box office smash that combined elements of both live action and animation to great effect, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was enjoyed around the world. Well, except in China that is. As of 2006, the country has a ban in place that doesn’t allow foreign made films that combine live action with animation. The reason? They want to promote Chinese animators while simultaneously stemming the flow of foreign-made cartoons into their country. If they’re trying to cultivate a domestic industry, you’d think they’d want as much inspiration as they could get! Odd though it might be, this law removes Roger Rabbit from the shelves and television broadcasts.

#7: “Barney's Great Adventure” (1998)

Malaysia is at it again! “Barney’s Great Adventure” is a musical based on the insanely popular children’s show, “Barney & Friends”, that either you or one of your younger siblings definitely watched growing up. The show revolved around a purple dinosaur named Barney who taught kids educational messages through the magic of song and dance. It’s literally the most harmless premise in the world; and the film functioned in much the same way. However, Malaysian officials felt that the film was unsuitable for children. Yikes. At this rate, Malaysia is going to be in all of our entries!

#6: “Ghostbusters” (2016)

Okay, this film wasn’t necessarily banned per se, but it was never released in this country, which gives you pretty much the same result. “Ghostbusters”, the all-female reboot of the popular ‘80s film franchise of the same name, never saw the light of day in China. Why you ask? Well, as it turns out the original wasn’t given a theatrical release there either, and using that logic, Chinese officials, who have a habit of turning away films that depict spirits and ghosts, declared that the film wasn’t really attractive to audiences in China. For a film already struggling with a resistant fan-base and a lot of online hate, the loss of China likely really hurt.

#5: “The Simpsons Movie” (2007)

We only need one word to describe why “The Simpsons Movie” was banned; and that word is “colors”. That’s right. According to a 2013 article by the LA Times, the film based on the iconic and long running animated TV series about a dysfunctional yellow family from Springfield, Somewhere was banned in Myanmar (or Burma) because of two colors: red and yellow. You see the country doesn’t allow these two colors to be shown in any of its films, which as you can probably guess was a big problem for a film about people with bright yellow skin. The reason behind this color-specific ban has never been identified, making it all the more bizarre.

#4:“2012” (2009)

If it were not for the fact that North Korea was behind this film ban, you probably wouldn’t believe it. The hermit kingdom banned this Roland Emmerich disaster flick due to its negative portrayal of the year 2012. You see in North Korea 2012 was the 100th anniversary of Kim II-sung’s birth; and seeing as how he is the nation’s founder... it’s kind of a big deal. The country deemed the film’s subject matter offensive and made possessing and/or viewing “2012” a crime. If they thought this was bad, imagine how they felt when Seth Rogen dropped “The Interview” on them a few years later.

#3: “Wonder Woman” (2017)

Proving that a female-led superhero flick could do just as well, if not better than those led entirely by men, “Wonder Woman” finished 2017 in the top 10 of the highest grossing films of the year. However, the film might have landed just a little higher had it not been banned in Lebanon and Tunisia. The two middle-eastern countries refused to show the film because star Gal Gadot is an Israeli citizen. Gadot was born and raised in Israel and even served in the military for two years. What makes this ban so peculiar is that her previous work in the “Fast and the Furious” films was not banned. Weird.

#2: “Some Like It Hot” (1959)

“Some Like It Hot”, the classic Billy Wilder rom-com that featured the all-star trio of Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, was apparently a little too hot for the state of Kansas. Years later, people are still debating why exactly it got banned. Some argue that certain scenes were simply too steamy, but most agree that it was likely the cross-dressing. The plot revolves around a couple of on the lam musicians who dress in drag in order to evade their Mafioso pursuers. Seeing as how it came out in 1959, a time when cross-dressing wasn’t exactly par for the course, some places found the film’s subject matter to be a little too… risqué.

#1: “Back to the Future” (1985)

How could a film as innocent as this one be banned? Sure there’s underage drinking, a young boy and an elderly man with an undefined relationship and the suggestion of some potential mother-son incest…but that’s it! Oddly enough, when China banned the film in 2011 it wasn’t for any of those reasons. Nope, the ‘80s classic was banned because the country doesn’t allow the depiction of time travel in any of its films because it “disrespects history”. You can’t make this stuff up. All films and TV shows that feature people hopping in time machines and venture backward or forwards are no longer allowed. Talk about heavy.


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