10 Banned Movies Now Considered Masterpieces

It's good to be bad.

Clockwork Orange
Warner Bros.

Cinema has often regaled us with things we definitely, really, undeniably didn't need to see. Whether it's the Human Centipede or the Star Wars prequels, there's a stockpile of inflammatory movies you shouldn't have to suffer through. And if it was up to the film board, there's plenty more that you'd never get the option to.

Banning movies based on their content regarding sex, violence, and mature themes has been commonplace since the inception of cinema, but that doesn't always mean it's right. For every Texas Vibrator Massacre and Homo Eroticus saved from public release, there's a hidden, controversial gem that pushes the medium to its limits - provoking thought and artistic expression rather than a gag reflex.

Bringing together a collection of movies that prove to be cinematic classics wrongly identified as video nasties, all of these films have been banned, considered taboo, or simply publicly rejected at some point in their life cycle - but that hasn't stopped them from making their mark on the industry, and in some cases, has made them all the more worth watching. Rules were meant to be broken, after all.

10. Monty Python's Life Of Brian

Clockwork Orange
Handmade Films

This isn't really how you'd imagine this list to start out. Monty Python's tame comedy stylings haven't often been the cause of controversy, but in this case - Life of Brian inspired bans in multiple countries, X ratings, and mob outrage at its depiction of religious events.

Featuring Brian of Nazareth as a boy born on the original Christmas next door to Jesus Christ, he spends his life being mistaken for the Messiah. He's not though. He's just a very naughty boy.

A staple of both cinema and television in Britain, the claimed-to-be blasphemous content split people down the middle. Only as recently as 2008 were bans lifted off the film, and it looked back upon with a sense of warm nostalgia rather than anger. It's hard to think considering Life of Brian has routinely been listed as one of the best comedy movies ever made that it was treated with such vehemence over the years.


Horror film junkie, burrito connoisseur, and serial cat stroker. WhatCulture's least favourite ginger.