Contrary to what you might think, films featuring four-letter words are by no means a new invention. In fact, foul-mouthed movies date back much further than you’d expect.
As soon as talkies took hold in the late 1920s, actors could be heard dropping relatively tame ‘damns’ and ‘son of a bitches’ left, right and centre. But then came along the Hays Code in the 1930s which effectively outlawed cussing in movies and it wasn’t until 1968 that restriction regarding swear words were lifted and moviegoers were once again privy to cussing stronger than ‘deary me’.
These days, most films that aren’t aimed at very young and impressionable minds feature at least a couple of swear words. But despite a relatively lax attitude towards cussing in movies today, it can still be a contentious issue. In fact, the swear word in question and the context of its use can mean the difference between a crowd-pleasing R-rating and a potentially alienating NC-17 rating.
But the makers of the movies coming up didn’t give a damn about limiting the profanity in their films and currently rank in cinema history as some of the most foul-mouthed movies ever made.
Inevitably, use of the word ‘f*ck’ and its frequency is the best indicator of sweariness within the film in question in f*cks per minutes (fpm). And it's only mainstream, fictional films that count here, which unfortunately disqualifies 2005 documentary F*ck and its impressive 850+ instances of the word.
15. Harsh Times
Number of F-bombs: 296 (2.46 fpm)
A few years before Christian Bale unleashed that infamous, f*ck-laden tirade on a crew member on the set of Terminator Salvation, he was dropping the F-bomb left, right and centre in David Ayer’s 2005 crime flick Harsh Times.
Partly inspired by Ayer’s own experiences as an ex-military man living in LA’s South Central, Harsh Times sees Bale take on the role of a former US Army Ranger suffering from PTSD who tries to adjust back into civilian life but descends into a life of violence and crime instead.
Mind, David Ayer films are no stranger to a swear word or two. His next movie Street Kings featured 121 f*cks, while his 2014 films Fury and Sabotage contained 170 and 200+ instances of the word f*ck respectively.
And as we’ll soon see, Harsh Times won’t be the only David Ayer film to top this list either.
Choice F*ck Quote: “F*ck you, God! You ain't got the f*ckin' balls to take my ass!” (Christian Bale to God, apparently)