15 Movie Posters You Won't Believe Were Allowed To Exist

Controversial film ads that pushed the limits of acceptability.

Ali G Poster
United International Pictures/Universal Pictures

Posters make up one of the most traditional and consistently popular ways to market a feature-length film. Most movie posters consist of a large piece of art or photography to represent the film, along with the title, lead actor names, and some sort of tagline. Of course, not every poster follows this formula, and many have since come to be considered masterpieces of design in their own right.

Movie posters are most commonly seen in and around cinemas, but public transport and high-traffic locations are also popular places for the ads to appear. With the popularity of the internet in the early €˜00s, online posters and banners are also widely used in most major movies€™ promotional campaigns.

The concept of movie posters as we know them first appeared in the early 1900s, often utilising illustrations of specific scenes with simple overlaid text. As cinema grew in popularity, extravagantly detailed illustrations and paintings became widespread, though since the €˜90s the use of photography in posters has been most common.

This list takes a look at 15 movie posters that you won€™t believe were ever greenlit by the distributors. From shockingly sexualised imagery, to controversial designs that drew hundreds of complaints, many of these movie ads were never even able to make it past the censors.

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