Whether it’s violence, sex, religion or politics, many films have never even made it to the big screen for one reason or another, but some countries can be much stricter than others when it comes to censorship.
And while the reasons for banning some movies are pretty understandable, many are a lot more questionable!
We’ve looked at some of the most commonly banned movies of all time, as well as the countries most likely to ban movies and the most likely reasons for doing so.
You might think that the nations most likely to censor movies would be oppressive dictatorships and regimes, which makes it even more surprising that the country that we found to have banned the most movies was actually the UK, with 89!
Over the years the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) has banned the release of films such as A Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Reservoir Dogs and The Phantom of the Opera, although many have since had these bans lifted.
While many films are banned due to excessive violence or sexual scenes, the majority are actually blocked due to political reasons (38% of the movies that we looked at).
Some of the strange reasons that movies have fallen foul of the censors include Back to the Future which was banned in China purely for depicting time travel, and The Simpsons Movie, which was banned in Myanmar over “juxtaposition of the colours yellow and red", which was seen as support for rebel groups.
While it’s difficult to accurately know exactly how many times a movie has been banned around the world, of the 600+ films that we analysed, it was the notorious Texas Chain Saw Massacre that was banned in the most places.
We counted eleven countries where the 1974 slasher was censored, including many where it was pulled from cinemas after complaints from moviegoers over its gory, violent content.