On Channel 4 tonight at 11.05pm
This controversial film from 1971 was famously banned by the BBFC for two decades because of its graphic portrayal of violence and two brutal rapes. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, it’s the story of an American academic and his English wife who find their farmhouse under siege when they shelter a mentally-handicapped man who has murdered a teenage girl. Click here to find out more.
The BBFC finally passed the film in 1995, but continued to ban it from being released on video/DVD until 2002.
Off the top of my head here are a few other films that are (or once were) considered controversial:
A Clockwork Orange
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This film was considered gratuitously violent in its day. Many still consider it to be the scariest movie of all time. Personally I find it quite boring.
This caused a storm for its depictions of sexuality. Read about the controversy here.
The Last Temptation of Christ
Because it contains many ideas not present in the Bible, this 1988 movie (showing on Sky Modern Greats on Thursday) became the subject of much angry theological debate before the film had even finished production. Click here to read an article that covered its release at the time.
Natural Born Killers
At the time of its release people were divided over whether this film was exploitative or or a wake-up call to parents.
I’m sure there are many more famously controversial movies out there but I have a cold today so my memory is struggling. Please let me know if you think of any more.