There are many reasons why movies are banned, from political reasons and acts of indecency to religious views and controversial content, some movies are just not made for certain audiences. The movies on this list, however, were banned for reasons that some may call laughable. Here’s a list of family friendly movies, that are banned in certain countries.
1. Little Women (and All Other Claire Danes films) – banned in the Philippines
In the 1990s, Claire Danes was one of the highest-paid actresses in the world and with that popularity, she needed to be mindful of what she said. In 1998, she described the city of Manila as “smelling of cockroaches with rats all over”. The Philippine government did not take her comments lightly and declared her a “persona non grata” – an unacceptable or unwelcome person. As such, every Claire Danes film was banned, even the award-winning classic, Little Women. Despite a lengthy apology, the ban on her movies remains to this day.
2. Back to the Future (and Other Time Traveling Films) – banned in China
Back to the Future is one of the best time-travel science fiction films ever released and it is for that reason it is banned in China. Films featuring time travel are not allowed in China on the grounds that it is disrespectful to history. The State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television in China claimed that these films describe “serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore”. The same goes for shows and movies like Dr. Who, Terminator and X-Files.
3. Wonder Woman – banned in Arab League Countries
The Arab league consists of 22 countries including Lebanon, Iraq, and Sudan. Many of the countries in the league decided to stop Wonder Woman from being distributed because of the film’s lead actress. Gal Gadot spent two years serving in the Israeli Defense Force and has openly expressed support for her country on social media. Throughout history, Israel has been in conflict with many of those countries, and as such many of the products sold by Israel or starring Israeli stars are not allowed in those countries. Strangely enough, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which also features the actress, was released in Lebanon.
4. Shrek 2 – banned in Israel
Countries have different reasons for banning films, but Israel may have taken the cake for the strangest reason when it banned the second installment in the Shrek film series. Israeli singer David Daor, who is famous for his falsetto, took offense when one of the characters threatened to emasculate another when he said, “Let’s do a David Daor on him.” According to him, the movie “intends to present me, in perpetuity, as a eunuch… and turn me into a laughing stock.” The movie was removed from several theaters before the line was changed in the Hebrew dub.
5. Every Marx Brothers Movie – banned in Germany
The Marx Brothers were known for their comedy films, especially those released in the first half of the 20thcentury. Despite being regarded as some of the funniest films of all time, they were banned in Germany between 1933 and 1945 because the filmmakers were the sons of Jewish immigrants, and they weren’t the only ones. Although for different reasons, Ireland banned their 1931 film “Monkey Business” for appearing to promote anarchism”. Italy also banned their 1933 movie “Duck Soap” because their then-Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini saw it as a personal attack.
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