45 films you never realised were banned, from Goldfinger to Shrek 2

Jacob Stolworthy

Since the dawn of time – well, the start of cinema – many films have been banned from being shown in certain countries due to ridiculous reasons.

Thanks to strict laws or conflicting beliefs, censors from all around the world – China, Ireland, Lebanon, to name just a few – continue to work hard determining whether new releases are fit to be screened in cinemas.

While some titles, including graphic horror films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Human Centipede 2, get banned for obvious reasons, there is a long history of unexpected features – such as Disney releases and inoffensive superhero films – that fail to make the cut.

A few months back saw the re-release of Stanley Kubrick’s controversial film A Clockwork Orange, which despite getting nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, found itself at the centre of a ban in several countries (South Africa, South Korea, etc) in 1971.

In fact, Kubrick himself imposed a ban on the film being shown in the UK in 1973 right up until his death in 1999.

Earlier this year, 1979 comedy Monty Python’s Life of Brian, another film that found itself at the centre of a huge controversy, received the re-release treatment. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, below is a roundup of the 45 films you never realised were banned – and the reasons why.

Monty Python's Life of Brian is available to stream on Netflix.