10 Shocking Movies That Were Controversial Once, But Now They Seem To Be Tame

Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane

The passage of time can drastically change the way you watch a movie. If the movie is particularly effective, it could have the same effect on different generations, as classic horror movies remain really scary. However, at the end of the day, the film will likely have more potential to alarm or excite those around to see its initial release, than future generations decades later.


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This is also evident when it comes to films that were previously considered shocking or even controversial. Standards and tastes change over time, and viewers who watch a movie a few years after its release may not find themselves nearly as annoyed as those who watched it upon its release. All of the following 10 films caused some degree of controversy upon their release, but for whatever reason they are not considered controversial (or controversial) at present. Some may still have the ability to shock or even annoy existing viewers, but none to the extent that they might when they debut.

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“Psychic” (1960)

One of the best horror movies of all time, sociological patient It might be Alfred Hitchcock The most famous film and stands as one of the most influential films in the horror genre. It shocked audiences when it was first released, thanks to two unprecedented (at the time) plot twists, bloodier violence than audiences are used to, and the entire iconic – and even racy – shower scene.

Thanks to the huge popularity, most new viewers will likely know the movie’s most shocking moments before watching it. Even if they delved deeper, the level of violence was no longer drawn, and perhaps the identity of the killer seemed clear from the start. The suspense ride is still entertaining and well-made, but unfortunately it won’t be that smashing for modern viewers.

Freaks (1932)

Freaks It has a much greater shock value than most horror films released during the 1930s. It is possible that some viewers will go to it today and expect something more typical of a global monsters A movie and come out surprised because of Freaks A darker tone, a more rooted horror unrelated to science fiction or fantasy.

The film is about a group of circus performers socialized for their physical appearance, and what happens when a pair of “ordinary” performers attempt to steal the pottery “freaks”. It was very shocking to viewers in 1932, which led to this Freaks Neglected for several decades, it has been rediscovered and praised as a cult movie, being suitably (not so much) scary for viewers born well after its initial release.

“The Last Trial of Christ” (1988)

one of Martin Scorsese The most famous films that do not focus on criminals, The last temptation of Christ It was based on a controversial novel intended to show a different side of Jesus Christ; One that is not exactly explored in the Bible.

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While it caused a stir at the time because it wasn’t accurate to the Bible’s most famous story—and perhaps because it was meant to show Jesus as a human, and someone who really struggled with the temptation of Satan—time was kinder to it. He. She. The controversy has since faded, and it is now appreciated for its ambitious and sympathetically narrated story, as well as standing out among other epics of a religious nature.

“Natural Born Killers” (1994)

Natural killers It still packs something of a punch, it’s worth noting. It’s an intentionally raucous film about two young lovers who go on a violent killing spree, only to discover that the media and public are celebrating them for their crimes, rather than condemning them.

The film’s style and some of its violence may remain close, but more violent crime films have been made in the nearly 30 years since its release. Additionally, the idea of ​​criminals becoming cult heroes doesn’t seem unreasonable or worrisome nowadays, which means that if released in 2020, it’s unlikely to be quite as controversial as it did in 1994.

“The Interview” (2014)

Surrounding Drama the interview The release is remarkably recent, given that the film’s release was only eight years ago. However, it was a widespread news story that fizzled out pretty quickly, and potential future viewers who aren’t old enough to remember 2014 might be surprised to learn its history.

Basically, it is an action comedy about two men who become involved in an assassination plot Kim Jong-unNorth Korean dictator. with Threats from North Korea itself about the things that would happen if the movie was theatrically shown, and it ended up being pulled from most theaters, and there was fear of real international conflict over the movie’s story. Fortunately, things never got out of hand, which made the controversy over the interview Short-lived (but incredibly unique).

“La Dolce Vita” (1960)

No Dolce Vita It was a forward-thinking, ahead of its time of the movie genre, which caused quite a stir upon its release. The film traces a morally questionable journalist through a series of adventures in Rome, using its diverse lines and characters to comment – and criticize – topics such as wealth, fame, and media.

Scenes that were meant to be shocking or shocking may have felt that way in 1960, but the depiction of sex in cinema has come a long way, which means No Dolce Vita It should not worry most viewers nowadays. Also, the idea of ​​a protagonist having questionable values ​​and doing non-heroic things is less surprising nowadays, thanks to the popularity of anti-heroes (especially in the TV world).

“Tank Dogs” (1992)

Quentin Tarantino The theft movie gave a shot in the arm with tank dogsgiving a unique twist to the subgenre by having some somewhat graphic violence, a notorious torture scene, and highlighting a central heist that took place entirely off-screen.

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For these factors – in addition to the fact that it was Tarantino’s first feature film – tank dogs It caused quite a stir at its launch, 30 years ago. Since then, Tarantino has continued to make more shocking and gory films, and with other crime film directors aiming to replicate Tarantino’s style, his debut is no longer surprising or shocking.

“Joker” (2019)

Movie fans still enthusiastically discuss the advantages and disadvantages joker To this day, but not to the same extent as they may have returned in 2019. The dark story about the origin story of Batman’s most famous enemy has had many fans and critics, as well as journalists who I was afraid the movie was dangerous.

Fortunately, the real world crimes that some fear joker It was an inspiration that seems to have never happened, which means some of the hysteria surrounding the movie was a bit ridiculous, in hindsight. The movie is still divisive, sure, and might spark heated debates, but advertising it as still controversial can be a lot.

“Monty Python’s Life of Brian” (1979)

Likes The last temptation of ChristAnd the The Life of Monty Python by Brian It caused a great deal of controversy upon its release. It is intended as a parody of biblical epics and directed at religious fundamentalists who exploit believers but is seen as a film that mocks Jesus Christ himself.

The titular protagonist misunderstands Jesus, but otherwise, the film is neither about Christ nor specifically targeting or mocking Him. Later viewers understood the film better and realized who the humor was targeting, which means that it is not controversial or “blasphemous” by today’s standards.

“Citizen Kane” (1941)

Modern day viewers may be surprised to hear this iconic movie acclaimed by critics Citizen Ken It was controversial when it was first released more than 80 years ago. After all, it does not contain any particularly violent or confrontational content, relating to the rise and fall of a wealthy media mogul: Charles Foster Kane.

The controversy stemmed from how some viewed the film as a thinly covered depiction of William Randolph Hearsta real businessman and newspaper publisher I strongly disagree with the movie And the equivalent of his life. The film held while that drama did not, as Hearst saw himself pass away in 1951, and many who watched Citizen Ken Nowadays they probably haven’t even heard of the (alleged) movie inspiration. Still, rage Citizen Ken After its well-documented release, it became another part of the famous movie’s legacy.

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