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Controversial Films


CaveGirl
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What once might have been controversial, sometimes loses that audacity as years go by.

 

I'm sure Joan Crawford in "Our Dancing Daughters" was looked askance at, by many moralistic folks in her day while now that film is pretty tame.

 

Some films stay controversial through many decades though, like Pasolini's "Salo".

 

A film I saw awhile back, that was banned a lot when released was "I Spit on Your Grave".

 

Personally I found nothing objectionable about it, but then maybe that's because I'm a woman and the theme of justified retribution was deemed timely.

 

Name some films which remain controversial and some that lose their banned status slowly but surely as time goes by.

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Just the first five that came to mind:  No longer "controversial":

 

"The Moon Is Blue" (1953)--Legion of Decency had a fit because it used the word "virgin" and discussed the state of (non) virginity.  In 2016 that is Tame.

 

"The Man With the Golden Arm" (1955)--Otto Preminger film was first (?) to show drug (heroin) addiction and its administration.  Is Still a good film, but subject has been shown many times since.

 

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1965)--Was controversial for language used, adult themes, and concessions The Code made to bring it to the screen.  The film that ended The Code should be seen once; it still packs a punch, but is not the hub of controversy it was when released.

 

"Psycho" (1960)--Hitchcock's masterpiece was controversial for being the first film to show a flushing toilet, as well as killing off the heroine less than halfway through the film.

 

"The Unforgiven" (1960)--John Huston's anti-racism western starred Audrey Hepburn--the theme is laudable, the execution only ok--but still, the scene with a woman screaming racial epithets at Hepburn packs a wallop.  Is a Faded copy on YouTube.

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Just the first five that came to mind:  No longer "controversial":

 

"The Moon Is Blue" (1953)--Legion of Decency had a fit because it used the word "virgin" and discussed the state of (non) virginity.  In 2016 that is Tame.

 

"The Man With the Golden Arm" (1955)--Otto Preminger film was first (?) to show drug (heroin) addiction and its administration.  Is Still a good film, but subject has been shown many times since.

 

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1965)--Was controversial for language used, adult themes, and concessions The Code made to bring it to the screen.  The film that ended The Code should be seen once; it still packs a punch, but is not the hub of controversy it was when released.

 

"Psycho" (1960)--Hitchcock's masterpiece was controversial for being the first film to show a flushing toilet, as well as killing off the heroine less than halfway through the film.

 

"The Unforgiven" (1960)--John Huston's anti-racism western starred Audrey Hepburn--the theme is laudable, the execution only ok--but still, the scene with a woman screaming racial epithets at Hepburn packs a wallop.  Is a Faded copy on YouTube.

Five perfect choices, thanks, FL!

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TCM recently featured a list of films that was once condemned by the Catholic Church.  It even had a nun as the host introducing the films.  All of the films are, of course, no longer controversial.  Sometimes, "controversy" simply means some people's values being imposed on others.

Gee, really?

 

There was a nun here who was introducing films that were condemned by the Catholic Church, eh?

 

Boy, I sure wish I'd known about this. Thanks, DVDPhreak.

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Gee, really?

 

There was a nun here who was introducing films that were condemned by the Catholic Church, eh?

 

Boy, I sure wish I'd known about this. Thanks, DVDPhreak.

 

And she wore a habit and everything.  But her commentaries were well-balanced.  Fascinating was the way she explained the various reasons, from the expected to the bizarre, why each film was condemned.  But one disappointment, for me, was that we never got to hear the reason for the condemnation of the uplifting ice-skating drama "Ice Castles", which was one of the last films to be condemned in 1978.  The host, Sister Rose Pacatte, only introduced the films shown earlier in each evening.  "Ice Castle" happened to be shown late night, thus she didn't appear to tell us the reason.  You may search old posts in this forum for some of our speculations.  Some thought it was because of the film's numerous curse phrases.  You may look up IMDb's quotes section.  There are indeed a lot of "god damns" and such in the dialog.

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And she wore a habit and anything.  But her commentaries were well-balanced.  Fascinating was the way she explained the various reasons, from the expected to the bizarre, why each film was condemned.  But one disappointment, for me, was that we never got to hear the reason for the condemnation of the uplifting ice-skating drama "Ice Castles", which was one of the last films to be condemned in 1978.  The host, Sister Rose Pacatte, only introduced the films shown earlier in each evening.  "Ice Castle" happened to be shown late night, thus she didn't appear to tell us the reason.  You may search old posts in this forum for some of our speculations.  Some thought it was because of the film's numerous curse phrases.  You may look up IMDb's quotes section.  There are indeed a lot of "god damns" and such in the dialog.

 

CaveGirl was being sarcastic.

 

CaveGirl actually started several threads on this site about this lineup.

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The host, Sister Rose Pacatte replied me after I emailed her at the address on her Facebook page:

 

 

From: Sr Rose Pacatte <rosep@paulinemedia.com>


Thank you for your email.

Many people have mentioned Ice Castles. I didn't see it for the series.

I'm not at home so I don't have access to my books where it would be listed and explained.

Can you email me at this email after June 12 and I will check.

Catholic News Service has the archive but the file for Ice Castles is missing. Interesting.

Bless you!

R
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Some time a couple months ago I posted my guess as to why 'ICE CASTLES' could be unliked by the Catholic Legion of Decency:  The Bible admonishes one not to take the Lord's name in vain and, like THE MOUNTAIN MEN last night, there's simply loads of "god-damn's" spoken throughout the movie.  

 

      If TCM were to put ICE CASTLES and THE MOUNTAIN MEN together they could have a hell of a god*damn double feature! 

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CaveGirl was being sarcastic.

 

CaveGirl actually started several threads on this site about this lineup.

Ah, shucks, CF!

 

I try to be insidiously obnoxious and you out me.

 

Have you considered that it was my evil twin who was the one giving our Sister from the Noir Carmelites a hard time?

 

By the way, who needs Sister Rose when I can answer the question. Having had many years of Catholic training, I would state emphatically that one reason the film would be condemned, probably has to do with the fact that Lynn-Holly who played the skater Alexis, was not named after a saint. That's a big no-no, and even though Alexis could be taken from Saint Alexander, there is no female saint named Lynn or Holly. Also when Alexis went blind in the film, there may have been some in the LOD who wondered if a certain outside activity that she was participating in, caused some of the blindness. You would have to ask some of the men here if that contributes to serious head injury after effects. Plus, the film was made before the ISU started banning obscene moves on the ice that showed some of the naughty bits. All of the above would constitute an occasion of sin for some watching and that would be enough to put the film in the Condemned category.

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Ah, shucks, CF!

 

I try to be insidiously obnoxious and you out me.

Have you considered that it was my evil twin who was the one giving our Sister from the Noir Carmelites a hard time?

I just wanted to help out DVD  guy.

 

And I find when I am obnoxious or pedantic, some people frown.

 

That does not I don't make accidents in typing mind you.

 

Yesterday, in the games and trivia forum, I mean to say that Shirley Temple was Henry Fonda's daughter in Fort Apache.

 

Starliteyes KNEW that is what I meant to say.

 

But I did not say that.

 

I said that she was Henry FORD's daughter in Fort Apache.

 

LOL!

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I'm not sure of any from "back then" that still are(which doen't really mean much), but----

 

I remember the big "too-doo" that was made about LOLITA.  Racy premise for the times, I at least recall the disbelief my Aunts Helen and Clara, always two intelligent and well read women, voiced about a movie being made of it.

 

Then came ROSEMARY'S BABY. and recalling a Catholic church in my area trying a campaign to get it banned around here.

 

This may not fit your needs, but it still amuses me-----

 

Some "R" rated flick with nudity and nothing more came to a theater in Oakland countym MI, in about 1972 or so, and then county prosecutor L.Brooks Patterson launched a loud campaign to get it shut down and removed from the theater.  A few days later, after a TV news story aired, the theater owner admitted that he was  a day away from no longer showing it and replacing it with something else because of public disinterest and dismal box office.  then he said, "Then Patterson started his effort to ban it, and next I knew the line to see it circled the block!"

 

I think it was NAKED CAME THE STRANGER, but I'm not sure.

 

 

Sepiatone

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  • 1 month later...

This is where the reason of the condemnation of "Ice Castles" is found: http://archive.usccb.org/movies/i/icecastles1979.shtml

 

In case the link doesn't work or stops working in the future, the reason is stated thus:

 

Ice Castles -- When a talented young skater (Lynn-Holly Johnson) training for the Olympics is blinded in an accident, her father (Tom Skerritt) and boy friend (Robby Benson) persuade her to resume her career. Director Donald Wrye gets good performances in this mildly inspirational tale but the movie is undone by frequent rough language and its sympathetic attitude towards premarital sex on the part of its teenage heroine. (O) (PG) ( 1979 )

 

These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.

The classifications are as follows:

A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.

Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.

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These movies were banned and their directors either exiled or barred from making movies for a period of years:

 

Afrique 50 (1956) The director was imprisoned for making this movie.

All My Compatriots (1968)

The Blue Kite (1993) 

Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970)

Castle of Otranto (1977)

Daisies (1966)

Fruit of Paradise (1970)

Kuhle Wampe (1932)

Leonardo's Diary (1972)

Squandered Sunday (1969)

A Report on the Party and the Guests (1966)

To Live (1956)
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These movies were banned and their directors either exiled or barred from making movies for a period of years:
 
Afrique 50 (1956) The director was imprisoned for making this movie.
All My Compatriots (1968)
The Blue Kite (1993) 
Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970)
Castle of Otranto (1977)
Daisies (1966)
Fruit of Paradise (1970)
Kuhle Wampe (1932)
Leonardo's Diary (1972)
Squandered Sunday (1969)
A Report on the Party and the Guests (1966)
To Live (1956)

 

I saw some excerpts from "Kuhle Wampe" once and anything from Bertolt Brecht about the Weimar Republic, you just know is going to be interesting. The more things change, from what I know of the screenplay, the more they stay the same.

 

Thanks, Sans Fin!

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