8. Monty Python’s Life Of Brian
Released in 1979, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was banned in the UK due to its X-rated biblical satire. Many believed this film was poking fun at Christianity by depicting a Jewish character being worshiped and crucified by Romans. One of the film’s taglines stated, “A motion picture destined to offend nearly two thirds of the civilized world. And severely annoy the other third.”
Directed by Terry Jones, this film follows Brian, who was born on Christmas and finds his way to being worshiped as the messiah. While Monty Python aimed to create a satire of biblical films, people were ultimately offended by how the movie made fun of religion.
This film was released in 1979 in the United States and made $26,376 on its opening weekend. The Monty Python movies were popular comedies during their time. But parts of the UK felt that the movies had taken their jokes too far in offending a large religious population.
7. Hillary: The Movie
In 2008, Hillary: The Movie was made by Citizens United, a nonprofit conservative group, as a critical look at the 2008 US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. The film depicts Hillary Clinton in archived video along with many interviews, articles, and reports that peer into her life up to 2008.
As corporate contributions partially funded the creation of the movie, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) banned the film until the 2008 election was over. The FEC believed that the film was subject to campaign finance restrictions for corporations under the McCain-Feingold law. It was argued that the film was going to be used to raise campaign dollars for Republican candidates.
When Citizens United took the FEC to court over the decision, a lower court judge laughed the nonprofit’s case out of court. But Citizens United v. FECultimately made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, where the two sides argued the issue of freedom of speech versus corporate campaign contributions.
In 2010, the Supreme Court decided 5–4 in favor of Citizens United. The justices ruled that corporations have the right to free speech under the First Amendment just like individual voters. It was deemed unconstitutional to stop a corporation from using its money to exercise its right to free speech in support of or opposition to a political candidate.