25 Most Controversial Movies

A few weeks ago I posted an article from Entertainment Weekly about controversial movies and how The DaVinci Code stands up to them. Little did I know that they were going to come out with a list of the 25 most controversial movies ever made.

Here it is.

The 25 Most Controversial Movies Ever from Entertainment Weekly

Written and reported by Mandi Bierly, Jason Clark, Clark Collis, Steve Daly, Neil Drumming, Jeff Jensen, Paul Katz, Jeff Labrecque, Chris Nashawaty, Tim Purtell, Joshua Rich, Erin Richter, Josh Rottenberg, Christine Spines, Benjamin Svetkey, Alice Lee Tebo

The world’s $583 million obsession with ”The Da Vinci Code” proves it: We’re fascinated by what shocks, disgusts, and divides us

25 ALADDIN
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (1992)
THE PLOT You know: the genie-in-the-lamp tale.
THE CONTROVERSY The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee balked at a lyric describing the film’s Arabian setting as a land ”where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face.” Result? The studio dubbed out the lyric for subsequent releases.

24 CALIGULA
Directed by Tinto Brass (1980)
THE PLOT This lavishly decadent film depicts the orgy-filBOLD life and death of ancient Rome’s most notorious — and clearly psychotic — emperor (Malcolm McDowell).
THE CONTROVERSY Described as a ”moral holocaust” by Variety, the film was first given a very limited theatrical release for fear of prosecution on obscenity grounds.

23 KIDS
Directed by Larry Clark (1995)
THE PLOT A group of teens (played by, among others, Rosario Dawson and Chloë Sevigny) prowl the streets of NYC in search of sex, booze, drugs, and other high-risk kicks.
THE CONTROVERSY Clark’s disturbing vision of promiscuous, borderline-sociopathic teens was heralded by some as a much-needed wake-up call about the nation’s youth. Others saw prurient exploitation. As a buffer against the furor, Miramax created a new entity, Excalibur Films, to release the pic.

22 DO THE RIGHT THING
Directed by Spike Lee (1989)
THE PLOT Racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood escalate from amusing to tragic during the course of a single scorching summer day.
THE CONTROVERSY While the film was seen by some as a masterpiece (and earned Lee a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nom), others blasted the director as irresponsible, predicting that the film’s shocking climax — in which Mookie (Lee) hurls a trashcan through a storefront window, inciting a riot — would evoke similar reactions from urban moviegoers. Thankfully, the film proved to be more of a catalyst for heated debate than a flashpoint for actual violence.

21 BONNIE AND CLYDE (above)
Directed by Arthur Penn (1967)
THE PLOT Faye Dunaway is Bonnie, a bored Texas girl looking for danger. Warren Beatty is Clyde, a pistol-packing ex-con. They fall in love and kick off an infamous Depression-era crime spree.
THE CONTROVERSY Two years before Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, Penn’s bloody, slo-mo bullet-riddled finale, where the young lovers bite the dust, sparked an outcry — even tough-guy actor James Garner, no stranger to shoot-outs, called it ”amoral.”

20 CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
Directed by Ruggero Deodato (1985)
THE PLOT This nauseatingly graphic Italian prototype for The Blair Witch Project follows four documentarians filming cannibal tribes in the Amazon. They become lunch.
THE CONTROVERSY After its 1980 Milan premiere, the film’s print was confiscated by the city’s magistrate. Later, Deodato faced life in prison when Italian authorities believed the stars of his film were really killed. The actors finally appeared on TV to prove otherwise.

19 BASIC INSTINCT
Directed by Paul Verhoeven (1992)
THE PLOT A trigger-happy detective (Michael Douglas) falls for a bisexual author (Sharon Stone) who’s suspected of murdering her male lover with an ice pick.
THE CONTROVERSY Gay-rights activists objected to the portrayal of man-hating lesbians before a frame of film was shot and protested through the film’s opening. Then there was the film’s eye-popping sex, including Sharon Stone’s notorious leg-crossing, which contributed to Basic’s initial NC-17 rating.

18 I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW)
Directed by Vilgot Sjoman (1969)
THE PLOT Freewheeling Lena experiences the swinging ’60s: protesting Vietnam, questioning the class system, and exploring carnal desires.
THE CONTROVERSY Before the 1967 Swedish film could open in the U.S., it was seized by customs officials concerned that scenes containing full frontal nudity and simulated sex acts were pornographic. The courts initially deemed the movie obscene, but the verdict was overturned.

17 FREAKS
Directed by Tod Browning (1932)
THE PLOT For his still-creepy circus noir about a midget who’s conned by a greedy temptress, Browning used real sideshow performers.
THE CONTROVERSY Audiences fled preview screenings in droves. (One patron claimed the film caused her to miscarry.) Even with a castration scene cut, the National Association of Women found the film ”offensive” and urged boycotts. It was banned in Atlanta and pulled from distribution; it was forbidden in the U.K. until the early ’60s.


16 UNITED 93 (above)
Directed by Paul Greengrass (2006)
THE PLOT An ultra-vérité re-creation of the tragic heroism surrounding — and inside — the only hijacked 9/11 flight not to reach its intended target.
THE CONTROVERSY Greengrass’ virtually-there experience may have been a little too close for comfort for some moviegoers. Even the trailer’s suggestion of the movie’s content prompted audiences to shout Too soon! One New York City theater pulled the footage from its preview reel after many viewers (one left sobbing) complained.

15 TRIUMPH OF THE WILL
Directed by Leni Riefenstahl (1935)
THE PLOT Riefenstahl’s notorious documentary of the 1934 Nazi rally at Nuremberg elevates propaganda to seductive Wagnerian grandeur.
THE CONTROVERSY While intellectuals still ponder the ethics of admiring so malevolent a masterpiece, others have had more visceral reactions. In the early ’40s, director George Stevens was so disturbed by the film that he joined the Army the next day. Protests greeted Riefenstahl (who never shook her Nazi-tainted past) at a 1974 Telluride Film Festival tribute, and the Anti-Defamation League decried a 1975 screening in Atlanta as ”morally insensitive.”

14 THE WARRIORS (above)
Directed by Walter Hill (1979)
THE PLOT Members of a street gang battle their way through a New York City populated by rival gangs (”Warriors, come out to plaaay!”).
THE CONTROVERSY Hill’s lurid nightmare of urban warfare was widely condemned for glorifying violence. Reports of criminal incidents where the film was shown — including the stabbing of a teenager in Massachusetts — fueled the outrage, forcing Paramount to temporarily pull its print and TV advertising for the film.

13 THE DA VINCI CODE
Directed by Ron Howard (2006)
THE PLOT A professor (Tom Hanks) unearths a 2,000-year-old conspiracy to cover up the marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
THE CONTROVERSY It didn’t end up drawing mass pickets or boycotts, but there was much debate while the film was being made. Westminster Abbey wouldn’t allow Howard to shoot inside its halls, and some 200 protesters mobbed the set in Lincolnshire, England (although Howard says most were merely ”trying to get autographs”).

12 THE DEER HUNTER
Directed by Michael Cimino (1978)
THE PLOT The Vietnam War shatters the lives of three Pennsylvania steel-mill workers.
THE CONTROVERSY By the time it won the Best Picture Oscar, Deer Hunter had ignited major debate over its shocking POW-camp scenes, in which American soldiers are forced to play Russian roulette. War historians argued there was no record of such atrocities, and others called the Vietcong depiction racist. Cimino called the criticisms ”beside the point.”

11 THE MESSAGE
Directed by Moustapha Akkad (1977)
THE PLOT Anthony Quinn plays Mohammed’s uncle in an epic telling of Islam’s origins.
THE CONTROVERSY The movie rankled Muslims and sparked riots, and that was just during production. Post-release, in March 1977, Hanafi terrorists took more than 100 people hostage in Washington, D.C. — killing a reporter and shooting the city’s future mayor Marion Barry in the two-day siege — demanding in part that The Message be banned. (It wasn’t.) In a cruelly ironic coda, the Syrian-born Akkad died amid al-Qaeda’s coordinated hotel bombings last fall in Amman, Jordan.

10 BABY DOLL
Directed by Elia Kazan (1956)
THE PLOT A Mississippi cotton-gin owner (Eli Wallach) humiliates a competitor (Karl Malden) by attempting to seduce the man’s still-virgin wife (Carroll Baker).
THE CONTROVERSY Written by Tennessee Williams, the film struck Catholic leaders as lewd. (A similar flap greeted 1943’s The Outlaw over Jane Russell’s bust.) New York’s Cardinal Spellman forbade the faithful to see it ”under pain of sin.” Some theaters pulled it, but it eventually earned four Oscar nominations.

9 LAST TANGO IN PARIS
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (1972)
THE PLOT A disaffected American (Marlon Brando) travels to Paris, where he throws himself into an affair with a young Frenchwoman (Maria Schneider).
THE CONTROVERSY Critics and audiences were sharply divided over this X-rated erotic psychodrama. The film’s stark (as in naked) depiction of loveless, animalistic carnality horrified some — and landed its director and stars in an Italian court on obscenity charges.

8 NATURAL BORN KILLERS (above)
Directed by Oliver Stone (1994)
THE PLOT Homicidal lovers (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) cut a blood-soaked swath through America.
THE CONTROVERSY Though intended as a satire on the media, the film actually inspired several copycat killers to seek their own 15 minutes of fame, some even using imagery and dialogue from the film. Over 12 murders in the U.S. and abroad have been linked to Killers. One victim’s family tried to sue Stone and Warner Bros.

7 THE BIRTH OF A NATION
Directed by D.W. Griffith (1915)
THE PLOT Griffith’s epic follows the travails of two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
THE CONTROVERSY The film’s depiction of African Americans as childlike, conniving, or rabid sex fiends, and the Ku Klux Klan as heroic saviors, sparked nationwide protests by the nascent NAACP. (It also became a KKK recruiting tool.) Censorship debates and protests have dogged the film in subsequent rereleases and when it was added to the National Film Registry in 1993.

6 THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
Directed by Martin Scorsese (1988)
THE PLOT Jesus (Willem Dafoe) pursues his calling but, in a Satan-induced hallucination, dreams of a normal life that includes sex with Mary Magdalene.
THE CONTROVERSY Religious fundamentalists picketed and threatened boycotts weeks before its release. One group offered to buy the $6.5 million film from Universal to destroy it; some theaters, and later Blockbuster, refused to carry it. Oh, and the French rioted.

5 JFK
Directed by Oliver Stone (1991)
THE PLOT The true story of how New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) investigated conspiracy theories about President Kennedy’s assassination.
THE CONTROVERSY Some saw Stone’s documentary-on-steroids-like interpretation of those theories as lending them a certain patina of truth — raising fears that moviegoers would construe it as bona fide history. One result: a 1992 congressional act to release classified documents (which revealed nothing).

4 DEEP THROAT
Directed by Gerard Damiano (1972)
THE PLOT Distraught over her inability to enjoy sex, a young woman (Linda Lovelace) goes to a doctor (Harry Reems), who tells her the condition can only be treated, um, orally.
THE CONTROVERSY Intellectuals championed the film for striking a blow for First Amendment rights, while conservative leaders got it banned in many places and put Reems on trial for obscenity charges. Lovelace herself later denounced the film, claiming that while filming ”there was a gun to my head.”

3 FAHRENHEIT 9/11
Directed by Michael Moore (2004)
THE PLOT Dubya’s multitude of (alleged) sins, including the alliance between the Bush clan and Saudi Arabia and botched chances to prevent 9/11.
THE CONTROVERSY The documentary lit the fuse of right-wing America, detonating protests and hate campaigns to ban it (no dice). Moore was the first to break the post-9/11 moratorium on Bush bashing and set off a season of brutal smack-downs among the Bill O’Reillys and Keith Olbermanns of the world.

2 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (above)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick (1971)
THE PLOT Teen troublemaker/gang rapist Alex (Malcolm McDowell) gets brainwashed by a futuristic English government so that he becomes deathly ill every time he encounters violence. THE CONTROVERSY You mean besides its irreverent use of Gene Kelly’s ”Singin’ in the Rain”? That the movie first landed an X rating and was deemed pornographic across the U.S. was nothing compared with its reception in the U.K.: Social uproar and reports of copycat crimes led Kubrick to withdraw Clockwork from distribution in his adopted country. It wasn’t officially available there again — in theaters or on video — until 2000, a year after his death.

1 THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (above)
Directed by Mel Gibson (2004)
THE PLOT You know the part in the Bible where Jesus gets betrayed, tortured, and crucified? That’s it. That’s all of it.
THE CONTROVERSY Gibson’s intention — born of his deep Catholic faith — was to produce an unflinching depiction of Christ’s suffering on behalf of mankind. What he succeeded at best, however, was igniting a culture-war firestorm unrivaled in Hollywood history. For months prior to its release, The Passion was both denounced and defended sight unseen amid reports that the film wasn’t just brutal, but compromised by dubious biblical interpretation and anti-Semitic sentiment. Gibson refused to let concerned parties view and vet his self-financed film, even as he was giving Passion previews to Christians as part of an unprecedented church-targeting promo push. Ultimately, moviegoers pretty much got the experience they were expecting, while Gibson got a $370 million gross — plus a provocative new reputation.

————————-

There you have it. The 25 most controversial movies of all-time. Some I agree with, others seem kind of ridiculous. But, I guess, at the time, something as insane as Aladdin causing a stir, can be a big deal.

How Controversial is it?


This is the last time I will ever mention The DaVinci Code in a feature post.

I promise.

I found this article: Kenya: Church Wants ‘Da Vinci Code’ Movie Banned and I started thinking, how controversial can this movie be? I haven’t seen it yet (I might this weekend just because I’m curious) but from what I’ve heard it’s just a boring and tedious movie with the media hyping up the controversy. (Again, I haven’t seen it yet, so I don’t know how true this is.)

But still, there has to be more controversial movies…. right? Right.

This article from Entertainment Weekly explains it all.

Riot Acts
Think ”The Da Vinci Code”’s controversial? Find out about 14 of the most notorious hot-button movies ever made, and why they caused a stir by Gary Susman

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

THE CONTROVERSY D.W. Griffith’s epic about the Civil War and the postwar Reconstruction era was an undeniably innovative feature — it pioneered camera movements and editing techniques still in use to this day. It was also unquestionably racist in its portrayal of heroic Klansmen and its depiction of blacks (played by white actors in blackface) as predatory and parasitical.

THE FIRESTORM The NAACP called for a nationwide ban. The film faced more courtroom challenges than any movie before or since, and many locales did ban or bowdlerize the movie. Riots broke out in some cities where the film screened. Still, it became an enormous hit and was accused of reviving the long-dormant Klan.

THE AFTERMATH The film’s legal battles led to a Supreme Court ruling that movies did not enjoy First Amendment protection, a ruling that stood until 1952. In 1916, a chastened Griffith released an anti-bigotry epic, the even more innovative Intolerance.


L’Age D’or (1930)

THE CONTROVERSY Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s feature-length follow-up to their similarly shocking short Un Chien Andalou, L’Age D’or was a surreal satire marked by sexually suggestive moments (like the scene above, where star Lya Lys sucks a statue’s toe) and open mockery of organized religion.

THE FIRESTORM Audiences in Paris rioted at the premiere, hurling ink at the screen, shooting guns in the air, and slashing paintings by Dali and other modern artists in the theater lobby. Paris police subsequently banned the movie.

THE AFTERMATH For decades, the film was available only in butchered, fuzzy prints, until the movie was restored for theatrical and DVD release in 2004.

Triumph of the Will (1935)

THE CONTROVERSY Like The Birth of a Nation, Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary about a 1934 Nazi rally, in which Hitler appears as a god descending from the heavens to lead the masses, is praised to this day for its technical innovations and reviled for its propagandizing for an evil cause.

THE FIRESTORM Riefenstahl, who made another brilliant but troubling documentary for Hitler, 1938’s Olympia, spent three years under Allied arrest after World War II; tribunals ultimately cleared her of collaboration charges.

THE AFTERMATH The taint of her work on Hitler’s behalf all but ended Riefenstahl’s career as a filmmaker. Still, until her death in 2003, she denied being a Nazi sympathizer, insisting that she’d been a naive artist working in a moral vacuum.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

THE CONTROVERSY During the filming of Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War epic, Production Code chief Joseph Breen gave his approval to controversial elements of the story: the patronizing view of Tara’s slaves, the horrors of the soldiers’ hospital, and Rhett’s (Clark Gable) marital rape of Scarlett (Vivien Leigh). But Breen balked at Rhett’s famous four-letter farewell to Scarlett.

THE FIRESTORM For months, producer David Selznick pressured Breen (and Breen’s bosses, the studios’ executives and stockholders), ultimately securing a new amendment to the Production Code allowing for certain mild expletives under limited circumstances.

THE AFTERMATH Audiences frankly did not give a damn; they were so far from scandalized that they made Gone With the Wind one of the biggest hits of all time. In any case, Breen was right to fear that a dam had been breached: The studios learned that they could beat the code if they lobbied persistently enough.


Song of the South (1946)

THE CONTROVERSY A pioneering mix of live-action and animation, Disney’s musical was inspired by Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus fables. Here, Uncle Remus (James Baskett, center) is one of several happy, singing black sharecroppers on a Southern, post-Civil War plantation, a man who still lives to please his white bosses and their children.

THE FIRESTORM The NAACP recognized the artistry of the film, especially the animated sequences, but lambasted the movie’s caricatured and patronizing portrayal of African Americans.

THE AFTERMATH The film won two Academy Awards: Best Song for ”Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and an honorary Oscar for Baskett. Disney rereleased it in theaters a few more times during the next 40 years but withdrew it from circulation in 1986 and has never released it on home video in the United States.



Blackboard Jungle (1955)

THE CONTROVERSY Set in a poor urban school, Jungle raised eyebrows both for its gritty depiction of a teacher (Glenn Ford, left) battling against juvenile delinquents (like the young Sidney Poitier, right) and for its first-ever use of a rock & roll song on the soundtrack (Bill Haley and the Comets’ ”Rock Around the Clock” played during the opening and closing credits).

THE FIRESTORM Rock-loving audiences in the U.S. and U.K. were so excited by Haley’s song that they vandalized theaters. U.S. Ambassador to Italy Clare Boothe Luce got the Venice Film Festival to pull the movie because of its unflattering portrayal of American generational warfare.
THE AFTERMATH Jungle earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Screenplay. Rock & roll was here to stay on movie soundtracks, and juvenile delinquency remained a popular topic onscreen, from Rebel Without a Cause to To Sir With Love (also starring Poitier, but this time as the teacher).

Deep Throat (1972)

THE CONTROVERSY At the time of its release, this X-rated film, in which Linda Lovelace (left) portrayed an anatomically unique woman who found sexual pleasure only in administering oral sex, was the most notorious hardcore film yet to receive mainstream attention.

THE FIRESTORM Deep Throat faced more legal challenges than any movie since Birth of a Nation. Costar Harry Reems (right) was convicted on federal conspiracy charges, though his conviction was later tossed. Courts across America tried to ban the film on the grounds of obscenity, which only raised the movie’s hipness quotient, leading celebrities and suburbanites to stand in line to see it.

THE AFTERMATH The film grossed untold millions, made a star of sorts of Lovelace (who later renounced her porn career and claimed she’d been coerced into making the film), and inspired the nickname by which reporter Bob Woodward referred to W. Mark Felt, his secret Watergate source.

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

THE CONTROVERSY Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel portrayed Christ (Willem Dafoe, center) as someone who had to struggle with his humanity — including fantasies of rejecting his destiny and living out a fleshly existence with Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey, left) — before ultimately accepting his divinity and sacrificing himself on the cross. Judas (Harvey Keitel, right) is portrayed as heroic for agreeing to fulfill God’s plan by betraying Jesus.

THE FIRESTORM Though the Catholic Scorsese defended his film as an affirmation of faith, several Christian groups called Temptation sacrilegious. Some activists offered to buy all the negatives in order to destroy them, while others called for a boycott of Universal. Scorsese and top Universal executives received death threats, and some anti-Semitic protesters blamed a cabal of Jewish executives for releasing the film.

THE AFTERMATH The controversy failed to draw moviegoers — Temptation grossed just $8.3 million in theaters and made religious topics anathema in Hollywood for years afterward


Boyz N the Hood (1991)

THE CONTROVERSY John Singleton’s debut feature was explicitly anti-violence, but it was pioneering and frank in its depiction of the pressures that often led to gang violence among young African-American men (such as the character played by Ice Cube, pictured, driver’s seat) living in communities like South Central Los Angeles.

THE FIRESTORM Several incidents of violence erupted inside or near 20 theaters showing the film, leaving two dead and at least 30 wounded. Singleton maintained that the movie didn’t prompt the incidents but merely reflected the social conditions that led to them.

THE AFTERMATH At 24, Singleton became the youngest person ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar. ”Hood” movies became a popular genre. Even in 2005, a fatal shooting at a theater showing Get Rich or Die Tryin’ seemed to echo the violence of 1991.

JFK (1991)

THE CONTROVERSY Who killed John F. Kennedy? Hey, who didn’t? Oliver Stone’s film posited that countless individuals, from lowlife drifters to prominent Southern businessmen to top federal officials, were involved in a plot by the military-industrial complex to kill the president. Stone’s hero is New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner, center), the only prosecutor ever to try anyone for involvement in the assassination.

THE FIRESTORM Many historians blasted Stone for his mixing of fact and fiction, of documentary and staged footage, and of evidence and speculation, worrying that Stone’s compelling narrative would become received wisdom for moviegoers too young to know better. Others praised Stone for challenging the official version and asking questions about the high-level decision makers whose actions led to the escalation of the Vietnam War.

THE AFTERMATH The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture (it won two, for editing and cinematography). JFK also launched a vogue for conspiracy theories (popularized in such entertainments as The X-Files).

Basic Instinct (1992)

THE CONTROVERSY Even during production, Joe Eszterhas’ $3 million screenplay was notorious for its lead female role, an openly bisexual woman who may be a man-hating serial killer.

THE FIRESTORM Gay rights groups called the characterization homophobic; women’s rights activists called it misogynistic. Some protesters picketed throughout the filming in San Francisco. When Instinct opened, protesters outside theaters showing the film tried to discourage moviegoers by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the spoiler ”Catherine Did It.”

THE AFTERMATH Protests subsided after it became clear that a starmaking performance by Sharon Stone (right, with Leilani Sarelle) had made the character less of a stereotyped villain than a Hannibal Lecter-ish folk antihero. The movie was a huge hit, though Stone’s long-delayed sequel fizzled in 2006.


Natural Born Killers (1994)

THE CONTROVERSY Oliver Stone’s melodrama about husband-and-wife serial killers (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) was both a satirical commentary on how the media glorify violence and an exploitative example of same.

THE FIRESTORM Media outlets were quick to blame several real-life killing sprees on the film’s influence, despite limited evidence. The Firm author John Grisham, friend of a victim of two Oklahoma teens who’d watched the film before embarking on their rampage, argued that Stone and other Hollywood filmmakers should be subject to product-liability lawsuits if their movies inspired real-life crimes.

THE AFTERMATH Sure enough, the family of another victim sued Stone, the producers, and the distributors (including Time Warner, EW.com’s parent company), but a Louisiana appeals court ultimately dismissed the case, supporting an initial court ruling that the defendants were protected by the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee.

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

THE CONTROVERSY Mel Gibson’s depiction of Jesus’ final hours seemed, to many viewers, to place collective blame for the execution of Christ on the Jewish people. The movie was also incredibly violent and gory, going into greater detail than the Gospels did in its depiction of the wounds Jesus (Jim Caviezel) suffered during his scourging and crucifixion.

THE FIRESTORM Gibson denied any anti-Semitic intent, engaging in a war of words with such critics as Anti-Defamation League president Abraham Foxman and New York Times columnist Frank Rich. He also defended the violence as necessary to show the extent of Jesus’ self-sacrifice. Many viewers apparently agreed that the violence was more moving than nauseating: Passion earned $370 million at the box office.

THE AFTERMATH Gibson later relented and released a cut of the film with much of the violence trimmed out, a re-release that audiences largely ignored. Still, along with Fahrenheit 9/11, Passion was the most talked-about movie of 2004.

————————-

There you have it. 13 controversial films. If you want my opinion, they’re more controversial than The DaVinci Code is.

To read what Entertainment Weekly said about The DaVinci Code controversy, click here.

Cannes Controversy

Is it just me or are all the complaints surrounding The DaVinci Code starting to get really irritating? I get why people are upset about it, after all contradicting the Bible is a BIG no-no, but seriously it’s entertainment, the movie has already been produced and there is nothing that can be done about it.

It seems that Director Ron Howard agrees.

Howard: Don’t See My Movie
Director Tells Protestors,’ Don’t See The Film If It’s Upsetting’

CBS/AP) It’s a rare suggestion from a movie director: Ron Howard says if you think it will bother you, don’t go see The Da Vinci Code.

With protests swirling at the Cannes film festival — where the protesters include a Catholic nun reciting a rosary at the foot of the red carpet — Howard agrees that the movie, like the novel, “is likely to be upsetting to some people.”

The book and its screen adaptation suggest Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a secret dynasty. But Howard insists his movie is “supposed to be entertainment” and “not theology.”

Howard says protestors should wait and talk to people who’ve seen the movie, then come to a decision independently.

CBS News correspondent Elaine Cobb reports that the film critics at Cannes have given the film a lukewarm reception. A press screening for 2,000 critics from around the world drew no applause in a setting where even bad movies usually get a few claps.

Some critics jeered and booed during the film and many dismissed the movie as vacuous. Most agreed that the film was completely faithful to the book.

Literary critics hated the book, which went on to sell more than 60 million copies. So the fact the movie won few fans among cinema critics doesn’t mean it won’t be a runaway success too.

Tom Hanks, who stars in the film, hasn’t lost his sense of humor during the controversy. When the cast was asked if they believe Christ was married, Hanks quipped, “Well, I wasn’t around.”

Marketing Crisis

This article goes along with the movie title theme I’ve been on lately.

New film has title we can’t print
Everybody drops the ‘bomb’ in movie

from cnn.com

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) — The F-word is the word on everyone’s lips in a documentary that features musings on the subject by an all-star lineup including crooner Pat Boone and newsman Sam Donaldson, rapper Ice-T and porn star Ron Jeremy.

Independent distributor ThinkFilm has nabbed worldwide rights to director Steve Anderson’s film, whose unprintable one-word title beginning with “F” presents some obvious marketing challenges,

It’s an invitation to cleverness,” said Mark Urman, head of the theatrical division at ThinkFilm. “It’s become clear to us who can print what, but here the entire title is an expletive, and it’s going to be interesting to see how we’ll get away with it.”

ThinkFilm has tentative plans to release the film in limited engagements in the fall, and will send it out unrated because “it’s more consistent with the spirit of the film,” said Urman.

The lineup also includes Drew Carey, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, Alanis Morrisette, Kevin Smith and the late Hunter S. Thompson, all offering their opinions on the history and impact of dropping the F-bomb.

The feature, which recently made waves at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, also includes film clips, commentary from scholars and original animation by Bill Plympton. ThinkFilm partnered with Showtime on the acquisition, and the cable channel will air the film next year.

———————–
Now I’m not the biggest fan of expletives but this documentary could be an interesting look at the word. I’ll definitely be looking into it.