Most Controversial Movie Scenes

Even the best movies aren’t immune to controversy. Scenes that don’t sit well with viewers can eclipse the rest of a great film, and in some truly unique cases, the controversial scenes in question are so offensive or morally questionable that they ruin the movie for many fans.



Regardless of how great films like The Shining and Apocalypse Now are, all it took was one ill-advised scene to ruin their reputations forever. This is partially because social norms change over time, but in more extreme cases, the controversial scenes in question upset audiences the moment they saw them.

Updated on January 25, 2024, by Robert Vaux and Fawzia Khan: Cinema is a mirror of society, and as the world moves forward, certain scenes in great movies seem outdated or controversial years after the film’s release. Each one of these movies is still entertaining to watch, but certain creative decisions no longer serve the plot like they used to. Even certain modern-day movies have elements in them that alienated viewers immediately, and this list has been updated to include more such movies. It has also been reformatted to adhere to CBR’s current guidelines.

This list discusses animal cruelty, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and racist stereotypes.


20 Fantastic Beasts Features Johnny Depp’s Sudden Appearance as Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Film Poster-1

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date
November 18, 2016

Director
David Yates

Cast
Eddie Redmayne , Katherine Waterston , Alison Sudol , Dan Fogler

Runtime
132 minutes

Writers
J.K. Rowling

Studio
Warner Bros.

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

$175,000,000

$814,000,000

74%

66

Related

Fantastic Beasts Franchise Is ‘Parked’ for the Moment, Reveals Director

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Percival Graves was the Head of MACUSA’s Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and he had become a beloved character through the course of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He was an integral part of the battle against Grindelwald and the dark forces. Colin Farrell’s performance as Graves was stellar, which was why it was a disappointment when his entire character was sacrificed for a plot twist. At the end of the movie, Graves melted away to reveal Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in an entirely different avatar. It would have been a lot better to keep Farrell as Grindelwald instead of swapping him out, especially because Depp was replaced later anyway.

19 Nate is Unsupportive of Andy’s Career in The Devil Wears Prada

A Shoe with a Pitchfork Heel on The Devil Wears Prada Poster

The Devil Wears Prada

A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.

Release Date
June 30, 2006

Director
David Frankel

Cast
Anne Hathaway , Meryl Streep

Runtime
1 hour 49 minutes

Main Genre
Comedy

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

The Devil Wears Prada

$35,000,000

$326,700,000

75%

62

Few other movies come close to the astronomic success of The Devil Wears Prada, and it continues to be a cult fashion movie. However, Adrian Grenier’s Nate angered all viewers when he turned sour over Andy’s budding career at Runway Magazine. Nate worked at a restaurant, which meant he had long working hours himself. Unfortunately, instead of being sympathetic to Andy’s struggles, he labeled her as flaky and inconsistent because she chose to prioritize her job over him. At the time, Nate was depicted as a good boyfriend and partner for this, which rubs many viewers the wrong way today as he was quite the opposite.

18 Remember Me Becomes a 9/11 Story Out of Nowhere

Robert Pattinson and Emilie De Ravin embrace in the poster of Remember Me

Remember Me

A romantic drama centered on two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother’s suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother’s murder.

Release Date
March 1, 2010

Director
Allen Coulter

Cast
Robert Pattinson , Emilie de Ravin , Chris Cooper , Lena Olin

Runtime
1 hour 53 minutes

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Remember Me

$16,000,000

$56,000,000

26%

40

Related

Nintendo Swtich’s Batman: Arkham Trilogy Pays Homage to Robert Pattinson

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Much of Remember Me was a coming-of-age story until it wasn’t. Tyler Hawkins and Alyssa Craig met each other in strange circumstances, and Tyler’s fake affection towards her turned into the real thing soon enough. The last moments of the movie, however, proved why romance movies should not have twist endings. Tyler went to meet his father in his office, which was revealed to be in the World Trade Center, and Tyler’s sister’s school teacher wrote the date as Tuesday, September 11, 2001 on the blackboard. Tyler was unexpectedly killed, and the sudden 9/11 twist voided all the build-up of the movie.

17 Wonder Woman 1984 Features Steve Possessing Another Man’s Body

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984

Diana must contend with a work colleague, and with a businessman whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.

Release Date
December 25, 2020

Director
Patty Jenkins

Cast
Gal Gadot , Chris Pine , Kristen Wiig , Pedro Pascal

Runtime
151 minutes

Main Genre
Superhero

Writers
Patty Jenkins , Geoff Johns , Dave Callaham , William Moulton Marston

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Wonder Woman 1984

$200,000,000

$169,600,000

58%

60

After the meteoric success of Wonder Woman, fans were eager to see the return of Diana of Themyscira in Wonder Woman 1984. While Diana tried to protect the Dreamstone and grappled with the birth of a new villain, Cheetah, she herself fell prey to its allure. She wished for the return of Steve, which was granted but in a morally unethical manner. Steve came back in the body of another living man, which meant that his free will was quashed to make space for Steve. What made this development so awful was that Wonder Woman did not care about this man at all, and went ahead and got physically intimate with “Steve”, which went against the moral high ground she usually took. It made her look more creepy than romantic.

16 Grease Ends with Sandy’s Makeover and The Flying Car

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta on the Grease Poster

Grease

Good girl Sandy Olsson and greaser Danny Zuko fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Release Date
June 16, 1978

Director
Randal Kleiser

Cast
Olivia Newton-John , John Travolta , Stockard Channing , Jeff Conaway

Runtime
1 hour 50 minutes

Main Genre
Musical

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Grease

$6,000,000

$366,200,000

76%

70

Related

John Travolta Was Inspired by a Near Death Experience to Star in The Shepherd

John Travolta and his family’s brush with death aboard a jet mirrors the events of Disney+’s film adaptation of a 1975 novel, The Shepherd.

Grease will always be known as a classic, but its romantic ending is viewed differently today. Sandy managed to get her happy ending with Danny, but it came at the cost of her own identity. She had always been shy, demure, and sweet, yet in the end, Sandy got an edgy makeover and turned into a greaser. This made sure that she and Danny ended up together but reduced Sandy to a character whose only purpose was the fulfillment of the male fantasy. Moreover, the sudden surreal ending where they took off in a flying car into the sunset was pretty jarring and left viewers with many questions about how the movie really concluded.

15 Rogue One Includes “Cameos” from Actors Who Have Passed Away

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction.

Release Date
December 16, 2016

Director
Gareth Edwards

Cast
Diego Luna , Felicity Jones , Ben Mendelsohn , Alan Tudyk , Jiang Wen , Mads Mikkelsen , Donnie Yen , Forest Whitaker

Runtime
133 minutes

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Writers
Chris Weitz , Tony Gilroy , John Knoll , Gary Whitta , George Lucas

Studio
Walt Disney Studios

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

$200,000,000

$1,058,000,000

84%

65

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is one of the better projects made in the top-grossing Star Wars franchise‘s Disney Era. However, its controversial digital cameos are still holding it back. Peter Cushing, who passed away in 1994, returned as Grand Moff Tarkin and Carrie Fisher was de-aged via CGI for the film.

At best, Cushing and Fisher looked uncanny and their cameos raised ethical alarms. Intentionally or otherwise, Rogue One implied that studios owned actors’ faces and voices in perpetuity. This opened the door to similar “cameos” by actors who didn’t agree to join Star Wars‘ later projects, further tarnishing Rogue One‘s legacy.

14 Ghostbusters: Afterlife Includes a “Cameo” from The Late Harold Ramis

Ghostbusters Afterlife Poster

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

Release Date
November 19, 2021

Director
Jason Reitman

Cast
Carrie Coon , Paul Rudd , FInn Wolfhard , Mckenna Grace

Runtime
124 minutes

Main Genre
Adventure

Writers
Gil Kenan , Jason Reitman , Ivan Reitman , Dan Aykroyd , Harold Ramis

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

$75,000,000

$204,400,000

64%

45

Related

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For its first two-thirds, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a somber legacy sequel to the iconic, if sometimes problematic, Ghostbusters. However, it devolved into a pandering Ghostbusters remake that pushed its new cast aside for the original actors in the finale. This turn for the worse was cemented by Harold Ramis’ posthumous cameo as Egon Spengler.

Ramis passed away in 2014. Fans understandably mourned his loss and the lost chance for a true Ghostbusters reunion. However, digitally resurrecting Egon for an extended cameo was emotional manipulation at its worst. As with Rogue One, fans and actors worry that this will set a precedent for other posthumous cameos.

13 Apocalypse Now Includes a Real Water Buffalo Sacrifice

Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Release Date
August 15, 1979

Director
Francis Ford Coppola

Cast
Martin Sheen , Marlon Brando , Robert Duvall

Runtime
2 hours 27 minutes

Writers
John Milius , Francis Ford Coppola , Michael Herr

Studio
Zoetrope Studios

Production Company
American Zoetrope, Zoetrope Studios

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Apocalypse Now

$31,000,000

$104,880,868

97%

94

Thanks to its unflinching depiction of the Vietnam War’s horrors and chaos, to most people, Apocalypse Now is the ultimate Vietnam War movie However, the film’s brutality got too real in the finale. During the celebration in Col. Kurtz’s compound, the cast really killed a buffalo on camera.

Director Francis Ford Coppola defended the animal sacrifice by saying that he just filmed how the Filipino indigenous people really sacrificed animals. Anyone who takes animal rights seriously or simply isn’t used to real documented violence couldn’t watch Apocalypse Now thanks to this infamously brutal scene.

12 Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard Forces Himself On Rachael

Blade Runner Film Poster

Blade Runner

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Release Date
June 25, 1982

Director
Ridley Scott

Cast
Harrison Ford , Rutger Hauer , Sean Young , Edward James Olmos , M. Emmet Walsh , Daryl Hannah , William Sanderson , Joe Turkel

Runtime
1 Hour 57 Minutes

Writers
Hampton Fancher , David Webb Peoples , Philip K. Dick

Production Company
The Ladd Company, Shaw Brothers, Warner Bros., Blade Runner Partnership.

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Blade Runner

$30,000,000

$41,000,000

89%

84

Related

David Fincher’s Blade Runner Realism Led to Michael Fassbender Knocking Out The Killer Co-Star

Known for his persistence for perfection, director David Fincher unintentionally caused The Killer star Michael Fassbender to get too real on set.

If it wasn’t for Blade Runner, the cyberpunk subgenre wouldn’t even exist. The industrial dystopias and existential exploration of transhumanism from the commercial flop Blade Runner continue to influence fiction today. The Director’s Cut in particular is a beloved sci-fi classic but Rick Deckard’s “romance” with Rachael was always disturbing.

Just when Rachael was about to leave Deckard’s apartment, he blocked her path and forced himself on her. Blade Runner depicted this romantically and closed with them beginning a relationship. Deckard is meant to be unlikable, but this borderline assault was a bridge too far for even the movie’s most dedicated admirers.

11 Amy Sumner’s Assault in Straw Dogs Is Harrowing

Dustin Hoffman on the poster of Straw Dogs from 1971

Straw Dogs

A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Release Date
1971-11-00

Director
Sam Peckinpah

Cast
Dustin Hoffman , Susan George , Peter Vaughan , T.P. McKenna , Jim Norton

Runtime
1 hour 53 minutes

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Straw Dogs

$2,200,000

$8,000,000

82%

73

Straw Dogs is simultaneously one of director Sam Peckinpah’s best movies and one of the most iconic thrillers ever made. The movie’s mastery of tension was complimented by its ambiguous morality. However, to Straw Dogs’ detractors, Amy’s reaction to her assault turned the movie into a misogynist screed.

When Charlie Venner forced himself on Amy, she was scared, but she somehow enjoyed the experience. Critics saw this as an eroticizing of assault, and a justification for David Sumner’s violence throughout the film. Peckinpah’s reputation as a violent misogynist fueled the interpretations of Straw Dogs as a chauvinistic power fantasy.

10 Deliverance’s Rape Scene Is Reduced to a Punchline

Poster of the film Deliverance with Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds

Deliverance

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s dammed and turned into a lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a canoeing trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Deliverance

$2,000,000

$46,100,000

89%

80

Related

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Deliverance is an unforgiving cautionary tale about friends from the city who underestimate the wilderness and rural people. The film’s realistic characterizations, harsh themes, and critiques of modernity were buried by Deliverance’s most controversial scene when two locals assaulted Bobby.

The scene worked in Deliverance’s bleak context, but it was so difficult to watch or forget that it became the only thing people remembered. The “squeal like a pig” scene is still endlessly referenced and parodied today. Deliverance is a great, if difficult, movie but this scene reduced it to a sick punchline.

9 The Last House On The Left Features a Brutal Pair of Deaths

The Last House on the Left 1972 Movie Poster

The Last House on the Left

Two teenage girls heading to a rock concert for one’s birthday try to score marijuana in the city, where they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychopathic convicts.

Release Date
August 30, 1972

Cast
Sandra Peabody , Lucy Grantham , David Hess , Jeramie Rain , Marc Sheffler

Runtime
84 minutes

Budget
$90,000

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

The Last House on the Left

$900,000

$2,273,000

65%

68

The Last House on the Left is best known for starting the career of Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven, and for being one of the best examples of exploitation cinema. Its brutality was hailed for complementing a nihilistic examination of human depravity and the cycle of revenge. That said, not everyone shared this sentiment.

In Last House On The Left‘s first act, Mari and Phyllis were subjected to so much humiliation and violence that it felt voyeuristic. It isn’t uncommon for viewers to quit before Mari’s parents turn the tables on the attackers, showing the futility behind the violence. Although the opening act has a point, it still keeps people from giving The Last House on the Left a chance.

8 Jimmie Dimmick’s Racist Rant Is an Unwelcome Part of Pulp Fiction

Uma Thurman on the movie poster for Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Release Date
September 10, 1994

Cast
John Travolta , Uma Thurman , Samuel L. Jackson

Runtime
2 hours 34 minutes

Studio
Miramax Films

Production Company
Miramax, A Band Apart, Jersey Films

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Pulp Fiction

$8,000,000

$213,900,000

92%

95

Related

10 References In Quentin Tarantino Movies You Didn’t Notice

Quentin Tarantino is a celebrated director known to reference other films in his work, from Inglorious Basterds to Reservoir Dogs to even Kill Bill.

Pulp Fiction is one of, if not, the most important movies of the ’90s. Not only did it cement Quentin Tarantino’s auteur status, but it also brought edgy, clever writing and filmmaking into the mainstream. The biggest thing Pulp Fiction’s fans want to forget today, though, is Jimmie Dimmick’s liberal use of racial slurs.

During his outburst, Jimmie launched into a slur-laden rant. He justified this by mentioning that his wife was Black. Tarantino claimed he was honoring Blaxploitation cinema and Black people, but his critics saw this as an excuse to use slurs. Tarantino never apologized, but he noticeably limited such language to historical movies later on.

7 Breakfast At Tiffany’s Features a Shocking Racist Stereotype

Illustrated Poster for Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.

Release Date
October 6, 1961

Director
Blake Edwards

Cast
Audrey Hepburn , George Peppard

Runtime
1 hour 55 minutes

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

$2,500,000

$14,000,000

88%

77

To its credit, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was arguably the most truly influential romantic comedy. Besides turning Audrey Hepburn into a household name, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is still used a blueprint for many modern rom-coms. However, most rom-coms also learned from its mistakes, including the unforgettably horrible Mr. I. Y. Yunioshi.

Mr. Yuinoshi was a Japanese character portrayed by Mickey Rooney, a white comedian. Rooney donned caricaturist makeup and exaggerated the worst stereotypes associated with Asian people. Mr. Yunioshi went down as one of the most racist movie characters in history. Rooney and director Blake Edwards have since expressed regret.

6 Lois Einhorn’s Transphobic Humiliation Mars Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Ace Ventura Pet Detective Film Poster

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

A goofy detective specializing in animals goes in search of the missing mascot of the Miami Dolphins.

Release Date
February 4, 1994

Director
Tom Shadyac

Cast
Jim Carrey , Courteney Cox , Sean Young , Tone Loc , Dan Marino , Noble Willingham

Runtime
86 minutes

Main Genre
Comedy

Writers
Jack Bernstein , Tom Shadyac , Jim Carrey

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

$15,000,000

$107,200,000

48%

37

Related

Jim Carrey’s Weirdest Role Isn’t What You Think

Jim Carrey’s career spans almost fifty years, and in that time he’s played a lot of whacky roles, but the weirdest one is a little surprising.

Jim Carrey seemed unstoppable in the ’90sand Ace Ventura: Pet Detective helped launch his comedic career. The movie was basically a live-action cartoon, with Carrey’s signature slapstick at its peak. However, its silliness feels a lot darker whenever fans acknowledge its transphobia.

In a spoof of The Crying Game, Ace reacted in disgust when he realized that Lt. Lois Einhorn was a trans woman. Worse, Ace publicly exposed and humiliated her later. The Crying Game can be defended because Fergus apologized for and overcame his transphobia. Ace Ventura simply treated trans people as jokes who deserve ridicule.

5 Blue Is The Warmest Color Includes a Graphic Sex Scene

Blue is the Warmest Color Film Poster

Blue is the Warmest Color

Release Date
October 9, 2013

Director
Abdellatif Kechiche

Cast
Lea Seydoux , Adèle Exarchopoulos , Salim Kechiouche , Aurélien Recoing

Runtime
180 minutes

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Blue Is the Warmest Color

$4,000,000

$19,500,000

88%

90

Based on Jul Maroh’s graphic novel, Blue is the Warmest Color is one of the best mainstream movies about LGBTQ+ romance. What’s more, the movie didn’t cut any of the book’s LGBTQ+ themes out. It was praised for its heartfelt and relatable look at the highs and lows of Adele’s and Emma’s love. However, their first intimate scene together is unforgettably exploitative.

Adele and Emma’s love scene was explicit and lasted almost 10 minutes. This was notably longer and more graphic than Blue is the Warmest Color’s other love scenes. It felt like the movie was trying to fetishize actors Adele Exarchopoulos (Adele) and Lea Seydoux (Emma) and their same-sex relationship.

4 Basic Instinct’s Interrogation Scene Is Misogynist and Hateful

Basic Instinct movie poster

Basic Instinct

Release Date
May 8, 1992

Director
Paul Verhoeven

Cast
Michael Douglas , Sharon Stone , George Dzundza , Jeanne Tripplehorn , Wayne Knight , Denis Arndt , Leilani Sarelle , Bruce A. Young

Runtime
128 minutes

Writers
Joe Eszterhas

Cinematographer
Jan de Bont

Producer
Alan Marshall, Mario Kassar

Production Company
Carolco Pictures, Le Studio Canal+

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Basic Instinct

$49,000,000

$352,900,000

56%

43

Related

The Controversy Behind Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct Interrogation Scene

Sharon Stone stars in one of the most iconic scenes in Basic Instinct. Unfortunately, this iconic scene is also one of the most controversial.

While it’s credited for popularizing erotic thrillers in the ’90s, Basic Instinct is best known for Sharon Stone’s career-defining performance as Catherine Tramell. Catherine’s interrogation where she flashed investigators immortalized her as a legendary femme fatale. According to Stone, however, she was filmed here without her consent.

In her memoir and various interviews, Stone accused director Paul Verhoeven of adding the graphic scene in the final cut without her permission. Verhoeven denied Stone’s claims. Revisiting Basic Instinct with this in mind only makes its most well-known scene more controversial and uncomfortable than it already was.

3 The Shining’s Director Abused His Star

A yellow poster for The Shining

The Shining

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Release Date
May 23, 1980

Director
Stanley Kubrick

Cast
Jack Nicholson , Shelley Duvall

Runtime
2 hours 26 minutes

Production Company
Warner Bros., Hawk Films, Peregrine

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

The Shining

$19,000,000

$47,300,000

83%

66

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining is revered as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It owes part of its glowing reputation to its cast’s powerful performances. However, even the movie’s most devoted admirers question its legacy because of the way Kubrick treated the actors.

Wendy Torrance fending off Jack with a baseball bat is almost always cited as an example of horror creeping into the real world. Shelley Duvall wasn’t acting here; she really was exhausted and desperate after 127 grueling takes. The cast and crew’s accounts of Kubrick viciously harassing Duvall just to get her into character ruined the scene and The Shining retroactively.

2 Tipi Hedren Was Really Attacked in The Birds

Poster of The Birds by Hitchcock with the director and a woman being attacked by birds

The Birds

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Release Date
March 28, 1963

Director
Alfred Hitchcock

Cast
Rod Taylor , Jessica Tandy , Tippi Hedren , Veronica Cartwright , Suzanne Pleshette

Runtime
1 hour 59 minutes

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

The Birds

$3,300,000

$11,400,000

94%

90

Related

Why Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho Film Is Controversial

Though it seems tame by today’s standards, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho shattered censorship norms at the time, and changed cinema in the process.

The Birds is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most underrated thrillers. Many critics praised how Hitchcock turned the simple and even laughable idea of birds attacking people into a nightmare. Unfortunately, the terror was all too real for Tippi Hedren. She really was injured by aggressive birds during the penultimate bedroom scene.

According to Hedren, co-stars, and crew, Hitchcock made advances on and assaulted Hedren. When she refused him, he allegedly retaliated by switching the prop birds for real ones in the bedroom attack. Hitchcock effectively wrecked Hedren’s career afterward with an unfair contract and ruined both his reputation and The Birds.

1 Last Tango In Paris Includes an Unsettling Sexual Assault

Last Tango in Paris

Last Tango in Paris

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Release Date
October 14, 1972

Director
Bernardo Bertolucci

Cast
Marlon Brando , Maria Schneider

Runtime
129 minutes

Writers
Franco Arcalli , Bernardo Bertolucci

Title

Budget

Box Office

Tomatometer Rating

Metacritic Metascore

Last Tango in Paris

$1,000,000

$96,000,000

84%

77

From the ’70s up until just a few years ago, Last Tango in Paris was hailed as one of the best erotica movies ever made. It was also cited as one of Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider’s best performances. Whatever praise the movie deserved, however, was nullified by the fact Schneider was actually assaulted in the film.

Maria Schneider was pressured into doing the controversial scene where Paul (Brando) assaulted Jeanne (Schneider). She was also only 19 years old at the time. Schneider felt violated, and Brando cut ties with director Bernardo Bertolucci afterward. Last Tango in Paris was reevaluated after this information came to light and it’s now seen as one of Brando’s most problematic films.

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