UC Berkeley Library

Banned & Censored Films

Medium Cool (1969)

Directed by Haskell Wexler. Cast: Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill, Harold Blankenship. Filmed against the backdrop of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and ensuing riots, this story is about a television cameraman who chooses not to get personally concerned about the ugliness he must film each day for his station. But the hate and hypocrisy command his attentions at last, and he becomes increasingly involved in the realities he finds with his camera. 111 min.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Directed by John Schlesinger. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro, John McGiver, Ruth White, Sylvia Miles, Barnard Hughes. A Texas "cowboy" takes a bus to New York in search of lonely, rich women who will pay for his sexual services, but instead spends a hard winter looking after a dying derelict.

Native Son (USA / Argentina, 1951)

Director, Pierre Chenal. Cast: Richard Wright, Jean Wallace, Gloria Madison, Nicholas Joy, Willa Pearl Curtiss, Charles Cane. Adaptation of the classic novel by Richard Wright. Set in Chicago, Native son tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a young black man who accidentally murders his employer's daughter while performing his duties as chauffeur. The combined forces of institutional racism and condescending white liberalism pursue Thomas to an unhappy end. The author plays the leading role in this film version. 90 min.

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Directed by Oliver Stone. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield. Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media. 118 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database This film's graphic portrayal of seemingly random acts of violence caused Blockbuster, K-Mart and Wal-Mart to refuse to stock the Director's Cut of the film.

Never on a Sunday (Pote tin Kyriaki) (Greece, 1960)

Directed by Jules Dassin. Cast: Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, George Foundas, Titos Vandis, Mitsos Lygizos, Dimitri Papamichael, Alexis Solomos. The Pygmalion-like story of a Greek prostitute and the American who decides to educate her in the hope that she will abandon her streetwalking. 93 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Performance (UK, 1970)

Directed by Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg. Cast: James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg. In this underground film presenting a study of the 1960's, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to hide after carrying out a hit. He finds the perfect cover in the form of a guest house run by the mysterious Mr. Turner, an ex-rocker looking for the right spark to rekindle his faded talent. 104 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Originally received an "X" rating; re-rated R in 1979

Pink Flamingos (1972)

Directed by John Waters. Cast: Cast: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pierce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey. This underground epic, which breaks every rule of good filmmaking and good taste, set a benchmark for thebizarre that has never been equaled. Babs Johnson, a trailer park bon vivant proudly claims the title of the filthiest person alive. The envy of every neighborhood degenerate, it isn't long before another couple set their sites on Divine's legacy, and in the proud American tradition, competition forces each contender to outdo the other.

Pinky (1949)

Directed by Elia Kazan. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan. Pinky, a black woman who works as a nurse in Boston, finds that she is able to pass for white. Afraid her true heritage will be discovered, she leaves her white fiancee and returns home to Mississippi where she helps her grandmother care for her employer, an imperious plantation owner. When she names Pinky heiress to her estate, the community rises in resentment triggering a-sensational court trial.

Robocop (1987)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Robocop, Daniel O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer. Robocop is designed to stop a crimewave which is spreading all across America. The cyborg, created from the body of a slain police officer, is programed to serve the public trust, uphold the law and protect the innocent. All goes well at first and Robocop stops every sleaze ball he encounters, but there are forces which will stop at nothing to see him eliminated. 103 min.

Salt of the Earth (1954)

Directed by Herbert J. Biberman. A semidocumentary of the year-long struggle by Mexican-American zinc miners in New Mexico. When an injunction is issued against the workers, the wives take up the battle with a fury, leaving the husbands to care for home and children. 1987. 94 min. ; Credits and information from the Internet Movie Database