UC Berkeley Library

Banned & Censored Films

Saw (2004)

Directed by James Wan. Cast: Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson, Ken Leung, Tobin Bell. Obessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer abducts the morally wayward. Once captured, they must face impossible choices in a horrific game of survival. The victims must fight to win their lives back, or die trying.

Scarface (1932)

Directed by Howard Hawks. Cast: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft, Boris Karloff. Drama of the life and death of a Chicago gangster during prohibition in the 1920's. 93 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Banned in five states, including New York and five cities, including Seattle and Chicago, owing to its violence and/or supposed glorification of crime.

Scarface (1983)

Directed by Brian De Palma. Cast: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham, Paul Shenar, Harris Yulin. Tells the story of the violent career of a smalltime Cuban refugee hoodlum who guns his way to the top of Miami's cocaine empire. 170 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Scarlet Street (1945)

Directed by Fritz Lang. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Margaret Lindsay. The story of a middle-aged bookkeeper who gets involved with a femme fatale, her boy friend and murder. , ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

She Shoulda Said "No!" (aka Wild Weed) (1949)

Director, Sherman Scott. Cast: Alan Baxter, Lyle Talbot, Lila Leeds, Doug Blackley. A "good" girl works day and night as a dancer in Los Angeles to finance her brother's college education. Then a dope peddler enters the picture and casts a cloud of smoke and money around her. When her brother comes home from college and finds out what his sister has been up to to finance his education, he commits suicide. Beset by guilt and T.H.C. as a result, she slips farther down into the pit of marijuana addiction and despair. 70 min.

Snuff (1976)

Directed by Michael and Roberta Findlay. Cast: Margarita Amuchastegui, Ana Carro, Clao Villaneuva. A young man with similiarities to Charles Manson leads a gang of bikers in a series of supposedly real killings on film. The crucial scene where there is a simulated murder of a cast member was done as a marketing ploy for the film to claim it was genuine. To give it credibility, the producers hired fake protesters to picket theatres showing the film. "The film that could only be made in South America--- where life is cheap!" -- container. 80 min.

Strange Cargo (1940)

Directed by Frank Borzage. Cast: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Ian Hunter, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas. When eight prisoners escape from a New Guinea penal colony, they are picked up by a sloop commandeered by another escapee named Verne and his trollop girl friend Julie. Among the fugitives is Cambreau, a soft-spoken, messianic character who has a profound effect on his comrades. One by one, the escapees abandon their evil purposes and find God --and a peaceful death --through the auspices of the Christlike Cambreau. Based on the book: "Not Too Narrow ... Not Too Deep" by Richard Sale.

Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song (1971)

Directed by Melvyn Van Peebles. Cast: Melvin van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales, Niva Rochelle, Rhetta Hughes, Brer Soul, John Dullaghan. Presents the story of a professional sex-show stud who kills two white policeman who are beating up a black youth. Presents the story of a professional sex-show stud who kills two white policemen who are beating up a black youth. Directed by Melvin Van Peebles. 97 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Canterbury Tales (I Racconti di Canterbury) (Italy / France, 1971; dubbed into English)

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Cast: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Josephine Chaplin, Alan Webb. Originally released as motion picture in 1971. Based on the Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer. Pasolini's startling candor and ribald humor illuminate these classic tales of romance, deception, murder and lust. 121 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Originally received an "X" rating for its nudity, sex scenes, and all-around ribaldry.

The Connection (1961)

Filmed version of a play with the same title by Jack Gelber. Based on the Living Theatre production created in 1961, as directed by Judith Malina and designed by Julian Beck. Credits: Writer, Jack Gelber; producers, Lewis Allen, Shirley Clarke; director/editor, Shirley Clarke; production designer, Richard Sylbert; art director, Albert Brenner; director of photography, Arthur J. Ornitz; introduction, J.J. Burden. Performers: Warren Finnerty, Carl Lee, the Freddie Redd Quartet. 105 min. Banned in New York, 1962, because of "obscene" language; reversed by the New York Supreme Court.