Although Fifty Shades of Grey was NOT banned in any Irish cinema, we've had a pretty contentious relationship with film censorship over the years.

A whopping 2,500 films have been banned with a further 11,000 cut to suit the censor's rating since the formation of the state, some of which have gone on to become classics.

Here's a quick rundown of the seven best banned films in Ireland - all of which are available now.

 

7. FANTASIA

Yes, believe it or not, the classic Disney animation about a mouse who was a wizard was banned in Ireland. Probably because it was promoting witchcraft and heresy. We must have missed that scene where Mickey Mouse makes a human sacrifice whilst Cradle of Filth plays backwards.

 

6. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST

To be fair to the Irish censor, this had a lot of trouble pretty much everywhere it was screened. The Italian authorities believed that Ruggero Deodato had ACTUALLY murdered his actors and created a snuff film in Cannibal Holocaust. The director was arrested a few days after the premiere and was charged with murder. The court case exonerated Deodato of murder when he brought the actors in question into court, however he was hit with a four-month suspended suspended sentence for animal cruelty. Originally released in 1984, the ban was only lifted in Ireland in 2006.

 

5. A YANK IN THE R.A.F.

Released in 1943 at the height of World War II, A Yank In The R.A.F. tells the story of an American millionaire who joins the fight against the Nazis at a time when the United States was a neutral party in the war. It's considered a typical propaganda movie, meant to inspire enlistment and so on. However, in Ireland's case, it was seen as championing a war that the country had no part in. The film was pulled one week after it was released, even though an estimated 41,000 people had already watched the film.

 

4. MONTY PYTHON'S THE LIFE OF BRIAN

Yes, this classic comedy from Messrs. Cleese, Palin, Chapman, Jones, Gilliam and Idle was banned outright on its release in 1979 and stayed that way for eight years. Of course, what the dumbasses didn't realise was that it played almost perfectly into the film's story of oppression, tyranny and ostracising those who disagree with the status quo. The censors, at the time, believed it was making a mockery of religion. Yet, throughout the entire film, there's only one reference to Jesus and his portrayal isn't lampooned in any way. Don't believe us? Here's the scene in question. He does a very big nose, in fairness.

 

3. NATURAL BORN KILLERS

Oliver Stone's crazed take on Western society and the ills of culture was never going to go down well with Irish censors. The film was banned outright by the censors, however the Irish Film Institute attempted to show the film as a club screening. A screening never took place and, to date, the film has only been shown a handful of times in Irish cinemas.

 

2. FROM DUSK 'TILL DAWN

Much like Natural Born Killers, From Dusk 'Till Dawn was banned due to its wall-to-wall violence and the fact that every other line of dialogue had a curse-word in it. We thought it might have something to do with Quentin Tarantino's terrible acting.

 

1. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Stanley Kubrick's insane masterpiece took aim at issues no government would like to talk about - super-violence, political prisoners, terrorism, incarceration. It's no surprise then that A Clockwork Orange was banned in Ireland on its release in 1971. At the request of Kubrick himself, the film was pulled from British cinemas on foot of massive protests and a murder trial where the prosecutor linked the film to the case. Indeed, the scene where Malcolm McDowell's character beats up a homeless person - who is Irish - was referred to in another murder trial, with the accused claiming he "copied" the scene in question.