List of films banned in Canada

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This is a list of films that have been or are banned in Canada.


Release Date Film Notes
1916 Damaged Goods Banned in Ontario.[1]
1918 Manitoba institutes a ban (since lifted) on all comedies, due to the belief at the time that they would lead to frivolty in real life.[citation needed]
1931 Little Caesar Banned in Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.[2]
1937 The Life of Emile Zola Banned in Quebec.[3]
1946 Scarlet Street Banned in New Brunswick.[1]
1946 Wicked Lady Banned in New Brunswick.[1]
1947 Forever Amber Banned in Quebec.[1]
1953 The Wild One Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec ban the film.[4]
1963 Tom Jones Alberta bans the film. After two years, the decision is reversed and it is allowed to be shown.[5]
1967 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Nova Scotia censors ban the film, describing it as "obscene and blasphemous". After an appeal from the distributor and media coverage, the decision was later reversed and the film was released with a "Restricted" rating[5][6]
1967 Warrendale Manitoba bans the film due to the language. However, due to public outcry, the decision was reversed.[5]
1968 Romeo and Juliet Banned in Ontario.[1]
1970 On est au coton The National Film Board of Canada blocks the release of Denys Arcand's controversial documentary. An edited version is released in 1976, but the original unedited version was not released until 2004.[7][8]
1970 Women in Love The Alberta censors ban the film due to nudity.[9]
1971 A Clockwork Orange Alberta and Nova Scotia ban the film.[1] Alberta reversed the ban in 1999. The Maritime Film Classification Board has also reversed the ban.[10] Both jurisdictions now grant an R rating to the film.
1972 Pink Flamingos Edited in several provinces, with Nova Scotia banning it outright until 1997.[10]
1973 Heavy Traffic Banned in Alberta.
1974 Last Tango in Paris Banned in Nova Scotia, leading to the landmark Nova Scotia (Board of Censors) v McNeil court case.[citation needed]
1976 Blood Sucking Freaks Banned in Nova Scotia[10] and Ontario.[citation needed]
1977 In the Realm of the Senses Banned by all provinces except Quebec. In 1991, the ban was overturned by most provinces.[citation needed]
1978 Pretty Baby Banned in Ontario by the Ontario Censor Board. The ban was repealed in 1995.[11]
1979 Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens Banned in Nova Scotia.[10]
1980 Caligula Banned by all provinces except Quebec, which gave it an 18+ rating. Edited versions were later passed.[citation needed] The 156-minute "unrated" version has subsequently been reevaluated and approved with an R rating in the Maritimes.[10]
1980 The Tin Drum Edited, and later banned outright as child pornography by the Ontario Film Classification Board.[12]
1981 Not a Love Story The feminist documentary critique of the pornography industry was itself banned in Ontario for its pornographic content, although that decision was ultimately reversed.[13]
1983 I Spit on Your Grave Banned in Nova Scotia until 1998.[10]
1985 Day of the Dead Banned in Ontario and the Maritimes, with a cut, 97 minute version passed in Ontario.[14] The original 101 minute version was resubmitted to the Ontario Film Review Board in 2008 and given a 14A rating.[15] The 101-minute version has also been granted an R rating in the Maritimes.[10]
1986 Blue Velvet Banned by the New Brunswick Film Classification Board.[16] New Brunswick now uses the ratings provided by the Maritime Film Classification Board, which granted an R rating.[10]
1987 Bad Taste Banned in Nova Scotia; it is now available on DVD with an 18 rating.[citation needed]
1989-1993 Death Scenes Video series is banned in Nova Scotia.[10]
1994 Exit to Eden Temporarily banned by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board.[17][18]
1997 Bastard Out of Carolina Banned by the Maritime Film Classification Board. This decision was later appealed, and a video release was allowed.[citation needed]
2001 Fat Girl Banned by the Ontario Film Review Board until 2003[citation needed]
2006 Bumfights This series of shot-on-tape reality productions, is banned in seven of the thirteen provinces and territories; the remaining give it an R rating.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Censored! Only in Canada, Malcolm Dean, Virgo Press, 1981.
  2. ^ Hollywood Censored, Gregory Black, 1994.
  3. ^ "Film on Life of Emile Zola is Banned by Censors Here", The Gazette, November 4, 1937
  4. ^ The day Shakespeare was banned - Toronto Star, Aug 20 2010
  5. ^ a b c Take 30, October 11, 1968, CBC Television (digitized episode)
  6. ^ "N.S. censors afraid of Virginia Woolf". CBC News.
  7. ^ Evans, Gary (1991). "'On a Chariot of Fire': Sydney Newman's Tenure". In the National Interest: A Chronicle of the National Film Board of Canada from 1949 to 1989. University of Toronto Press. pp. 177–187. ISBN 978-0-8020-6833-0. 
  8. ^ "1976". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  9. ^ The Calgary Herald, April 21, 1971.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rating search at the Maritime Film Classification Board website in 2005, since then, all entries for "Not Approved" (ie. rejected) products have been removed.
  11. ^ Butler, Don (April 18, 1978). "Province backing 'Pretty Baby' ban despite criticism". Ottawa Citizen. p. 77. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "History of Ontario's film industry, 1896 to 1985". Free Online Library. 2000-06-22. 
  13. ^ Cole, Janis. "Bonnie Sherr Klein". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica-Dominion. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  14. ^ [1], Ontario Film Review Board, May 12, 1986.
  15. ^ [2], Ontario Film Review Board, April 15, 2008.
  16. ^ "New Brunswick movie ban challenged by Hollywood", Vancouver Sun, January 15, 1987.
  17. ^ Salem, Rob (16 October 1994). "Maybe Saskatchewan had it right first time: Exit To Eden is painful". Toronto Star. p. B3. 
  18. ^ (CP) (14 October 1994). "Exit to Eden ban reversed". Toronto Star. p. 88.