15 Movie Scenes That Would NOT Be Legal Today

6Underage Nudity In Kids

The movie Kids was groundbreaking American filmmaking that made a name for director Larry Clark and introduced viewers to actors like Leo Fitzpatrick, Chloe Sevigny, and Rosario Dawson.

It also introduced distributors to claims of child pornography, and in one case, required the studio releasing it to spend more money on special effects to hide the nudity than was spent on anything else on the film.

According to producer Cary Woods, the film was under serious threat of legal issue because it was against the law to show the nipples actresses under the age of eighteen. The film did that, and because of all the other controversy surrounding the film-- due to its subject matter of drug use and casual sex between teenagers-- the distributor didn’t want to take the risk.

They ended up hiring an effects house to digitally smooth over anything that remotely resembled a nipple, thereby protecting themselves from legal trouble. Director Clark continued to flirt with controversy throughout his later career, though.

5Interview Footage Of Real People In Fake Documentary Borat

Borat (2006)

There were a number of shocking moments in the fake documentary comedy Borat, from an offensive version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to the rampant anti-Semitism to the naked hotel wrestling. However, the element that got the film into legal trouble was a simple conversation.

The issue came about when two fraternity members shown in the film making sexist and racist remarks tried to stop the film from being shown because they felt they were misled.

Producers had told them that they were to be interviewed by a foreign journalist who didn’t understand the societal norms of American society, even though it was actually actor Sacha Baron Cohen pretending to be a bigot. That, combined with a healthy dose of alcohol, resulted in a very offensive interview that the fraternity members wished they had never done.

They were only the tip of the iceberg, however, with others alleging loss of jobs due to appearing in the film, and a Romanian village they shot as Kazakhstan was horrified to discover what they actually made of the footage.

4Causing Cancer In the Cast And Crew On The Conqueror

There were a number of bad decisions made regarding the 1956 John Wayne film The Conqueror. The fact that all-American cowboy John Wayne was inaccurately cast as Mongol Empire leader Genghis Khan was surprisingly not the most troubling one.

The biggest mistake the film made was deciding to shoot on location, and deciding that location should be a stretch of desert less than one hundred miles from a nuclear testing site in Nevada. While on set, John Wayne and his sons tested the area with a Geiger counter, and the needle shot up. However, no one seemed worried about it.

After the location shooting was completed, sand from the location was shipped to the soundstage where the rest of the film was shot. Cast and crew were exposed to it for the entire shoot.

John Wayne, co-star Susan Hayward, director Dick Powell, and 88 of the 220 members of the cast and crew ended up developing some form of cancer sometime after filming. Forty-six of them died of the disease.

3Everyone Doing Drugs During Easy Rider

Easy Rider was the film that heralded a shift from the classic Hollywood epics and musicals to the gritty realism and existential concern of the 1960s. It redefined what movies were and how they were made, but some of the restrictive rules they cast off from the old studio system might have gone a little too far.

During the filming of Easy Rider, it has long been rumored that the cast and crew indulged in recreational drug use. It was confirmed by Jack Nicholson, who described a single scene in which over 150 joints were smoked during the shooting.

Given the loose structure and nature of the set, the fact that lead actor Peter Fonda also admitted to drug use (although only ever copped to marijuana), as well as director Dennis Hopper’s predilection at the time for both drugs and alcohol, it is almost certain that more than just 150 joints were present on that set.

Though drug use may not have vanished from film sets now, it is more well-hidden and more tightly controlled in order to avoid legal trouble.

2Using An Actual Decapitated Horse’s Head In The Godfather

Though people have accused The Godfather of glorifying the gangster lifestyle, there are devastatingly violent moments that should discourage anyone from seeking it out.

One of the most memorable is the brutal killing of Sonny Corleone, but inarguably the most disturbing image in the film is when Jack Poltz wakes up in bloody sheets and throws them aside to find a decapitated horse head in bed with him.

The reason the sequence was so disturbing, aside from the skill of director Francis Ford Coppola, is that the head in the bed looked so real... and that’s because it was. Coppola was unhappy with the artificial horse’s head that was created by the effects team, so he sent scouts to figure out how to get him a real one.

They found a dog food plant in New Jersey with horses that were ready to be slaughtered to make the food. The art director chose which of the horses looked the most like the living horse they used in the movie, and told the plant workers to send them the head on ice after the job was done.

1So Many Things In Apocalypse Now

Everyone knows what a troubled shoot Apocalypse Now was, from the loss of their initial star Harvey Keitel to the heart attack of their second star Martin Sheen to the helicopters on loan from the Filipino military that kept getting called away for war engagements. However, the most disturbing things that happened actually ended up on screen.

First off, an indigenous tribe hacked a buffalo to death, and director Francis Ford Coppola photographed it in all its disturbing violence to be included in the film. While it was a potent metaphor for the fall of the villainous Brando, it did not sit well with animal rights groups.

More disturbing than that was the strange smell on the set that sent producer Gray Frederickson on a hunt that ended with dead rats and human corpses. As if that weren’t bad enough, it was discovered that the bodies were purchased by a man who turned out to be a grave robber.

Police came to the set, seized the crew’s passports, and investigated the foul play. The crew wasn’t charged, but the grave robber was arrested.


Can you think of any other movie scenes that would not be legal in this day and age? Let us know in the comments. Or keep it to yourself, that's okay too.

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