Censorship is a tricky thing. The line between artistic freedom of speech and the need to protect the “common good” are at odds every day. But some people have begun to question the agenda of some behind the scenes experts. Do the ideas on screen match up with the story they’re supposed to tell? This isn’t meant to be a discussion on politics or the state of the world. But rather, the behind the scenes decision-making that goes in to some Hollywood movies. Everyone wants to look good on the big screen, and the government is no exception. Here are 10 Famous Movies That Were Altered By The Government.
Whenever an actor debuts as the new James Bond, fans of the franchise always wonder if the’ve got what it takes to embody the iconic super-spy. And after Timothy Dalton passed the torch to Pierce Brosnan, people got excited. His first appearance as 007 was in 1995’s Goldeneye. The movie spawned one of the most iconic video games of all time, and contains some of the best moments in the character’s big-screen history. But there was one scene that stood out to some members of the United States military. An unfortunate encounter with Xenia Onatopp leaves one Admiral dead. And in the original script the character was American, but was later changed to Canadian for the final cut.
Quentin Tarantino is not exactly a subtle guy, and his movies have a unique style. Usually his vision includes troves of well-crafted dialogue mixed with a few bloodbaths. Needless to say, audiences have come to expect a certain level of violence and gore when heading to the theater to see his latest work. Except in China, where the government’s strict film regulations clashed with the release of Django Unchained in 2012. The authorities pulled it from rotation on the same day it was released, and made some changes. The censored final cut is about three minutes shorter than the original, and is missing some of its nudity and violence.
Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr’s take on Tony Stark is officially legendary, and expanded the character’s fan base tenfold. He’s been in a ton of movies over the last decade, and Iron Man 3 was one of the most successful. Legions of fans think the film is perfect just the way it is, but before it was released in China, the authorities did a little editing. Usually censors remove footage, but in this case they actually added a couple of minutes to the movie. And the way they used their time was kind of odd. There were a few changes, but the most obvious one is a scene where they advertise a real-world drink as the reason for Iron Man’s stamina.
Zero Dark Thirty
Oftentimes when filmmakers take on delicate or complex subject matter, they consult with an expert. It’s a lot of pressure and they have a responsibility to be accurate when handling real-life events. But some argue that a line was crossed during the making of Zero Dark Thirty. And there are opponents on both sides of the line. The movie follows a team looking for Osama Bin Laden. Consulting with a team of CIA agents, the film was guided by their expertise in some spots, and has been criticized for it’s use of “enhanced interrogation”. After it’s release, some audience members felt that the story was swayed to be pro-torture because of the CIA’s involvement. While some fans saw the scenes as finally exposing a hidden truth.
The Hunger Games
The Chinese box office process is heavily regulated, and officials have the right to pick and choose what movies are released. They knew audiences were eagerly anticipating one installment in The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 1, but worried that it’s release would knock the entire entertainment economy off it’s axis. So in an effort to encourage citizens to see domestic movies, the government stalled the films release by a few months until the new year. Thankfully audiences didn’t have to wait too long, and Mockingjay was eventually released in 2015.