30 of the most controversial films of all time

These movies have taboo storylines, graphic sex scenes, and gruesome violence

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

30 of the most controversial films of all time 1

Considered as one of the first films of the New Hollywood era, Bonnie & Clyde tells the story of a dissatisfied small-town girl Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and ex-con Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) who start a violent crime spree together after falling in love with each other. However, tensions between the couple and the other members of their gang threaten to destroy them all.

The Arthur Penn-directed film caused furor among critics at the time of its release because of its apparent glorification of murderers and for its level of graphic violence, which was unprecedented back then. In fact, Bonnie and Clyde’s ending is so startlingly graphic that it is considered as “one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history.”

Aside from winning two categories at the 40th Academy Awards ― Best Actress in Supporting Role for Estelle Parsons and Best Cinematography for Burnett Guffey, Bonnie and Clyde is also deemed as a landmark film, which broke many cinematic taboos and whose commercial success prompted other filmmakers to be more open in presenting sex and violence in their movies.

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