Classic Movie Scenes That Pushed The Boundaries

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Elizabeth Montgomery as the lead character in 'The Legend of Lizzie Borden' (1975)

Today, hardly a day goes by where there is no controversy or public debate about whether or not various films or other programs have crossed a line of what is acceptable to depict on film. Such debates consume an enormous amount of the public’s collective consciousness, and it seems sometimes that it’s all we ever do. It is easy to forget, however, that such debates are as old as film itself.

Many films over the decades have been controversial for their depictions of various things. Excessive violence, sexual themes, and use of questionable language in films have been magnets for public debate around their suitability to be shown and whether or not they degrade society through their being shown. This list is a journey back in time and an examination of some films from yesterday that fit that description. 

(CBS Television Distribution)
Murder mysteries are a genre whose popularity has remained consistent throughout the generations. Tales of murder often lend themselves to questions about ethics, revenge, justifiable violence, psychology, and so on, and can often be controversial in how they ask these questions as well as being quite explicit. The 1975 film The Legend of Lizzie Borden was an example of this. The film follows a still unsolved murder from the 1890’s in New England. The prime suspect was played by Elizabeth Montgomery, who was depicted committing the murders in the film while in the nude, which was censored for American viewers.