The 19 Most Scandalous Scenes In Movies

Movies have the power to do a lot of different things. They have the power to inspire people. To make people laugh, cry, or cheer. They can make you think and start important conversations. And sometimes, they can ignite a whole lot of controversy. Throughout the history of cinema, there have been films that have pushed the boundaries of what's acceptable for public consumption. The line for what's decent has been moved multiple times over the years, but the most scandalous movie scenes of all time are still capable of causing a stir years after they've been released.

So what qualifies as a scandalous scene? Simply put, they're scenes that cause a scandal. All of these scenes address a social taboo in graphic fashion; usually one of a sexual, violent, or religious nature — and sometimes combining more than one of those subjects. These are the ultimate movie scenes you do not want to watch with your parents, and in many cases, probably won't want to watch at all. A great number of these scenes, some of which are several decades old, are still profoundly difficult to watch, and for that reason none of the clips will be included in this article (this is a family website). But if you're curious, take a look below at the 19 most scandalous scenes in movies.

1. Uncrossed Legs - Basic Instinct

Despite a long career with a number of hits under her belt, Sharon Stone is still best known for exposing her vulva in this scene from the notorious 1992 thriller.

2. Actual Oral Sex - The Brown Bunny

Chloë Sevigny starred in this 2003 film alongside its director, Vincent Gallo. In the scene in question, Sevigny performs real fellatio on Gallo, which culminates in him climaxing in her mouth. For a well-known actress to perform such a scene in a film was unheard of at the time, and still is, really.

3. Realistic Murder - Cannibal Holocaust

True story: I have a friend in the army who watched this 1980 film with his unit and they all thought it was real and that it was the most disturbing thing they had ever seen. The movie is full of horrendous depictions of violence, but one scene in particular is especially notable. The scene depicts the impaling of a woman, and it's so lifelike that director Ruggero Deodato was arrested in Italy because authorities believed the woman was killed on camera, forcing the director to prove that she was still alive.

4. Underage Sex - Kids

Another film featuring Sevigny, this 1995 film was derided as child pornography for its depictions of underage sex, including the lengthy opening sex scene involving a half naked 12-year-old girl.

5. Chicken Sex - Pink Flamingos

There's almost nothing about this 1972 film that isn't disturbing on some level — star Divine eats real dog feces on camera — but the most controversial bit is a sex scene where a real live chicken is crushed, and killed, between two naked people.

6. Enjoyed Rape - Straw Dogs

Rape is depicted all too often in movies, but perhaps never more notoriously than in this 1971 film, where the victim is seen to be enjoying her attack, earning the film heaps of criticism for misrepresenting the horrors of sexual assault.

7. Buttery Anal - Last Tango in Paris

Maybe the most famously controversial movie ever, covering Time and Newsweek upon its release, this raunchy Marlon Brando flick from 1972 is most notable for its anal sex scene which finds a new use for butter.

8. Singin' in the Rain - A Clockwork Orange

Another entry from the '70s that remains a lightning rod for controversy, Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film is considered a classic by many critics, but it's still extremely disturbing for its depictions of brutal violence. The most memorable is when main character Alex and his vicious gang break into an elderly couple's home to torture them. They beat the man and rape his wife while he watches, all while singing the previously innocent song, "Singin' in the Rain."

9. Jesus Sex Scene - The Last Temptation of Christ

If you want to incite a worldwide riot, just depict Jesus Christ having sex with Mary Magdalene like Martin Scorcese did in this 1988 film. The movie proved so controversial with some Christian groups that a theater showing the film in Paris was set on fire by members of a radical Catholic offshoot.

10. Crucifix Masturbation - The Exorcist

Lauded as the scariest film of all time by many, this 1973 film isn't without controversy — like the scene where demonically possessed 12-year-old Regan bloodily masturbates with a crucifix.

11. Very Graphic Sex - 9 Songs

One year after The Brown Bunny's release came this British film that was full of real sex scenes, including one where lead actor Kieran O'Brien ejaculates on camera — receiving the distinction as the first actor in mainstream British cinema to do so.

12. ....Inventive Sex - Requiem For a Dream

Two women desperate for heroin are forced to perform "ass to ass" sex with a dildo for gross cheering male onlookers in this 2000 film. Well.

13. Curb Stomp - American History X

A disturbingly violent film from 1998 with an all-too real message about hate, the worst scene is undoubtedly when Edward Norton's neo-Nazi character forces a black man to lie face down in the road and bite the curb, and then murders him by stomping on the back of his head.

14. Rape Of Christ - The Devils

This movie introduced crucifix masturbation two years before The Exorcist, and in this instance a giant crucifix is sexually assaulted by a group of nuns in a church. Not surprisingly, the British film was banned in a number of countries.

15. Seven Minutes Of Sex - Blue Is The Warmest Colour

A graphic seven minute lesbian sex scene was too much for many people to handle in this 2013 film, but that didn't stop it from winning the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

16. More Underage Sex - Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Some credit this 1971 film with inspiring the Blaxploitation genre, and while there's some argument about that, there's no arguing that star and director Melvin Van Peebles really had sex on screen numerous times in the film. But the movie's most scandalous scene actually involves his own 13-year-old son, Mario Van Peebles, losing his virginity to an older prostitute. Though it should be noted that Mario, unlike his dad, simulated his sex.

17. Cowboy Sex - Brokeback Mountain

Even though the film's main homosexual love scene is by far the least graphic one on this list, the film became notorious in some religious circles for pushing a "gay agenda."

18. Double Rape - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

This 2011 blockbuster's plot revolves around the rape of its protagonist and her subsequent revenge rape on her attacker, and both tough-to-watch scenes didn't come and go unnoticed.

19. Basically Every Scene - Deep Throat

Most of the films on this list were released in the 1970s. That's when cinema really began to push the boundaries of what was acceptable to mainstream America, and how you ended up with a legit porno movie being shown in regular movie theaters nationwide. No single scene stands out, but the 1972 film is about a woman who discovers her clitoris is in her throat and goes about graphically achieving as many orgasms with as many men as possible. Not surprisingly, the movie was subjected to numerous obscenity trials around the country.

All of these movie scenes would still be considered controversial if released today, and to be honest, even a healthily desensitized person like me wouldn't be able to stomach some of them. If you choose to watch any of them, don't say I didn't warn you.

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