A poster for the movie ‘The Interview’ is carried away by a worker after it was pulled from a display case at a movie theater in Atlanta.
Photograph by David Goldman — AP
By Daniel Bukszpan
December 19, 2014

On Dec. 16, the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment escalated into something much more than an embarrassment to co-chairman Amy Pascal and film producer Scott Rudin.

The studio has pulled the theatrical release of the comedy film “The Interview,” which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as journalists on a mission to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The Sony hackers on Tuesday threatened to commit acts of violence against any theater showing it and Sony responded by canceling the New York City premiere the next day. Various media outlets, including Variety, have reported major US theater chains as Regal Entertainment (RGC) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) said that they would not screen the film.

The eventual fate of the movie is unclear. It may open theatrically in a few months, it may go directly to video-on-demand. It may remain in shelved-film purgatory for all eternity–though all of those outcomes are purely speculation. But whatever happens to it, it’s not alone.

Films have been withdrawn, banned and altered since the invention of celluloid, often because they inflamed the passions of a group of people, and not in a good way. Some were believed to incite violence, some were believed to condone bigotry and others simply didn’t get the legal clearances necessary to avoid copyright infringement.

Fortune presents a list of 10 movies pulled from theaters to keep the torch-and-pitchfork-wielding mobs at bay.


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