50 Movies That Wouldn't Be Made Today
The '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s were a time of self-expression, experimentation, and social movements that paved the way for the freedoms and benefits that we receive today. Yet, today's "cancel culture" has altered and limited what we can say based on the fact of someone else not liking it and how it makes them feel. Because of that, let's check out 50 movies that wouldn't be made today. Whether it be comedy, drama, or sci-fi, you'll be surprised by the types of films that would be ridiculed for their real-life creativity.
Freaks is an early '30s black-and-white film that has an interesting plot. One of the female performers decides to "take out" one of her fellow performers after finding out that he has a substantial inheritance that she would like to have for herself. The movie is great, but the issue is the cast.
A man with Dwarfism, Siamese twins, a bearded lady, and an elder acrobatic make up most of the circus crew. Critics felt uncomfortable with this and deemed that the movie was "taking advantage" of their conditions. Could they have been right?
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Hollywood is one of those places where cultural appropriation thrives based on the aspect of "its acting" and they had a huge backlash when The Mask of Fu Manchu was released. The premise follows a Caucasian man who is portrayed as Asian and embarks on a journey to find the lost mask and sword that once belonged to Genghis Khan.
The movie sparked much controversy with the Chinese community as a Caucasian man mis-appropriated their likeness. The final straw is when Fu Manchu said "kill the white man and take his women" as if he, himself, was not as white as the men they captured.
Gone With the Wind (1939)
When you see a multiple Oscar-winning movie on the list of films that wouldn't be made today, there must be a good reason as to why. Gone With the Wind has moments of romance and good acting, but the core of it is filled with stereotypical behaviors and racism based on the era the movie was made.
From the lingo spoken, the movie and the book, portrayed the enslaved people as lazy and slow to understand simple instructions. And Hattie McDaniel (right) does a great job at providing comic relief... in her consistent slave role as Mammy. That simply wouldn't fly today.
Oh yes, the classic Disney film, Dumbo, is definitely on the list, shocking right? The reason as to why is because of the crows. During the 1940s, racism still had a strong heartbeat and Disney decided to play on that and make the crows from Dumbo hip with the urban vernacular of African Americans.
The questionable content of the movie and certain scenes show that even race is a part of children's movie, which would be canceled immediately if it were to be shown today.
Songs of the South (1946)
There's no surprise that the 1946 Disney film, Songs of the South, made our list. The movie was a blend of fantasy and real life and portrayed the story of southerners down on their luck singing songs of praise to keep their spirits lifted. During slavery, songs and hymns were created for this reason, but Disney's exploitation of that is the issue.
Watching down-home, southerners (particularly African Americans) sing about the joy of living in their lower socioeconomic status comes as a disturbance to the African American community, which is why it was put in "The Vault" to never be revived.
Peter Pan (1953)
Peter Pan is sure to never be touched by any of today's streaming services. Peter Pan was in existence way before Disney came along, but the company did an excellent job of revealing the statehood of the young, whimsical teenager who simply didn't want to grow up. That line in itself is a sign of potential psychosis.
Let's also describe Pan's mission; to keep himself from being lonely, he flies around town, persuades, and abducts little boys to come live with him on his private island. Think about it, based on this premise, would you watch this movie today?
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
It's quite surprising to see that Lady and the Tramp wouldn't be remade in today's society. The simple plot of two dogs falling in love over a string of spaghetti will live on in Disney history... along with the presumed stereotypes of a few of the characters that Disney decided to stealthily throw in, such as the Siamese cats.
Many viewers believed that the cats took a shot at Asian stereotypes and was seen as offensive to many Asians as if Disney couldn't tell the difference between felines and humans. Nonetheless, this movie would cause mischief now.
The Searchers (1956)
Overtly, it can also be said that John Wayne is showcased as the "white savior." He's the one who agrees to help find a missing girl, and then scalps her killer once she is pronounced dead. This film simply wouldn't be culturally appropriate by today's standards.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
If you've ever seen Breakfast at Tiffany's, then you know that Micky Rooney (featured) isn't truly Asian and that his impersonation of I.Y. Yunioshi would be considered full-blown cultural appropriation and would probably cause major digital riots across multiple social media platforms.
Rooney wore fake glasses and false teeth to "get the role right" but it looked highly offensive. The Asian community agreed and were the first to give their opinion, as many other ethnicities followed suit. The '60s were a time of expression, but not this type.
The Producers (1967)
Noted director Mel Brooks released The Producers in 1967, 20 years after World War II. Why is this significant? Because the movie's premise is surrounded around two producers who create a stage play called "Springtime For Hitler" which tells the story of former German ruler Adolf Hitler taking a vacation after a long day of basically committing genocide.
Although very comedic, it's the storyline that rubbed the audience the wrong way. No one believed that Hitler should have been pampered by such pretty women, and now, that play wouldn't have made it past the first act.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
The James Bond franchise will forever be a series of classic, action-packed movies. Yet, You Only Live Twice makes our list for the sake of Hollywood's habit of cultural appropriation. In the film, star actor Sean Connery is horribly portrayed as a Japanese man. You can thank the jet-black toupee, bolder eyebrows, and artificial eyelids that give off the vibe of a true Asian.
That, in itself, is enough to switch the movie off if it were on one of our many popular streaming services. Additionally, the violence is considered excessive for today's youth, considering 200 characters died. (in the movie, not in real life)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
When Myra Breckinridge first hit the big screen, it wasn't the most appealing to many people who went to see it. The film showcases a gay man who wants to trick his uncle out of a boat load of money, so he gets a sex change operation to try and lure and deceive his uncle into taking the tempting bait leading to his failure.
Transsexuals would have a field day as they may see this move as making a mockery of their communal journey. Gay humor and S&M aren't big helps either, so it looks like this movie will remain in the past.
Female Trouble (1972)
Hold your horses, this film didn't make our list because of any mistreatment of women. However, the quality is very low which is why Female Trouble makes our list of movies that wouldn't be made today. Throughout the film, you can hear different noises being made in the background and the volume fluctuated from loud to soft.
Today's technology has made it easy to make a high-quality reel without the hassle of delays. Admittedly, the '70s didn't have the technological advances to improve the low-budget film, yet, for that reason, this film would not fly with Millennials and Gen Z.
A Clockwork Orange (1972)
Alex, played by Malcolm McDowell (right), and his "droogs" take drugs and get high at a bar before they enter the city to engage in ultra-violence. Towards the end of the movie, Alex is left defenseless and is a victim of the terror he once caused. This is what A Clockwork Orange is all about.
However, it wouldn't dare be remade today! Not just because of the excessive violence, but mostly because of the rape scenes at the beginning of the movie. It was so bad that the United Kingdom didn't show it in theaters and it had to be edited down for the United States to rate it "X."
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Twitter would have a field day dragging a movie like Blazing Saddles across the internet. Gene Wilder (pictured) made his mark in this film as the gun-toting cowboy who was wise enough to make his jokes wisely amongst a crowd that was unaware of his stealthy wit.
In many cases throughout the film, Wilder took the liberty to make subtle comments about many sensitive topics including racism and sexism. What makes it worse is that it's all led by a white man, which would cause a major backlash if this movie was made today.
Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)
If you haven't seen Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, you'll either be intrigued or disgusted depending on your perspective. Despite the plot and exploitations, the film spawned three sequels, yet, it doesn't take away from the fact that none of them aged very well because of the content.
For starters, the main character shows plenty of skin and is deemed hypersexual by critics. The violence is enough to make anyone squeamish. And, of course, the giant Nazi symbol plastered on the movie poster doesn't sit too well with people of the Jewish faith.
Bad News Bears (1976)
The classic movie about the middle school underdog Little League team coached by a washed-up ex-Minor League Baseball player is known as Bad News Bears. In the movie, these kids use language that only sailors and fed-up parents use, make snarky comments towards adults and authority figures, and the movie even ends with the kids sharing a beer in their victory!
A remake was made in 2005 starring Billy Bob Thornton and it was more or less the same. Both movies, especially the original, are a trigger warning for the more conservative movie viewers of the new millennium.
Silver Steak (1976)
Gene Wilder played man-on-the-run in Silver Streak as he was presumed a killer and being chased by the cops. There are many scenes that have subtle stereotypes and prejudices, but one of them takes the cake and is the reason why it makes our list of movies that wouldn't be made today.
When Wilder's character steals a police car, the prisoner in the back (played by Richard Pryor) helps him to escape. How? By putting him in blackface and stereotypical urban clothing with a boombox. In today's society, the blackface humor in the movie would not sit well with African Americans.
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1976)
Religious movies made based on designated spiritual leaders are typically considered taboo in most cases because it's seen as disrespectful and a mockery to the religion and those who follow it, which is why Monty Python's Life of Brian made it on our top 50 no-go movies of today. The Christian-themed religious farce exaggerated many moments of Christian history for a few laughs.
The movie was met with boycotts and even death threats to the studio and producers. It came to a point where the VHS tape wasn't even being sold. It's easy to see why the 2020s would cancel this movie with extreme prejudice.
National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
National Lampoon's Animal House is part of the National Lampoon franchise and was one of the movies that launched it to fame. What's great about this film are the extreme escapades that occur within it, including sexual swinger antics, stereotypical racism, and the unruly brawls that could occur at any moment.
In a nutshell, there isn't anything horribly wrong with this film, outside of the fact that it lacks the structure and mindfulness of today's youth and young adults, while older adults could see this film as "immature" now.
The Jerk (1979)
"I was born a poor black child" is the opening line to the comedy film, The Jerk and most people would tune in to hear the rest of the story... until you realize that the man saying it is actor Steve Martin (left), who is as Caucasian as they come. The movie brought laughter to many viewers' faces and was considered a true success in the eyes of the box office.
African Americans, on the other hand, were not the biggest fans. In the film, he's raised with an adoptive black family and there are minor stereotypes that simply wouldn't cut it for today's African American people.
Woody Allen is noted for pushing the envelope in many of his films, his most notable being Manhattan. Featuring Allen's main character, Issac, Issac chooses to fall in love with "the love of his life" who just so happens to be way younger than him at just 17 years old.
That number alone deters many people of today from wanting to engage in such viewership. Especially when the actress playing the girl, Mariel Hemingway, revealed that Woody tried to seduce her while she was underage. Today, Manhattan wouldn't make it past production.
Ordinary People (1980)
American's like to be entertained when it comes to our movies, and Ordinary People wouldn't have made the cut because the word that describes it best is already in the title, "ordinary." The movie's plot was based on an adult-oriented drama that didn't have much of a higher premise than the circling of familial disagreements.
Gen Z would find ways to make it more interesting, while Millennials would simply walk away from it. TV adaptations have been made from this film, but like the original, the shows were just as boring.
In the late '80s, Airplane! was voted one of the top ten greatest American comedies of all time because of its ability to make a parody of many different disasters that could happen on an airplane. Based on the premise, you can see why this movie wouldn't be a fan favorite of the 2020s.
There's a scene where an oblivious passenger sits next to a brown man holding a tank of gasoline (featured). Funny, but it touches too close to home and would offend many brown people of today's ethnic cultures.
Dressed to Kill (1980)
For the fans of psycho-thrillers, Dressed to Kill has a plot that may intrigue you. The neo-noir movie tells the story of a therapist who turns out to be a cross-dressing murderer who chooses to get rid of any of his female patients that arouse him. The transgressions of the film mostly come down to murder and sexuality.
The therapist only murders women, which would be deemed sexist; the therapist is also a cross-dresser, which most would indirectly imply that cross-dressers or trans people are killers at heart. Let's also note that it doesn't put therapists in the best spotlight either.
One of the coolest movies to ever come out of the 1980s was Porky's, a film with the basis of a group of animated teenagers taking on the challenge of going head-to-head with a Florida strip club owner. The pros of the movie are that it had a funny plot and it was fun to watch the two main characters exchange wit and banter.
The cons of the movie would be the fact that the movie was basically a peep show and showcased many female assets. Doesn't seem too bad, but in this day and age, it would be seen as mistreatment of women.
Stripes is a comedy movie based on slackers creating micro-challenges in the military... enough said. The 1981 film would directly offend many people who protect and serve in the military because it's against protocol to laugh at those who secure citizens from threats and attacks from other countries.
Bill Murray (center) starred in the show and the movie, and although it creates several chuckles, there are many scenes that would make any military personnel's teeth grind. For that reason, Stripes makes our list of 50 movies that wouldn't be made today.
Tootsie is a classic film of the '80s that was so good that it received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination and was 1982's second highest grossing film of the year. Yet, the same premise that made it such a hit film is the same premise that would offend many people in the LBGTQ+ community.
A man, played by actor Dustin Hoffman (featured), realizes that there are more opportunities for women in the soap opera arena, so he cross-dresses as a woman to get the role. A remake is certainly out of the question and members of various sexual orientations would be shocked if they even tried.
48 Hrs (1982)
Eddie Murphy (right) made a killing with the movie 48 Hrs considering that the early '80s movie blew up at the box office. It showcased Murphy as a criminal that works with an uptight cop to solve the murder of an infamous cop killer. Interesting premises but many of its small antics wouldn't pass today.
Throughout the movie their are snarky racial remarks and sexual innuendos that wouldn't be seen as funny in the eyes of today's viewers. The racial tension of the movie would be uncomfortable to sit through and enjoy.
The Toy (1982)
The Toy would certainly be controversial today because the premise of the movie describes a young, rich, and proclaimed "spoiled" son who decides that he would like to have a friend come live with him for one week. In walks his companion, or "toy," played by the late and great comedian, Richard Pryor.
So a rich Caucasian man decides to buy the presence of an African American man, and in exchange for his work, lets him live at his house? It's easy to see where this is going... moving on!
Go watch Zapped and within an hour you'll start to see why this movie wouldn't be made today. As the plot goes, Scott Baio (left) plays Barney, a teenage boy who obtains the power of telekinesis. The futuristic power sounds great but Barney is a teenager with only one thing on his mind... the female body.
Barney uses his power and hormones to lift females' skirts or even pop a button on a blouse. His friend, Peyton, wins the creep award for shape-shifting into other people and tricking women into having sex with him. Can we say, date rape?
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
For true movie buffs, Revenge of the Nerds was a true victory for those who watched it. The movie has a great plot of dweeby young men wanting to get revenge on those that mistreated them. Although subtle, there were some questionable actions that occurred.
In one scene, one of the nerds fools a girl into thinking he was her boyfriend and convinced her to have sex with him. That would be considered sexual assault and misogynistic, and these nerds would have to protect more than their pride if they ended up in jail for their actions.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
It's hard to believe that a classic John Hughes film like Sixteen Candles would make a list of movies that wouldn't be made today. The reason as to why would be connected to misogyny and "toxic masculinity" based on several of the scenes throughout the movie.
For example, there's a scene where a character's pants were taken and to get his pants back, he trades his drunk girlfriend for her underwear to show those who took his pants! Other moments include when the underwear of the girls in dresses become exposed, and a scene of what could be considered "date rape."
Police Academy (1984)
Similar to Stripes, the 1984 comedy franchise, Police Academy, had the reputation for being comedic relief related to police officers, their training, and the actions and antics that they are presented with on a daily basis. However, in the light and reputation of today's cops, this movie would be seen as demeaning to the boys and girls in blue.
There's even humor of the more sensitive nature that producers fought against putting in the film, but helped the movie become a big success. All in all, our society today wouldn't take a movie about light-hearted, wacky cops seriously.
Weird Science (1985)
John Hughes makes our list again with his 1985 hit, Weird Science. The story of two boys who have the opportunity to use their intelligence to create a woman instead of trying, and failing, to attract one. The hopeless romantics use a computer-generated woman named "Lisa" and are proud of their scientific work.
Lisa was not a sex bot for the two geeks, but she did help them get attention from other women. In the end, in the age of heterosexuality being portrayed as "toxic," Weird Science would be considered misogynistic.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Michael J. Fox (featured) portrayed one of the most iconic werewolves in the history of film when he played the leading role in Teen Wolf. You may think to yourself "why is this movie on here?" And the response would be because of some of the language throughout the movie that would be considered homophobic nowadays.
For example, whenever Fox's character would try to reveal himself to his friends, they would brace themselves by making statements like, "Don't tell me you're a f@#." This movie would get its wings clipped for its insensitive language.
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
The critically acclaimed film, Crocodile Dundee, had its moment in the spotlight and was a hit upon its release thanks to writer and featured Oscar-nominated star, Paul Hogan. Yet, if you've ever seen the film, you know that Mr. Dundee can have a caveman's mentality when it comes to a few topics that are considered sensitive today.
To start, Dundee makes a lot of puns and jokes about transgendered individuals out of ignorance and can be seen as sexist. Additionally, Hogan's representation of Australian pride was found offensive and stereotypic to many of the natives.
Soul Man (1986)
Soul Man easily makes our list of movies that wouldn't be made today simply because of the premise and the execution of the acting. The plot is that a teenager is achieving his way of attending Harvard Law School, but his father decides not to pay his way. So, to earn an ethnic scholarship, he portrays himself as African American.
Basically, Soul Man is simply a white man dressing in blackface to earn a scholarship. The mentality of the film relays a self-centered mindset and an abomination to the African American community.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
You may be thinking, "They hypersexualized Jessica Rabbit," nope, Jessica was simply Roger's wife and comfortable within her femininity. The reason why Who Framed Roger Rabbit wouldn't be possible today is due to intellectual property.
Remember that the movie had a great blend of real-life humans and animated characters, and to use those characters would require permission from the studios that created or owns them. That would be a major headache without any guarantee of solid return, so in the film archive you go, Mr. Rabbit.
If you've seen the movie, Heathers, then you know why it's on our list. If you haven't, here's the plot: a teen that has been persecuted and disturbed decides to take advantage of his anger and kill all the kids in his school by blowing it up... catch the drift here?
Pro: The thespians Winona Ryder (left) and Christian Slater (right) were highly committed to the craft in the light of comedy. Con: Based on all the school shootings that have taken place over the past several years, putting it on the big screen today would only recycle trauma.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Jim Carrey had his hands full during the reviews for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. On the surface, the movie is declared humorous with wacky intentions from Mr. Carrey himself. However, this wasn't the case in the eye of others.
There were some unfavorable reactions to many moments in the movie connected to same-sex relationships. For example, Ace Ventura furiously brushes his tongue after finding out he kissed a transgendered woman. Can you imagine the type of backlash that would receive today?!
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
The shocker behind Heavenly Creatures is that it's based on a true story. In New Zealand, two young girls who had a disturbing relationship with each other decided to "off" one of their mothers so that they could be together. This deranged dynamic was then made into a film.
The pair of girls had one of the more psycho-sexual relationships to ever hit the big screen and it exhibits mental illness that should have been taken into consideration instead of exploited for profit. Yet, the movie wouldn't have made our list if it did.
In the modern age of cultural awareness, Disney's Pocahontas would certainly never see the light of day. First, the story of John Smith and Pocahontas is true but is told in a fantasized version. In the real-life version, Pocahontas was an 11 or 12-year-old girl who was taken as a prize for John Smith, according to Smithsonian researchers.
Let's also add that it showcases Englishmen coming to America, taking land that clearly belongs to the indigenous who live there, going to war with them, and taking their prized possessions and women.
The members of the Catholic faith were shocked and astounded by the script of Dogma and the comments that were made in connection to the religion. The 1999 film surrounds the premise of fallen angels trying to find their way back into heaven after being cast out for their disloyalty.
Because of the satire related to the movie and the religious groups, Dogma was largely forgotten about and faded into the classic film archives. Yet, we presume that no studio would touch this movie with a 10-foot cross to remake it.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
At the turn of the century, the anticipated Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was released and after review, was quite a disappointment. The prequel to the original series has become disliked more and more over time because of their verbiage, and the reason as to why this movie makes our list, Jar Jar Binks (right).
Directly speaking, serious Star Wars fans picked up on the subtle stereotypes that became more overt the more they watched the movie. Fans claimed that Jar Jar was just blackface minstrel in costume, and critics also agreed and found it to be accurate.
Did you know that famed director Spike Lee created a film that starred an African American TV writer (played by Damon Wayans) who was down on his luck, and out of pity, so he creates a variety show where all the actors dressed up in blackface? Now you do, which is why his most misunderstood film, Bamboozled, is on our list.
The point of Lee's film was an over-the-top way of describing how "racism is encoded in the American pop culture; and that 'being black' is 'cool,' which is the new form of racism", as stated by Lee.
Shallow Hal (2001)
Jack Black does a great job at playing a superficial jerk who dismisses women simply because of their size and has to be hypnotized to see someone's inner beauty instead of their outer. And that's exactly the reason why this movie wouldn't be made today as it would offend people who are overweight or obese.
The movie had great reviews for its comedy and Mr. Black's character development towards the end of the film, but the solid amount of fat jokes that were delivered displaced a lot of feelings, according to movie reviews.
Blue Valentine (2010)
In the end, a toxic relationship is why Blue Valentine wouldn't be remade, although the film is still relatively young since the inception of this piece. After the death of their dog, Cindy and Dean meet and share their personal history of abuse, alcoholism, rape, and insecure attachments over the years.
The romantic entanglement becomes even more intense when Dean finds out the baby isn't his and the topic of abortion is brought into play. With today's social climate, this film would most certainly not go over well with many viewers.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
Director Marielle Heller created a story of a 15-year-old girl who comes to terms with the fact that she is lesbian and begins exploring the world of which she is now a part of. Not too bad until you see that later in the movie, this younger girl falls for a much older female lover, and that's where the trouble begins in The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
The title gives an indicator as to why a film like this can rub many viewers and critics the wrong way. In most cases, the perpetuation of dating minors is looked down upon.
Beach Rats (2017)
In the modern age of the LGBTQIA+ movement, Beach Rats became a steamy indie movie to watch because of the modernism of the film and the freedom that is portrayed. The beach rats are referred to as the three gentlemen that spend their summer lounging around on the sandy beaches and trolling the internet for men to have sex with.
There's only one problem: These gentleman are teenagers! Despite the gender, a movie showcasing teens using the web to find older men to have sex with is exhibiting a literal felony... and studios are not wanting to catch a case.