13 Movies and TV Shows They Literally Couldn't Make Today

13 Movies and TV Shows They Literally Couldn't Make Today

Shifting values, social norms, and cultural sensitivities are at the forefront of basically every conversation in the past few years. While salty uncles and big city nieces who came home for Thanksgiving are just duking it out over stuffing, the entertainment industry is actually having a pretty similar battle. We can go on and on about themes and jokes in movies and shows that can’t be made anymore, but you can just go listen to absolutely every podcast right now for that. We’d like to focus our energy on movies that, if pitched today, would get laughed out of the office, and movie productions that, if staffed by a competent 1st AD, would end careers and land people in jail.

That’s what was most shocking about the movies of old. Like, killing animals and people was legal back then because the killings just so happened to take place on a movie set? There’s no way movie-making was on that  high of a pedestal. Was it? We’ve all heard of those “anything for the shot” type directors, but some of these filmmakers were straight up monsters. Here are 13 movies that they literally couldn’t make today. 

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Old Hollywood was complete lawless savagery.

CRACKED YOU CAN'T KILL 100 HORSES ANYMORE. BEN HUR The 1925 epic won 11 Oscars, but as many as 100 horses were killed on set. The 2nd unit director reportedly ordered horses be shot and killed if they limped without first seeking veterinary care.


Hold on a sec. Yep, this is fake. Movie over.

CRACKED YOUR VILLAIN'S PLOT CAN'T BE EASILY THWARTED BY GOOGLE. TOMORROW NEVER DIES V ILL BACK ST This Bond villain is a media mogul who plans to manipulate the news to incite war between China and the UK. Today, social media and a quick googling of countless news sources would label this fake news within a few minutes.

Pocket Lint

Herzog winning Best Director at Cannes was salt in the wound.

CRACKED YOU CAN'T KILL EXTRAS ANYMORE. FITZCARRALDO In Werner Herzog's 1982 film, several indigenous extras were injured or even killed. A Peruvian logger was bit by a venomous snake on set and had to cut off his own foot with a chainsaw to stop the poison from spreading.


It’s like we always say, “Movies don’t traumatize kids like they used to.”

CRACKED YOU CAN'T MAKE DARK, DISTURBING MOVIES FOR KIDS ANYMORE. In the '80s, we had The Dark Crystal, The NeverEnding Story, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and Gremlins before everything brightened up in the '90s. Back then, a ghost gave Ray oral in Ghostbusters and Batman was made by Tim Burton.

Movie Web

It was the ‘60s, baby.

CRACKED YOU CAN'T USE DRUGS AND GET INTO KNIFE FIGHTS ANYMORE. EASY RIDER The drugs used on camera were real, and the cast and crew partook off-camera as well. Director Dennis Hopper reportedly threatened actor Rip Torn with a knife, but claims Torn pulled a knife first.

Far Out Mag

Man, Hitchcock was a complete psycho.

CRACKED YOU CAN'T HARASS AND HOSPITALIZE ACTORS (OR KILL BIRDS) ANYMORE. THE BIRDS Alfred Hitchcock pelted actress Tippi Hedren with live birds (injuring and killing them), and force-fed whisky to seagulls to get them to stay still. Hedren was hospitalized, and he ruined her career when she refused his sexual advances.


There are jokes from old movies that wouldn’t fly today… But the entire plot?!

CRACKED YOUR ENTIRE PLOT CAN'T BE ONE BIG TRANS JOKE ANYMORE. ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE The Einhorn is Finkle, Finkle is Einhorn plot has one big reveal of Einhorn's bulge tucked between her legs. This would never be played up as a joke today, and we wonder why it was even needed to tell a stolen dolphin story.

Slant Magazine

Unions exist for a reason, people.

CRACKED YOU CAN'T INJURE, MAIM, OR KILL EXTRAS ANYMORE. NOAH'S ARK In 1928, cameraman Hal Mohr quit when director Michael Curtiz rolled his eyes at his safety concerns. Three extras died, another lost a limb, and a dozen suffered serious injuries, but Curtiz somehow escaped any legal repercussions.


No animals were harmed, eh?! Explain all these scenes in the movie then!

CRACKED YOU CAN'T ABUSE DOGS AND CATS ANYMORE. There have been several unproven allegations that The Adventures of Milo and Otis killed roughly 20 kittens. The film itself does show animal abuse, with kittens pitted against snakes, a pug being thrashed around by a bear, and a cat plunging over 100 feet into the ocean.

AV Club / Movies 4 Kids 

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