8 Movies That Have Lost Their Shock Value

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A selection of films that show us just how culturally jaded we've become

Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in the once controversial 'Last Tango in Paris' United Artists


Madonna's 1991 tell-all film Truth or Dare arrives on Blu-ray this week. The raunchy behind-the-scenes documentary followed the iconic pop star on her 1990 Blond Ambition tour and shocked many viewers with its frank sexuality (of the gay and straight variety). In one scene the singer simulates fellatio with a water bottle. The rest of the film continues to live up to its alternate title, In Bed with Madonna, as the star engages in other sexy games with her dancers. Truth or Dare became the highest-grossing documentary of its time, raking in over $29 million worldwide.

Could Madge's movie manage to drum up the same kind of controversy today? With the passing of '90s AIDS anxiety, gay culture more openly celebrated, pop stars like Lady Gaga spooking the masses, and celebrity sex tapes and iPhone smut making the rounds, what's a girl in a cone-shaped bra to do? We wanted to look back at other movies that have lost their shock value, and tried to figure out why these once controversial efforts have since cooled.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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