"Cockfighter," made in 1974 and features real cock fights, which breaches Scotland's animal cruelty laws, the BBC reported Wednesday.
Edinburgh Film Festival Director Charlotte Higgins pulled the screening in response to a complaint from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or SPCA.
"This film is so bad for animal welfare because its cockfights are not reconstructed," said Natalie Smart, spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA.
Monte Hellman's film won praise for Warren Oates' performance in the lead role, but was put down for its graphic cockfighting scenes that critics described as "nauseating."
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]