|Stanley Kubrick Director||previously directed 2001: A Space Odyssey|
Stanley Kubrick's futuristic social satire about youth violence and psychiatry, starring Malcolm McDowell in an iconic role.
Kubrick's first cut of the film was almost 4 hours. He hired an assistant to help him cut it down. He had the assistant destroy all the unused footage.4 More Trivia
Alex is given Experimental Serum 114, a phonetic play on the name of the CRM-114 radio seen in Dr. Strangelove.3 More Movie References
10 More Quotes
What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolent.
|Malcolm McDowell||Alex DeLarge|
|Patrick Magee||Mr Alexander|
|Michael Bates||Chief Guard|
|John Clive||Stage Actor|
|Adrienne Corri||Mrs. Alexander|
|Carl Duering||Dr. Brodsky|
|Michael Gover||Prison Governor|
|See Full Credits|
A Clockwork Orange is the film adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel of the same name. It was written, produced and directed by master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick's previous works included the science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and the satircal war comedy Dr. Strangelove (1964). A Clockwork Orange starred Malcolm McDowell, who had previously made his film debut in If... (1968). While it has received its fair share of criticism over the years, A Clockwork Orange is now considered a classic and one of Kubrick's top films.
In the film, Malcolm McDowell plays Alex, a young thug of roughly 17 years living in a dystopian, near-future version of London. Alex leads a small gang of three other boys, called his "Droogs." The other boys are Dim, Georgie and Pete. The gang's primary purpose for being is to cause as much trouble as possible, including fighting other gangs, rape and murder, collectively what they refer to as "the old ultra violence." They also spend their time at the Korova Milk Bar, drinking milk laced with various drugs. Alex still lives at home with his parents, who seem either unaffected by, or oblivious to, Alex's proclivities. It is also revealed that Alex loves the music of Beethoven, especially his Ninth Symphony.
Early in the film Alex and his Droogs enter a couple's countryside home, violently attack the husband and rape the wife. During this disturbing scene Alex sings "Singin' in the Rain." Later the boys break into the home of a woman living alone (except for her cats) and Alex kills her with a massive sculpture of a penis. After this murder the Droogs attack Alex and leave him to be captured by the police.
Alex is sent to prison for fourteen years. While in prison he develops an interest in the Bible, although he mostly imagines himself as a Roman soldier torturing Jesus. Alex gains the favor of the prison chaplain, and soon he is allowed to volunteer for the Ludovico Treatment, which is an experimental psychiatric treatment which attempts to rehabilitate criminals. This treatment involves giving subjects drugs while making them watch extremely violent films, including actual scenes from Nazi concentration camps. These scenes are set to classical music, and to Alex's dismay some of the most disturbing scenes are played over Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This causes Alex to become painfully sick any time he hears the music. He also becomes sick and feels pain if he attempts to defend himself or commit a violent or sexual act.
The treatment is declared a success and Alex is then released from prison. Alex returns to his parents home, but he finds his parents have rented out his room to a young man who they now see as more of a son to them than Alex. Now alone, Alex is assaulted by a homeless man who Alex had previously tormented towards the beginning of the film. Unfortunately Alex quickly learns that the Ludovico Treatment worked too well and he is unable to defend himself from the attack. The attack is stopped by Georgie and Dim, who are now police officers. They beat Alex as well, and leave him in the countryside. Alex then stumbles into the house of the man whose wife he raped. The man recognizes Alex and attempts to kill him by playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. To escape the pain Alex throws himself out of a window.
Soon, Alex finds himself in a hospital bed, and also discovers the effects of the treatment are wearing off. His story has become a case of national concern, and the Minister of the Interior apologizes to Alex for being mistreated by the State. Alex is given a government job and, while imagining a sexual scene, Alex agrees that he is "cured."
In the film Alex speaks in a fictional method of speech called Nadsat. It was invented by Anthony Burgess and is a form of English mixed with Russian and some Cockney slang. It is used as the default style of speech for teenagers in the world of A Clockwork Orange. For instance, in Russian the word "droog" is the equivalent of a close friend. The word "yarbles" is used as slang for "balls." Other words are simply derived from silly pronunciations, like "eggiweg" instead of "egg."
Though A Clockwork Orange is now rated R in the U.S., it was originally released with an X rating. Kubrick removed some explicit sexual footage and the film was re-rated to R in 1973.
In the U.K. the film supposedly spurred what were known as "copycat" attacks in which teenagers acted violently and A Clockwork Orange was cited as the cause of the behavior. Kubrick eventually withdrew the film from release in the U.K., although this was not due to the attacks, but instead due to threats made against Kubrick's family. The film did not become officially available in the U.K. again until after Kubrick's death in 1999.
The synthesizer music heard throughout the film was produced by Walter Carlos (now known as Wendy Carlos). Carlos adapted famous works of classical music for the Moog synthesizer.
Malcolm McDowell was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his performance, although he did not win. His lack of a nomination for an Academy Award was seen as a significant snub. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay, of which it won none. However it did win several BAFTA Awards, such as Best Film, Best Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Screenplay.
The American Film Institute currently ranks A Clockwork Orange as #70 on their Top 100 Movies list. Alex ranks as the AFI's #12 villain.
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