A Clockwork Orange (film)

A Clockwork Orange (film)

Overview
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess
John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

's 1962 novel of the same name
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. The novel contains an experiment in language: the characters often use an argot called "Nadsat", derived from Russian....

. It was written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

. It features disturbing, violent images, facilitating its social commentary on psychiatry, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopia
Dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

n, future Britain.

Alex
Alex (A Clockwork Orange)
Alex is a fictional character in Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange and the film adaptation, in which he is played by Malcolm McDowell. In this film adaption, Alex's surname is DeLarge, in relation to Alex's reference to himself as "Alexander the Large" in the novel. This, in itself, is an...

 (Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...

), the main character, is a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose interests include classical music (especially Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

), rape, and what is termed 'ultra-violence'.
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Quotations

[voiceover] There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.

[voiceover] It was around by the derelict casino that we came across Billyboy and his four droogs. They were getting ready to perform a little of the old in-out, in-out on a weepy young devotchka they had there.

Ho, ho, ho! Well if it isn't fat stinking billy goat Billy Boy in poison! How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, ya eunuch jelly thou!

[voiceover] The Durango-95 purred away real horrorshow - a nice, warm, vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts. Soon, it was trees and dark, my brothers, with real country dark. We fillied around for a while with other travellers of the night, playing hogs of the road. Then we headed West. What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick, and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultra-violence.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

[voiceover] We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some small energy expenditure, O my brothers. So we got rid of the auto and stopped off at the Korova for a nightcap.

[voiceover] And it was like for a moment, O my brothers, some great bird had flown into the milkbar and I felt all the malenky little hairs on my plott standing endwise and the shivers crawling up like slow malenky lizards and then down again. Because I knew what she sang. It was a bit from the glorious Ninth, by Ludwig van.

It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van.

[While listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony] Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!

Appy-polly-loggies. I had something of a pain in my gulliver so I had to sleep. I was not awakened when I gave orders for awakening.

Encyclopedia
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess
John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

's 1962 novel of the same name
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. The novel contains an experiment in language: the characters often use an argot called "Nadsat", derived from Russian....

. It was written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

. It features disturbing, violent images, facilitating its social commentary on psychiatry, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopia
Dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

n, future Britain.

Alex
Alex (A Clockwork Orange)
Alex is a fictional character in Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange and the film adaptation, in which he is played by Malcolm McDowell. In this film adaption, Alex's surname is DeLarge, in relation to Alex's reference to himself as "Alexander the Large" in the novel. This, in itself, is an...

 (Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...

), the main character, is a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose interests include classical music (especially Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

), rape, and what is termed 'ultra-violence'. He leads a small gang of thugs (Pete, Georgie, and Dim), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian друг, "friend", "buddy"). The film chronicles the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via controversial psychological conditioning. Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat
Nadsat
Nadsat is a fictional register or argot used by the teenagers in Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange. In addition to being a novelist, Burgess was also a linguist and he used this background to depict his characters as speaking a form of Russian-influenced English...

, a fractured adolescent slang comprising Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang
Cockney rhyming slang
Rhyming slang is a form of phrase construction in the English language and is especially prevalent in dialectal British English from the East End of London; hence the alternative name, Cockney rhyming slang...

.

A Clockwork Orange features a soundtrack comprising mostly classical music selections and Moog synthesizer
Moog synthesizer
Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Dr. Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled...

 compositions by Walter Carlos. The now-iconic poster of A Clockwork Orange was created by designer Bill Gold
Bill Gold
Bill Gold is an American graphic designer best known for thousands of movie poster designs.His first film poster was for Yankee Doodle Dandy , and his most recent work was for J...

.

Plot


In London, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...

) is the leader of his "droogs", Pete (Michael Tarn
Michael Tarn
Michael Tarn is a British film and television actor. He is best known for playing Pete in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange .-External links:...

), Georgie (James Marcus
James Marcus
James Marcus is an English actor.He is best known for his performance as Georgie, one of the droogs in Stanley Kubrick's controversial film A Clockwork Orange . Before becoming an apprentice printer, he spent the majority of his teenage life performing gigs...

), and Dim (Warren Clarke
Warren Clarke
-Biography:Clarke was born in Oldham, Lancashire. His first television appearance was in the long running Granada soap opera Coronation Street, initially as Kenny Pickup in 1966 and then as Gary Bailey in 1968. His first major film appearance was in Stanley Kubrick's controversial A Clockwork...

), one of many youth gangs in the decaying metropolis. One night, after intoxicating themselves on "milk plus", they engage in an evening of "ultra-violence", including beating an elderly vagrant (Paul Farrell
Paul Farrell
Paul Farrell was an Irish film and television actor.He is best remembered as the "Tramp", in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange .-Selected filmography:* Ourselves Alone...

) and fighting a rival gang led by Billyboy (Richard Connaught). Stealing a car, they drive to the country home of writer F. Alexander (Patrick Magee
Patrick Magee (actor)
Patrick Magee was a Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick's films A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.-Early life:He was born Patrick McGee in Armagh, County Armagh, Northern...

), where they beat Mr. Alexander to the point of crippling him for life. Alex then rapes his wife (Adrienne Corri
Adrienne Corri
Adrienne Corri is an actress of Italian parentage.She is probably best known for her role as the rape victim Mrs. Alexander in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange, and for her appearances as Valerie in Jean Renoir's The River and as Lara's mother in David Lean's Dr. Zhivago...

) while singing "Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain (song)
"Singin' In the Rain" is a song with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, published in 1929. However, it is unclear exactly when the song was written with some claiming that the song was written and performed as early as 1927. The song was listed as Number 3 on AFI's 100 Years.....

".

The next day, while truant from school, Alex is approached by probation officer Mr. P. R. Deltoid (Aubrey Morris
Aubrey Morris
Aubrey Morris is a British actor perhaps best known for his appearances in the cult 1970s films A Clockwork Orange and The Wicker Man....

), who is aware of Alex's violence and cautions him. After the events of the night before, his droogs express discontent with Alex's petty crimes, demanding more equality and more high-yield thefts. Alex reasserts his leadership by attacking them and throwing them into a canal. That night, Alex invades the mansion of a wealthy woman (Miriam Karlin
Miriam Karlin
Miriam Karlin, OBE was a British actress who worked on screen for over 60 years. She was best known for her role as Paddy in The Rag Trade, a 1960s BBC and 1970s LWT sitcom , especially for her catchphrase "Everybody out!"...

). While his droogs remain at the front door, Alex bludgeons the woman with a phallic statue. Hearing police sirens, Alex tries to run away, but is betrayed by his droogs. Dim smashes a pint bottle of milk across his face, leaving him stunned and bleeding. Alex is captured and brutally beaten by the police. A gloating Deltoid spits in his face and informs him that the woman subsequently died in the hospital, making him a murderer. Alex is sentenced to 14 years incarceration.

Two years into the sentence, the Minister of the Interior
Interior minister
An interior ministry is a government ministry typically responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters. The ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior or minister of home affairs...

 (Anthony Sharp
Anthony Sharp
Anthony Sharp was an English actor cast for roles on television and film principally from the 1950s onwards....

) arrives at the prison looking for volunteers for the Ludovico technique
Ludovico technique
The Ludovico technique is a fictional aversion therapy from the novel A Clockwork Orange administered by Dr. Brodsky with the approval of the UK Minister of the Interior. It involved forcing a patient to watch, through the use of specula to hold the eyes open, violent images for long periods of...

, an experimental aversion therapy
Aversion therapy
Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort...

 for rehabilitating criminals within two weeks; Alex readily volunteers. The process involves drugging the subject, strapping him to a chair, propping his eyelids open, and forcing him to watch violent movies. Alex, initially pleased by the violent images he sees, starts to become nauseated due to the drugs; as he realises that the films' soundtracks are by his favourite composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

 and that the Ludovico technique will make him sick when he hears the music he loves, he tries, unsuccessfully, to end the treatment.

After two weeks of the Ludovico technique, the Minister of the Interior puts on a demonstration to prove that Alex is "cured". He is shown to be incapable of fighting back against a man (John Clive
John Clive
John Clive , is an English author and actor. He is best known for his international best selling historical and social fiction, such as "KG200" and "Borossa"....

) that insults and attacks him, and becomes violently ill at the sight of a topless woman (Virginia Wetherell
Virginia Wetherell
Virginia Wetherell is an English actress best known for her roles in Hammer horror films such as Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde and Demons of the Mind...

). Though the prison chaplain (Godfrey Quigley
Godfrey Quigley
Godfrey Quigley was an Irish stage, film and television actor.Quigley was born in Jerusalem where his father served as an officer in the British Army...

) protests the results saying that "there's no morality without choice", the prison governor (Michael Gover
Michael Gover
Michael Gover is an English actor, born in 1918 in Denmark, now living in Dorset, England, he is best known for his portrayal of Arthur Russell in the BBC television series Survivors....

) asserts they are not interested in the moral questions, but only "the means to prevent violence".

Alex is released and finds that his possessions have been confiscated by the police to help make restitution to his victims, and his parents have rented out his room. Homeless, Alex encounters the same elderly vagrant from before, who attacks him with several other friends. Alex is saved by two policemen but is shocked to discover they are two of his former droogs, Dim and Georgie. They drag Alex to the countryside, where they beat him and attempt to drown him. The dazed Alex wanders the countryside before coming to the home of Mr. Alexander, and collapses. Alex wakes up to find himself being treated by Mr. Alexander and his manservant, Julian (David Prowse
David Prowse
David Prowse, MBE is an English former bodybuilder, weightlifter and actor, most widely known for playing the role of Darth Vader in physical form. In Britain, he is also remembered as having played the Green Cross Code man...

). Mr. Alexander does not remember Alex from the earlier attack but has read about his treatment in the newspapers, and sees Alex as a political weapon to usurp the government, exposing the Ludovico technique as a step toward totalitarianism by way of mind control. As Mr. Alexander prepares to introduce Alex to fellow colleagues (John Savident
John Savident
John Savident is a British actor, best known for playing the part of Fred Elliott in the soap opera Coronation Street from 1994 to 2006. And also was a frequent guest on Soccer AM alongside fellow actor Jack 'The Rigger' Spooner....

 and Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Maud Tyzack, CBE was a British actress.-Early life:Tyzack was born in Essex, England, the daughter of Doris and Thomas Edward Tyzack. She grew up in West Ham...

), he hears Alex singing "Singin' in the Rain" in the bath, and the memories of the earlier assault return. With his colleagues' help, Mr. Alexander drugs Alex and places him in a locked upstairs bedroom, playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony through the floor below. Alex, in excruciating pain, throws himself from the window and is knocked unconscious by the fall.

Alex wakes up in a hospital, having dreamt about doctors messing around inside his head. While being given a series of psychological tests, Alex finds that he no longer has an aversion to violence. The Minister of the Interior arrives and apologizes to Alex, letting him know that Mr. Alexander has been "put away", and offers Alex an important government job. As a sign of goodwill, the Minister brings in a stereo system playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Alex then realizes that instead of an adverse reaction to the music, he sees an image of himself having sex with a woman in front of an approving crowd. He then states, in a sarcastic and menacing voice-over, "I was cured, all right!"

Cast


  • Malcolm McDowell
    Malcolm McDowell
    Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...

     as Alex DeLarge/Narrator
  • James Marcus
    James Marcus
    James Marcus is an English actor.He is best known for his performance as Georgie, one of the droogs in Stanley Kubrick's controversial film A Clockwork Orange . Before becoming an apprentice printer, he spent the majority of his teenage life performing gigs...

     as Georgie
  • Warren Clarke
    Warren Clarke
    -Biography:Clarke was born in Oldham, Lancashire. His first television appearance was in the long running Granada soap opera Coronation Street, initially as Kenny Pickup in 1966 and then as Gary Bailey in 1968. His first major film appearance was in Stanley Kubrick's controversial A Clockwork...

     as Dim Corby
  • Michael Tarn
    Michael Tarn
    Michael Tarn is a British film and television actor. He is best known for playing Pete in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange .-External links:...

     as Pete
  • Patrick Magee
    Patrick Magee (actor)
    Patrick Magee was a Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick's films A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.-Early life:He was born Patrick McGee in Armagh, County Armagh, Northern...

     as Mr. Frank Alexander
  • Adrienne Corri
    Adrienne Corri
    Adrienne Corri is an actress of Italian parentage.She is probably best known for her role as the rape victim Mrs. Alexander in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange, and for her appearances as Valerie in Jean Renoir's The River and as Lara's mother in David Lean's Dr. Zhivago...

     as Mrs. Mary Alexander
  • Michael Bates
    Michael Bates (actor)
    Michael Bates was a British actor born in Jhansi, United Provinces, India.-Biography:Bates served as a Major serving with the Brigade of Gurkhas in Burma before his discharge at the end of World War II...

     as Chief Guard Barnes
  • John Clive
    John Clive
    John Clive , is an English author and actor. He is best known for his international best selling historical and social fiction, such as "KG200" and "Borossa"....

     as Stage actor
  • Carl Duering as Dr. Brodsky
  • Paul Farrell
    Paul Farrell
    Paul Farrell was an Irish film and television actor.He is best remembered as the "Tramp", in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange .-Selected filmography:* Ourselves Alone...

     as Tramp
  • Billy Russell as Professor attacked by Droogs in Library (scenes deleted)
  • Richard Connaught as Billyboy, Gang Leader
  • Clive Francis
    Clive Francis
    -Early life:He is the son of actors Raymond Francis and Margaret Towner. He was born in Eastbourne.His father played Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Lockhart in the 1960s series No Hiding Place and his mother still acts today - most recently she played Jira, Anakin Skywalker's friend, in Star...

     as Joe the Lodger
  • Michael Gover
    Michael Gover
    Michael Gover is an English actor, born in 1918 in Denmark, now living in Dorset, England, he is best known for his portrayal of Arthur Russell in the BBC television series Survivors....

     as Prison Governor
  • Miriam Karlin
    Miriam Karlin
    Miriam Karlin, OBE was a British actress who worked on screen for over 60 years. She was best known for her role as Paddy in The Rag Trade, a 1960s BBC and 1970s LWT sitcom , especially for her catchphrase "Everybody out!"...

     as Miss Weathers, Cat Lady
  • Aubrey Morris
    Aubrey Morris
    Aubrey Morris is a British actor perhaps best known for his appearances in the cult 1970s films A Clockwork Orange and The Wicker Man....

     as Mr. P. R. Deltoid
  • Godfrey Quigley
    Godfrey Quigley
    Godfrey Quigley was an Irish stage, film and television actor.Quigley was born in Jerusalem where his father served as an officer in the British Army...

     as Prison Chaplain
  • Sheila Raynor as Mum
  • Madge Ryan
    Madge Ryan
    Madge Ryan was an Australian film, theatre and television actress.-Career:Already an established theatre actor in Sydney, Australia, she emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1957 and starred in many British stage shows...

     as Dr. Branom
  • John Savident
    John Savident
    John Savident is a British actor, best known for playing the part of Fred Elliott in the soap opera Coronation Street from 1994 to 2006. And also was a frequent guest on Soccer AM alongside fellow actor Jack 'The Rigger' Spooner....

     as Conspirator
  • Anthony Sharp
    Anthony Sharp
    Anthony Sharp was an English actor cast for roles on television and film principally from the 1950s onwards....

     as Frederick, Minister of the Interior
  • Philip Stone
    Philip Stone
    Philip Stone was an English actor.He was born Philip Stones in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Stone appeared in three successive Stanley Kubrick films: playing the central character's "Dad" in A Clockwork Orange , "Graham" in Barry Lyndon and as "Delbert Grady," the original caretaker in The Shining...

     as Dad
  • Pauline Taylor as Dr. Taylor, psychiatrist
  • Margaret Tyzack
    Margaret Tyzack
    Margaret Maud Tyzack, CBE was a British actress.-Early life:Tyzack was born in Essex, England, the daughter of Doris and Thomas Edward Tyzack. She grew up in West Ham...

     as Conspirator Rubinstein
  • Steven Berkoff
    Steven Berkoff
    Steven Berkoff is an English actor, writer and director. Best known for his performance as General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy, he is typically cast in villanous roles, such as Lt...

     as Detective Constable Tom
  • John J. Carney
    John J. Carney
    John J. Carney was a British actor.Television credits include: Dixon of Dock Green, UFO, Z Cars, Doctor Who , The Sweeney, Blake's 7 and Shoestring....

     as Detective Sergeant
  • Lindsay Campbell as Police Inspector
  • David Prowse
    David Prowse
    David Prowse, MBE is an English former bodybuilder, weightlifter and actor, most widely known for playing the role of Darth Vader in physical form. In Britain, he is also remembered as having played the Green Cross Code man...

     as Julian, Mr. Alexander's bodyguard


Morality


The film's central moral question (as in many of Burgess' books) is the definition of "goodness" and whether it makes sense to use aversion theory to stop immoral behaviour. Stanley Kubrick, writing in Saturday Review, described the film as

...a social satire dealing with the question of whether behavioural psychology and psychological conditioning are dangerous new weapons for a totalitarian government to use to impose vast controls on its citizens and turn them into little more than robots.

Similarly on the film production's call sheet (cited at greater length above), Kubrick wrote

It is a story of the dubious redemption of a teenage delinquent by condition-reflex therapy. It is at the same time a running lecture on free-will.

After aversion therapy, Alex behaves like a good member of society, but not by choice. His goodness is involuntary; he has become the titular clockwork orange — organic on the outside, mechanical on the inside. In the prison, after witnessing the Technique in action on Alex, the chaplain criticises it as false, arguing that true goodness must come from within. This leads to the theme of abusing liberties — personal, governmental, civil — by Alex, with two conflicting political forces, the Government and the Dissidents, both manipulating Alex for their purely political ends. The story critically portrays the "conservative" and "liberal" parties as equal, for using Alex as a means to their political ends: the writer Frank Alexander — a victim of Alex and gang — wants revenge against Alex and sees him as a means of definitively turning the populace against the incumbent government and its new regime. Mr Alexander fears the new government; in telephonic conversation, he says:


. . . recruiting brutal young roughs into the police; proposing debilitating and will-sapping techniques of conditioning. Oh, we've seen it all before in other countries; the thin end of the wedge! Before we know where we are, we shall have the full apparatus of totalitarianism
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

.


On the other side, the Minister of the Interior (the Government) jails Mr Alexander (the Dissident Intellectual) on excuse of his endangering Alex (the People), rather than the government's totalitarian regime (described by Mr Alexander). It is unclear whether or not he has been harmed; however, the Minister tells Alex that the writer has been denied the ability to write and produce "subversive" material that is critical of the incumbent government and meant to provoke political unrest.

It has been noted that Alex's immorality is reflected in the society in which he lives. The Cat Lady's love of hardcore pornographic art is comparable to Alex's taste for sex and violence. Lighter forms of pornographic content adorn Alex's parents' home and, in a later scene, Alex awakens in hospital from his coma, interrupting a nurse and doctor engaged in a sexual act.

Psychology



Another critical target is the behaviourism (or "behavioural psychology") of the 1940s to 1960s as propounded by the psychologists John B. Watson
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it which was given at Columbia University in 1913...

 and B. F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an American behaviorist, author, inventor, baseball enthusiast, social philosopher and poet...

. Burgess disapproved of behaviourism, calling prominent behaviourist B. F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an American behaviorist, author, inventor, baseball enthusiast, social philosopher and poet...

's most popular book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Beyond Freedom and Dignity is a book written by American psychologist B. F. Skinner and first published in 1971. The book argues that entrenched belief in free will and the moral autonomy of the individual hinders the prospect of using scientific methods to modify behavior for the purpose of...

(1971), "one of the most dangerous books ever written". Although behaviourism's limitations were conceded by its principal founder, J. B. Watson
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it which was given at Columbia University in 1913...

, Skinner argued that behaviour modification—specifically, operant conditioning
Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning is a form of psychological learning during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own behavior due to the association of the behavior with a stimulus...

 (learned behaviours via systematic reward-and-punishment techniques) rather than the "classical" Watsonian conditioning
Classical conditioning
Classical conditioning is a form of conditioning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov...

—is the key to an ideal society. The film's Ludovico technique
Ludovico technique
The Ludovico technique is a fictional aversion therapy from the novel A Clockwork Orange administered by Dr. Brodsky with the approval of the UK Minister of the Interior. It involved forcing a patient to watch, through the use of specula to hold the eyes open, violent images for long periods of...

 is widely perceived, however, as a parody of aversion therapy
Aversion therapy
Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort...

 more than of classical or operant conditioning.

In showing the "rehabilitated" Alex repelled by both sex and violence, the film suggests that in depriving him of his ability to fend for himself, Alex's moral conditioning via the Ludovico technique dehumanises him, just as Alex's acts of violence in the first part of the film dehumanise his victims. The technique's attempt to condition Alex to associate violence with severe physical sickness is akin to the CIA's Project MKULTRA
Project MKULTRA
Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a covert, illegal CIA human experimentation program, run by the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence. This official U.S. government program began in the early 1950s, continued at least through the late 1960s, and used U.S...

 of the 1950s.

The Ludovico technique has been compared to the existing technique of chemical castration
Chemical castration
Chemical castration is the administration of medication designed to reduce libido and sexual activity, usually in the hope of preventing rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders from repeating their crimes...

.

Production


During the filming of the Ludovico technique
Ludovico technique
The Ludovico technique is a fictional aversion therapy from the novel A Clockwork Orange administered by Dr. Brodsky with the approval of the UK Minister of the Interior. It involved forcing a patient to watch, through the use of specula to hold the eyes open, violent images for long periods of...

 scene, McDowell scratched a cornea
Cornea
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's total optical power. In humans, the refractive power of the cornea is...

 and was temporarily blinded. The doctor standing next to him in the scene, dropping saline solution into Alex's forced-open eyes, was a real physician present to prevent the actor's eyes from drying. McDowell also cracked some ribs filming the humiliation stage show. Special effects-wise, when Alex jumps out of the window in an attempt to commit suicide, the viewer sees the ground approaching the camera until collision, i.e., as if from Alex's point of view. This effect was achieved by dropping a Newman Sinclair clockwork camera in a box, lens-first, from the third story of the Corus Hotel. To Kubrick's surprise, the camera survived six takes.

Adaptation


The cinematic adaptation of A Clockwork Orange (1962), by Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess
John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

, was accidental. Screenplay writer
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

 Terry Southern
Terry Southern
Terry Southern was an American author, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer, noted for his distinctive satirical style...

 gave Kubrick a copy of the novel, but, as he was developing a Napoleon Bonaparte-related project, Kubrick put it aside. Soon afterward, however, the Bonaparte project was cancelled and, sometime later, Kubrick happened upon the novel. It had an immediate impact. Of his enthusiasm for it, Kubrick said, "I was excited by everything about it, the plot, the ideas, the characters and of course the language ... The story functions, of course, on several levels, political, sociological, philosophical and, what's most important, on a dreamlike psychological-symbolic level". Kubrick wrote a screenplay faithful to the novel, saying, "I think whatever Burgess had to say about the story was said in the book, but I did invent a few useful narrative ideas and reshape some of the scenes".

The novelist's response


Anthony Burgess had mixed feelings about the cinema version of his novel, publicly saying he loved Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...

 and Michael Bates
Michael Bates (actor)
Michael Bates was a British actor born in Jhansi, United Provinces, India.-Biography:Bates served as a Major serving with the Brigade of Gurkhas in Burma before his discharge at the end of World War II...

, and the use of music; he praised it as "brilliant", even so brilliant that it might be dangerous. Despite this enthusiasm, he was concerned that it lacked the novel's redemptive final chapter, an absence he blamed upon his American publisher (this chapter being omitted in all US editions of the novel prior to 1986) and not Kubrick.

Burgess reports in his autobiography You've Had Your Time (1990) that he and Kubrick at first enjoyed a good relationship, each holding similar philosophical and political views and each very interested in literature, cinema, music and Napoleon Bonaparte. Burgess's 1974 novel Napoleon Symphony
Napoleon Symphony
Napoleon Symphony: A Novel in Four Movements is Anthony Burgess's fictional recreation of the life and world of Napoleon Bonaparte, first published in 1974...

was dedicated to Kubrick. Their relationship soured, however, when Kubrick left Burgess to defend the film from accusations of glorifying violence. A (lapsed) Catholic
Lapsed Catholic
A lapsed Catholic is a person who has ceased practicing the Catholic faith, in the sense of attending Mass. Such a person may still identify as a Catholic.-"Lapsed Catholic" and "ex-Catholic":...

, Burgess tried many times to explain the Christian moral points of the story to outraged Christian organizations and to defend it against newspaper accusations that it supported fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 dogma. He also went to receive awards given to Kubrick on his behalf.

Burgess was deeply hurt, feeling that Kubrick had used him as a film publicity pawn. Malcolm McDowell, on publicity tour with Burgess, shared his feelings, and, at times, spoke harshly about Kubrick. As evidence, both novelist and actor cited Kubrick's uncontrolled ego manifest in the film credits: the only author credited is "Kubrick". Later, Burgess spoofed Kubrick's image, firstly in the musical version of A Clockwork Orange, where a Kubrick-like character is beaten; then in The Clockwork Testament
The Clockwork Testament, or Enderby's End
The Clockwork Testament is a novella by the British author Anthony Burgess. It is the third of Burgess' four Enderby novels and was first published in 1974 by Hart-Davis, MacGibbon Publishers. It is usually subtitled Enderby's End, as it was originally intended to be the last book in the Enderby...

 (1974) novel, where the poet F.X. Enderby is attacked for "glorifying" violence in a film adaptation; and, in 1980, as the crafty director Sidney Labrick in the novel Earthly Powers
Earthly Powers
Earthly Powers is a panoramic saga of the 20th century by Anthony Burgess first published in 1980. On one level it is a parody of a "blockbuster" novel, with the 81-year-old hero, Kenneth Toomey , telling the story of his life in 82 chapters...

.

Previous film versions


The first dramatization of A Clockwork Orange, featuring only the story's first three chapters, was made for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 programme Tonight, broadcast soon after the novel's original publication in 1962; no recording is known to exist. Six years before Stanley Kubrick's film, Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

 made Vinyl
Vinyl (1965 film)
Vinyl is a black-and-white experimental film directed by Andy Warhol at The Factory. It is an early adaptation of the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, starring Gerard Malanga, Edie Sedgwick, Ondine, and Tosh Carillo, and featuring such songs as "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the...

, a low-budget version of the work. Reportedly, only two scenes are recognizable: "Victor" (Alex) wreaking havoc and undergoing the Ludovico technique. However, both Kubrick's and Warhol's films start with a similar shot, zooming back from Alex's face.

Direction


Kubrick was a perfectionist of meticulous research, with thousands of photographs taken of potential locations, as well as many scene takes; however, per Malcolm McDowell, he usually "got it right" early on, so there were few takes. Filming took place between September 1970 and April 1971, making A Clockwork Orange the quickest film shoot in his career. Technically, to achieve and convey the fantastic, dream-like quality of the story, he filmed with extreme wide-angle lenses such as the Kinoptik Tegea 9.8mm for 35mm Arriflex cameras, and used fast- and slow motion
Slow motion
Slow motion is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down. It was invented by the Austrian priest August Musger....

 to convey the mechanical nature of its bedroom sex scene or stylize the violence in a manner similar to Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses (1969).

Nature of the society


The society depicted in the film was perceived by some as Communist (as Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment is a French film critic and the editor of the cinema magazine Positif. Ciment is a Chevalier of the Order of Merit, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, and the president of FIPRESCI...

 pointed out in an interview with Kubrick) due to its slight ties to Russian culture. The teenage slang has a heavily Russian vocabulary, which can be attributed to Burgess. There is some evidence to suggest that the society is a socialist one, or perhaps a society moving out of a failed, Leftist socialism and into a Rightist, or fascist, society. In the novel, streets have paintings of working men in the style of Russian socialist art, and in the film, there is a mural of socialist artwork with obscenities drawn on it. As Malcolm McDowell points out on the DVD commentary, Alex's residence was shot on failed Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 architecture, and the name "Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North" alludes to socialist-style housing. Later in the film, when the new right-wing government takes power, the atmosphere is certainly more authoritarian than the anarchist air of the beginning. Kubrick's response to Ciment's question remained ambiguous as to exactly what kind of society it is. Kubrick did however assert that the film held comparisons between both the left and right end of the political spectrum and that there is little difference between the two. Kubrick stated, "The Minister, played by Anthony Sharp, is clearly a figure of the Right. The writer, Patrick Magee, is a lunatic of the Left...They differ only in their dogma. Their means and ends are hardly distinguishable."

Locations



A Clockwork Orange was photographed mostly on location
Filming location
A filming location is a place where some or all of a film or television series is produced, in addition to or instead of using sets constructed on a movie studio backlot or soundstage...

 in metropolitan London. The few scenes shot in a studio were the Korova Milk Bar, the prison check-in sequence, and scenes of Alex at F. Alexander's house taking a bath and in the hallway. Sets for these parts were built at an old factory on Bullhead Road, Elstree, which also served as the production office. Other locations used in the film include:
  • The attack on the tramp was filmed at the southern underpass below Wandsworth Bridge
    Wandsworth Bridge
    Wandsworth Bridge crosses the River Thames in west London. It carries the A217 road between the areas of Battersea, near Wandsworth Town Station, in the London Borough of Wandsworth on the south of the river, and the areas of Sands End and Parsons Green, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and...

     roundabout, London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    .
  • The Billyboy gang fight occurs at the now-demolished casino on Taggs Island, Kingston upon Thames
    Kingston upon Thames
    Kingston upon Thames is the principal settlement of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in southwest London. It was the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned and is now a suburb situated south west of Charing Cross. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the...

    .
  • Alex's apartment is on the top floor of Century House tower block, Borehamwood
    Borehamwood
    -Film industry:Since the 1920s, the town has been home to several film studios and many shots of its streets are included in final cuts of 20th century British films. This earned it the nickname of the "British Hollywood"...

    . An exterior plaque and mosaic at ground level commemorate the film's location.
  • The record shop where Alex picks up the two women was in the former Chelsea Drugstore
    Chelsea Drugstore
    Opened in 1968, The Chelsea Drugstore was a sleek modern glass and aluminum fronted building on the northwest corner of Royal Avenue and the Kings Road, in west London. Modeled on Le Drugstore on Boulevard St Germain in Paris, the Chelsea Drugstore was arranged over three floors and on most days...

    , located on the corner of Royal Avenue and King's Road
    King's Road
    King's Road is a street in Chelsea, London, England.King's Road or Kings Road may also refer to:* King's Road * King's Road * King's Road * King's Road...

     in Chelsea
    Chelsea, London
    Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

    . A McDonald's
    McDonald's
    McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

     restaurant now occupies the building.
  • The writer's house, site of the rape and beating, was filmed at three different locations: The arrival in the 'Durango 95' by the 'HOME' sign was shot on the lane leading to Munden House which is off School Lane, Bricket Wood (as was the trough/beating scene). The house is Skybreak House, in The Warren, Radlett
    Radlett
    Radlett is a small town in the county of Hertfordshire between St Albans and Borehamwood on Watling Street with a population of approximately 8,000. It is located in the council district of Hertsmere and is covered by two wards, Aldenham East and Aldenham West...

    , Hertfordshire
    Hertfordshire
    Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

    , designed by Team 4
    Team 4
    Team 4 was a British architectural firm, established in 1963 by architects Su Brumwell, Wendy Cheeseman, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. At the time Rogers and Brumwell were both married, as were Foster and Cheeseman...

    , which included Norman Foster
    Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
    Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners....

    , Wendy Foster, Richard Rogers
    Richard Rogers
    Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs....

     and Su Rogers.
  • Alex throws Dim and Georgie into a lake at the Thamesmead South Housing Estate
    Thamesmead
    Thamesmead is a district of south-east London, England, located in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley. It is situated east of Charing Cross....

    , London. This is the same location where Alex walks home at night kicking rubbish.
  • The house where Alex is caught by police is Shenley Lodge, in Hertfordshire, at Blackhorse Lane.
  • Alex is attacked by vagrants underneath the north side of the Albert Bridge
    Albert Bridge, London
    Albert Bridge is a Grade II* listed road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank...

    , Kensington and Chelsea, London.
  • The prison's exterior is HMP Wandsworth, its interior is the Woolwich Barracks
    Royal Artillery Barracks
    The Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich in South East London is the "home" of the Royal Artillery. It is famous for having the longest continuous building facade in the UK as well as for having the largest parade square of any UK barracks.-History:...

    .
  • The check-in at Ludovico Medical Clinic entrance, the brain washing film theatre, Alex's house lobby with the broken elevator, Alex's hospital bedroom and police interrogation room are all Brunel University
    Brunel University
    Brunel University is a public research university located in Uxbridge, London, United Kingdom. The university is named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel....

    .
  • The Minister's presentation to the media of Alex's 'cure' takes place at the Nettlefold Hall inside West Norwood Library.
  • Alex's suicide bid leap and corresponding billiard room were at the old Edgewarebury Country Club, Elstree
    Elstree
    Elstree is a village in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire on the A5 road, about 10 miles north of London. In 2001, its population was 4,765, and forms part of the civil parish of Elstree and Borehamwood, originally known simply as Elstree....

    .
  • The hospital where Alex recovers is Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)
    Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)
    Princess Alexandra Hospital is a hospital in Harlow, Essex, England. It is a 501 bedded District General Hospital providing a comprehensive range of acute and specialist services to a local population of 258,000 people...

    .
  • The final sexual fantasy was shot at the demolished Handley Page Ltd's hangars in Radlett.
  • The Menacing Cars scene where the Durango '95
    Probe 16
    The M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16 was a car, designed by former Marcos cars designers Dennis and Peter Adams, in 1969 as 'an investigation into extremes of styling'. It was powered by a mid-mounted tuned Austin 1800 engine and stood a mere 86 centimeters in height. It has 10" wheels up front and...

     drives under the lorry trailer was shot by Colney Heath on Bullens Green Lane at the crossroads of Fellows Lane.
  • The two biblical fantasy scenes (Christ, and the fight scene) were filmed at Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe.
  • The scene from the novel of the attack on the professor was shot in Friars Square shopping centre, Aylesbury but was unused due to the actor being unavailable to film the subsequent scene where he recognises Alex at Aylesbury library. In the end the tramp played the old man who recognises Alex.
  • The scene where Dim and Georgie drive Alex in the police landrover down the country lane, could be off Bullens Green Lane, Colney Heath...on the driveway down to Roehyde Farm. *Yet to be confirmed*

Reception


A Clockwork Orange was critically well-received and nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 (losing to The French Connection
The French Connection (film)
This article is about the 1971 film. For the British fashion label, see French Connection .The French Connection is a 1971 American crime film directed by William Friedkin. The film was adapted and fictionalized by Ernest Tidyman from the non-fiction book by Robin Moore...

). It also boosted sales of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. More recently, A Clockwork Orange earned a 91% "Certified Fresh" rating in the Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 movie review website.

Despite general praise from critics, the film had notable detractors. Film critic Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann is an American author, editor, and critic of film and theatre. He has written for The New Republic since 1958 and currently contributes film criticism to that magazine....

 commented, "Inexplicably the script leaves out Burgess' reference to the title". Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 gave A Clockwork Orange two stars out of four, calling it an "ideological mess." In the New Yorker review titled "Stanley Strangelove", Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic....

 called it pornographic, because of how it dehumanised Alex's victims, while highlighting the sufferings of the protagonist. Also noting that the cinematic Alex no longer enjoyed running over small animals or raping underaged girls, and argued that violent scenes — the Billyboy's gang extended stripping of the very buxom woman they intend to rape — were offered for titillation.

John Simon
John Simon (critic)
John Ivan Simon is an American author and literary, theater, and film critic.-Personal life:Simon was born in Subotica, Bačka, County of Bačka, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later, known as Yugoslavia . He is of Hungarian descent...

 noted that the novel's most ambitious effects were based on language and the alienating effect of the narrator's Nadsat slang, making it a poor choice for a film. Concurring with some of Kael's criticisms about the depiction of Alex's victims, Simon noted that the writer character (young and likeable in the novel), was played by Patrick Magee
Patrick Magee (actor)
Patrick Magee was a Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick's films A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.-Early life:He was born Patrick McGee in Armagh, County Armagh, Northern...

, "a very quirky and middle-aged actor who specialises in being repellent"; and "Kubrick over-directs the basically excessive Magee until his eyes erupt, like missiles from their silos, and his face turns every shade of a Technicolor sunset."

Responses and controversy


Along with Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde (film)
The film was originally offered to François Truffaut, the best-known director of the New Wave movement, who made contributions to the script. He passed on the project to make Fahrenheit 451. The producers approached Jean-Luc Godard next...

(1967), The Wild Bunch
The Wild Bunch
The Wild Bunch is a 1969 American Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah about an aging outlaw gang on the Texas-Mexico border, trying to exist in the changing "modern" world of 1913...

(1969), Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry is a 1971 American crime thriller produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan....

(1971) and Straw Dogs (1971), the film is considered a landmark in the relaxation of control on violence in the cinema. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, A Clockwork Orange was very controversial, and withdrawn from release by Kubrick himself. By the time it was re-released in 2000, it had attained "cult film" status. It is 21st in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

 and number 46 in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

, although in the second listing it is ranked 70th of 100. "Alex De Large" is listed 12th in the villains section of the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

. In 2008, the AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

 rated A Clockwork Orange as the 4th greatest science-fiction movie to date.

American censorship


In the United States, A Clockwork Orange was rated X
X-rated
In some countries, X is or has been a motion picture rating reserved for the most explicit films. Films rated X are intended only for viewing by adults, usually legally defined as people over the age of 17.-United Kingdom:...

 in its original release form. Kubrick later, voluntarily, replaced some 30 seconds of sexually explicit footage, from two scenes, with less bawdy action, for an R rating re-release in 1973. Current DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

s present the original X-rated form, and only some of the early 1980s
1980s
File:1980s decade montage.png|thumb|400px|From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off in 1981; American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War; The Fall of the Berlin Wall in...

 VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 editions are the R-rated form.

The National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting is an office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is best known for the USCCB film rating, a continuation of the National Legion of Decency rating system begun in 1933 by Archbishop of Cincinnati John T...

 rated it C ("Condemned") because of the explicit sex and violence. Conceptually, said rating of condemnation forbade Roman Catholics from seeing A Clockwork Orange. In 1982, the Office abolished the "Condemned" rating; hence, films the Conference of Bishops deem to have unacceptable sex and violence are rated O, "Morally Offensive".

British withdrawal


The British authorities considered the sexual violence
Sexual violence
Sexual violence occurs throughout the world, although in most countries there has been little research conducted on the problem. Due to the private nature of sexual violence, estimating the extent of the problem is difficult...

 extreme, furthermore, there occurred legal claims that the movie A Clockwork Orange had inspired true copycat crimes
Copycat crimes
A copycat crime is a criminal act that is modelled or inspired by a previous crime that has been reported in the media or described in fiction.-Copycat effect:...

, as per press cuttings at the British Film Institute. In March 1972, at trial, the prosecutor accusing the fourteen-year-old-boy defendant of the manslaughter of a classmate, referred to A Clockwork Orange, telling the judge that the case had a macabre relevance to the film. The attacker, a Bletchley boy of sixteen, pleaded guilty after telling police that friends had told him of the film "and the beating up of an old boy like this one"; defence counsel told the trial "the link between this crime and sensational literature, particularly A Clockwork Orange, is established beyond reasonable doubt". The press also blamed the film for a rape in which the attackers sang "Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain (song)
"Singin' In the Rain" is a song with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, published in 1929. However, it is unclear exactly when the song was written with some claiming that the song was written and performed as early as 1927. The song was listed as Number 3 on AFI's 100 Years.....

". Christiane Kubrick
Christiane Kubrick
Christiane Kubrick is a German actress, dancer, painter and singer. She was born into a theatrical family, and was the wife of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick from 1958 until his death in 1999.-Biography:...

, the director's wife, has said that the family received threats and had protesters outside their home. Subsequently, Kubrick asked Warner Brothers to withdraw the film from British distribution, disliking the allegation that the film was responsible for copycat violence in real life. Quoting Kubrick: "To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life but it does not create life, nor cause life. Furthermore, to attribute powerful suggestive qualities to a film is at odds with the scientifically accepted view that, even after deep hypnosis, in a posthypnotic state, people cannot be made to do things which are at odds with their natures." The Scala Cinema Club
Scala (club)
Scala is a nightclub in London, England, near King's Cross railway station.-History:The Scala was originally built as a cinema to the designs of H Courtney Constantine, but construction was interrupted by the First World War and it spent some time being used to manufacture aircraft parts, and as a...

 went into receivership in 1993 after losing a legal battle following an unauthorized screening of the film.

Whatever the reason for the film's withdrawal, for some 27 years, it was difficult to see the film in the United Kingdom. It reappeared in cinemas, and the first VHS and DVD releases followed soon after Kubrick's death. On 4 July 2001, the uncut A Clockwork Orange had its premiere broadcast on Sky TV's Sky Box Office; the run was until mid-September.
Withdrawal controversy documentary

In 1993, Channel 4 broadcast Forbidden Fruit, a 27-minute documentary about the controversial withdrawal of the film in Britain. It contains much footage from A Clockwork Orange, marking the only time portions of the film were shown to British audiences during the twenty-seven-year ban.

Public perception of genre


A Clockwork Orange was not marketed as a horror film
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

, nor reviewed as one upon release. Over a period of time, it has gained a following among horror film aficionados, frequently discussed as one in online bulletin boards and chat rooms devoted to horror films (with some dissenters as to the classification), as well as being listed in an online horror film database. The UK daily paper Metro had a reader poll of favourite horror films in 2010 and reported that The Exorcist
The Exorcist (film)
The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her...

beat out Saw and A Clockwork Orange.

One well-known critic who counts the film as horror is Maitland McDonagh, senior movies editor of TVGuide from 1995 to 2008, and author of a book on the horror films of Dario Argento
Dario Argento
Dario Argento is an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter. He is best known for his work in the horror film genre, particularly in the subgenre known as giallo, and for his influence on modern horror and slasher movies....

. Commenting on why horror films rarely win Oscars, she notes the exceptions of The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, and A Clockwork Orange saying the prestige of the directors meant the films could not be ignored.

On the other hand, American Movie Channel's film critic Cory Abbey in an article on scary movies that are not horror lists A Clockwork Orange along with Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...

, Silence of the Lambs and others. When the American Film Institute chose their top 10 films in several genres, it listed Clockwork as a science-fiction film, while having no horror list at all. The film is listed as crime drama and science fiction by the Internet Movie Database but not as horror.

A Clockwork Orange is most frequently described as political satire, dystopian science-fiction, black comedy, and crime drama, although its crossover appeal to the horror-fan community is unmistakable.

Differences between the film and the novel



Kubrick's film is relatively faithful to the Burgess novel, omitting only the final, positive chapter, wherein, Alex matures and outgrows sociopathy. Whereas the film ends with Alex offered an open-ended government job — implying he remains a sociopath at heart — the novel ends with Alex's positive change in character. This plot discrepancy occurred because Kubrick based his screenplay upon the novel's American edition, its final chapter deleted on insistence of the American publisher. He claimed not having read the complete, original version of the novel until he had almost finished writing the screenplay, and that he never considered using it. The introduction to the 1996 edition of A Clockwork Orange, says that Kubrick found the end of the original edition too blandly optimistic and unrealistic.

Thematic alterations of the novel
  • The film includes the phrase "a clockwork orange" only once: written on a piece of paper in Mr. Alexander's typewriter. The book explains that the author Frank is supposed to have written a political tract by that name (with a passage explaining the title), but this is not mentioned in the movie.
  • As noted above, the last chapter (21) of the novel was not filmed. In this chapter, Alex encounters Pete, the third member of the original gang (who was heavily cut out of the film) who has grown beyond his violent ways and married; Alex realises that he wishes to do the same, but believes his violence was an unavoidable product of his youth. See also "Deleted Scenes" section below.
  • In the novel, the writer whose wife Alex rapes is named "F. Alexander", leading to a coincidental comparison between the two "Alexanders". The film does not mention his surname, though he is called "Mr. Alexander" in the credits. In the film, he is addressed by his first name, "Frank", a detail not revealed in the book. The writer is quite young in the novel and speaks the same peculiar slang as Alex; in the film he is elderly and speaks standard English. The novel is also very overt quite early about his being a political activist. This is strongly hinted at in the film by scattered clues, but not spelled out so clearly. In the novel, the writer is a contemporary of Alex; in the film, he is a contemporary of the Minister of the Interior whose legislation initiated the Ludovico technique.
  • In the film, Alex's surname is spoken as "DeLarge" on arrival at prison; this surname is a pun based on an incident in the book, when Alex (referring to his penis) calls himself "Alexander the Large" (in turn a reference to Alexander the Great). In a close-up shot of multiple newspaper articles, Alex is identified as "Alex Burgess". In the novel, Alex's surname is unknown.


Changes in characterization and motivation
  • Alex's character in the film is more subtly manipulative, as illustrated in a few examples. In the novel, the incarcerated Alex and cell mates brutally beat a man just put in their cell, for being a nuisance. Alex accidentally kills him. For such persistent violence, Alex is selected to undergo the Ludovico technique. However, in the film, Alex volunteers for the treatment and is chosen in part for his good behaviour in prison.
    Similarly, when Alex's parents visit him in the hospital, Alex threatens them with violence in the novel while in the film, he more subtly plays on their feelings of grief and guilt. Alex's behaviour to the prison chaplain is similarly manipulative.
  • Critic Randy Rasmussen has argued that the government in the film is in a considerable shambles and in a state of desperation while the government in the novel is quite strong and self-confident. The former reflects Kubrick's preoccupation with the theme of acts of self-interest masked as simply following procedure.
    One example of this would be differences in the portrayal of P.R. Deltoid, Alex's "post-corrective advisor". In the novel, P.R. Deltoid appears to have some moral authority (although not enough to prevent Alex from lying to him or engaging in crime despite his protestations). In the film, Deltoid is slightly sadistic and seems to have a sexual interest in Alex, interviewing him in his parents' bedroom and smacking him in the crotch.
  • The film also suggests that the experimentation on Alex using the Ludovico technique is far more politically motivated, and that the controlling party is attempting to implement the use of the Ludovico technique as a way to gain votes. The subsequent "curing" and bribing of Alex is used to cover up for the Party's PR struggles and to portray Mr. Alexander and the Left-wing as monstrous.

  • In the film, the "cat lady" whose house Alex breaks into possesses a great deal of sexual artwork, including a rocking penis sculpture with which Alex delivers the killing strike. None of this artwork is mentioned in the book. The "cat lady" in the novel is elderly, addled, and living in a cat-ridden house of Miss Havisham
    Miss Havisham
    Miss Havisham is a significant character in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations . She is a wealthy spinster, who lives in her ruined mansion with her adopted daughter, Estella, whom she has sent to France, while she herself is described as looking like "the witch of the place."Although she...

    -style dilapidation; the "cat lady" in the movie is in her early 60s, sharp, and living in a health farm which (according to dialogue) has closed for a week.
  • In the novel, it is completely clear that Mrs. Alexander died of injuries sustained during the gang-rape. Kubrick's film has Mr. Alexander rant that his wife died a few months later during a flu epidemic, though he still blames her death on the rape. He calls her a "victim of the modern age".
  • When Alex re-encounters Mr. Alexander in the novel, Burgess portrays him as a basically decent man struggling to maintain his sanity after his life has been ripped apart. In the film, Kubrick turns Mr. Alexander to a less mentally stable, very traumatized and angry figure whose hair has been teased out to give him a faint resemblance to Beethoven.

References to Beethoven
  • While Alex is being tortured by Mr. Alexander's playing of Beethoven on the stereo, Kubrick composes the shot so that the author is transformed into a bust of Beethoven. Even the arrangement of the scarf around his neck suggests the contours of a statuette.
  • The doorbell of the author's house resembles the four-note opening motif of Beethoven's fifth symphony.
  • In the film, when the Cat Lady assaults Alex, she holds a small bust of Beethoven, while Alex holds a large sculpted penis. In the novel, Alex wields a bust of Beethoven during their fight, while the Cat Lady attempts to fight back with a walking stick. Additionally, in the novel, Alex is attacked by the Cat Lady's cats as he tries to escape.
  • Alex is conditioned against all music in the book, but in the film he is only averse to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. During one of the applications of the Ludovico technique, Beethoven's Fifth symphony is played, and Alex begs for them to stop. In the movie, it is the Ninth symphony which is played during this scene.


"Deleted scene
Deleted scene
In Entertainment, especially the film and television industry, Deleted scenes are parts of a film removed or censored from or replaced by another scene in the final "cut", or version, of a film...

s" from the novel
  • Two of the attacks in the opening chapters of the novel—the assault on a library patron carrying rare books, and the strong-arm robbery of a shopkeeper and his wife—are not present in the film. On his commentary on the 2007 DVD
    DVD
    A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

     release, Malcolm McDowell says the scenes were filmed but later discarded. Billy Russell, the actor playing the library patron, became ill after the initial production and was not available for the scenes in which Alex re-encounters his old victims.
  • In the novel, Alex and his gang buy drinks and snacks for a group of old ladies, bribing them into providing the police with an alibi to cover a crast (shop burglary). None of this appears in the film; the scene with the old ladies was shot, but not used.
  • In the novel, Alex is beaten by prison guards. The film does not show this, but Alex mentions it in his narration.


Characters added to the film
  • In the novel, F. Alexander lives alone after the death of his wife, and manages most of the housework by himself despite his condition. In the film, he is shown to have hired a bodyguard named Julian to help him around the house and guard the home from future break-ins. The bodyguard is played by former bodybuilder and future Darth Vader
    Darth Vader
    Darth Vader is a central character in the Star Wars saga, appearing as one of the main antagonists in the original trilogy and as the main protagonist in the prequel trilogy....

    , David Prowse
    David Prowse
    David Prowse, MBE is an English former bodybuilder, weightlifter and actor, most widely known for playing the role of Darth Vader in physical form. In Britain, he is also remembered as having played the Green Cross Code man...

     in a brief role. (George Lucas later related that he chose Prowse for the role of Darth Vader after seeing him in this film).
  • In the film, Alex has a pet snake. There is no mention of this in the novel. This was added by Kubrick due to Malcolm McDowell's fear of snakes
    Ophidiophobia
    Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. Fear of snakes is sometimes called by a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians...

    .


Other changes to ages of characters
  • The girl that is about to be raped by Billyboy's gang is 10 in the book, but a young woman in the film.
  • In the novel, Alex takes home and rapes two 10-year-old girls, Marty and Sonietta, after meeting them in a record shop. In the film (for obvious reasons), the girls are teenagers, and their sexual encounter with Alex appears to be (at least mostly) consensual. Also, in the book, Alex buys the girls ice cream and food prior to raping them, while this scene is not included in the film (though, in the film, the girls are shown slurping on popsicles at the record shop).


Other differences
  • In the novel, Dr. Branom is a male. In the film, the character is female.
  • The film uses the futuristic slang language Nadsat
    Nadsat
    Nadsat is a fictional register or argot used by the teenagers in Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange. In addition to being a novelist, Burgess was also a linguist and he used this background to depict his characters as speaking a form of Russian-influenced English...

     somewhat less often than the book in order to make the film more accessible.


Changes in plot details (in chronological order)
  • In the film, Alex and his droogs beat a tramp, who later recognizes him and, with other homeless people, assaults him after his treatment. In the book, Alex beats an old man carrying library books, who later recognizes him and (with other aged people) assaults him in a library after his treatment. Alex and his droogs also beat a tramp in the book, but Alex does not encounter him again.
  • Alex's weapon of choice in the book is a britva (razor); in the film, he wields a cane with a knife concealed in the handle (similar to a Victorian London dagger cane).
  • In the film, the car seen before the home invasion
    Home invasion
    Home invasion is the act of illegally burgling or entering a private and occupied dwelling for the purpose of committing a crime Home invasion is the act of illegally burgling or entering a private and occupied dwelling for the purpose of committing a crime Home invasion is the act of illegally...

     is the M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16
    Probe 16
    The M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16 was a car, designed by former Marcos cars designers Dennis and Peter Adams, in 1969 as 'an investigation into extremes of styling'. It was powered by a mid-mounted tuned Austin 1800 engine and stood a mere 86 centimeters in height. It has 10" wheels up front and...

    , in the novel (and in the film's narration) however, it is referred to as Durango 95. Only three were produced. In the TV-program Top Gear (Season 2004, 2nd episode, aired 31 October 2004), the one used in the film was nominated for restoration in the Restoration Rip-off feature.
  • When trying to escape from the cat lady's house, Alex is stopped by Dim, who attacks him and leaves him for the police. In the novel, Dim uses his "oozy" (or chain) to whip Alex across the face. In the film, Dim smashes a milk bottle
    Milk bottle
    Milk bottles are bottles used for milk. They may be reusable glass bottles used mainly for doorstep delivery of fresh milk by milkmen. Customers are expected to rinse the empty bottles and leave on the doorstep for collection...

     across the side of Alex's head.
  • In the novel, Alex's prisoner number is 6655321; in the film, it is 655321.
  • In the novel, an imprisoned Alex learns of the death of his former droog Georgie during a botched burglary. In the film, Alex meets with Dim and Georgie after his release from prison, but what happened to Pete during Alex's incarceration is unknown.
  • In the novel, Alex is beaten by his former droog, Dim, and his former rival, Billyboy, who have both joined the police. The beating itself is not described, though Alex subsequently notes soreness and several teeth knocked loose (he also believes himself to be covered with cuts and bruises). In the film, Billyboy is replaced in this scene by Georgie, another former droog; they take Alex down a wood path to a watering trough, where Dim forces Alex's head underwater and Georgie beats him with his truncheon.
  • In the novel, F. Alexander recognises Alex through a number of careless references to the previous attack (e.g., his wife then claiming they did not have a telephone). In the film Alex is recognised when singing the song 'Singing in the Rain' in the bath, which he hauntingly had done whilst attacking F. Alexander's wife. The song does not appear at all in the book, as it was an improvisation by actor Malcolm McDowell when Kubrick complained that the rape scene was too "stiff".


References to previous Kubrick films
  • The album cover of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2001: A Space Odyssey (film)
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel...

    , also directed by Kubrick, is visible in the record-shop scene.
  • Alex is given Experimental Serum 114, a phonetic play on the name of the CRM-114
    CRM 114 (device)
    The C.R.M. 114 Discriminator is a fictional piece of critical radio equipment in Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove , the destruction of which prevents the crew of a B-52 from hearing the recall code that would stop them from dropping their atomic bombs on the U.S.S.R.- Real-life parallels...

     radio seen in Dr. Strangelove.

Awards and honours

  • Academy Awards
    Academy Awards
    An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

    • Best Director - Stanley Kubrick (nominated)
    • Best Film Editing
      Academy Award for Film Editing
      The Academy Award for Film Editing is one of the annual awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nominations for this award are closely correlated with the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since 1981, every film selected as Best Picture has also been nominated for the Film Editing...

       - Bill Butler (nominated)
    • Best Picture
      Academy Award for Best Picture
      The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

       (nominated)
    • Best Adapted Screenplay - Stanley Kubrick (nominated)

  • BAFTA Awards
    • BAFTA Film Award Best Art Direction - John Barry
      John Barry (set designer)
      John Barry was a British film production designer, known for his work on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.-Career:...

    • Best Cinematography - John Alcott
      John Alcott
      John Alcott, B.S.C. was an English cinematographer best known for his four collaborations with director Stanley Kubrick; these are 2001: A Space Odyssey , for which he took over as lighting cameraman from Geoffrey Unsworth in mid-shoot, A Clockwork Orange , Barry Lyndon , the film for which he won...

    • Best Direction - Stanley Kubrick
    • Best Film
    • Best Film Editing - William Butler
    • Best Screenplay - Stanley Kubrick
    • Best Sound Track - Brian Blamey, John Jordan, Bill Rowe

  • Directors Guild of America
    Directors Guild of America
    Directors Guild of America is an entertainment labor union which represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry...

    • 1972 Nominated DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures - Stanley Kubrick

  • Golden Globes
    • nominated 1972 Nominated Golden Globe Best Director: Motion Picture - Stanley Kubrick
    • nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama
    • nominated Best Motion Picture Actor: Drama - Malcolm McDowell
      Malcolm McDowell
      Malcolm McDowell is an English actor with a career spanning over forty years.McDowell is principally known for his roles in the controversial films If...., O Lucky Man!, A Clockwork Orange and Caligula...


  • Hugo Awards
    • 1972 Won Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation

  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    New York Film Critics' Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. It is considered one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards....

    • 1971 Won NYFCC Award Best Director - Stanley Kubrick
    • Best Film

  • Writers Guild of America
    Writers Guild of America
    The Writers Guild of America is a generic term referring to the joint efforts of two different US labor unions:* The Writers Guild of America, East , representing TV and film writers East of the Mississippi....

    , United States
    • 1972 Nominated WGA Award (Screen) Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium - Stanley Kubrick

  • American Film Institute
    American Film Institute
    The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

     recognition
    • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
      AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
      The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

       (1998) - #46
    • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
      AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
      Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

       (2001) - #21
    • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
      AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
      AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

       (2003): #12 Villain (Alex)
    • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) (2007) - #70
    • AFI's 10 Top 10
      AFI's 10 Top 10
      AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

       (2008) - #4 Sci-Fi Film

  • In 2008, Empire magazine rank this at #37 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time."

Home media releases


In 2000, the film was released on VHS and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

, both individually and as part of The Stanley Kubrick Collection DVD set. Consequent to negative comments from fans, Warner Bros re-released the film, its image digitally restored and its soundtrack remastered. A limited-edition collector's set with a soundtrack disc, movie poster
Movie poster
A movie poster is a poster used to advertise a film. Studios often print several posters that vary in size and content for various domestic and international markets. They normally contain an image with text. Today's posters often feature photographs of the main actors. Prior to the 1990s,...

, booklet and film strip followed, but later was discontinued. In 2005, a British re-release, packaged as an "Iconic Film" in a limited-edition slipcase was published, identical to the remastered DVD set, except for different package cover art. In 2006, Warner Bros announced the September publication of a two-disc special edition featuring a Malcolm McDowell commentary, and the releases of other two-disc sets of Stanley Kubrick films. Several British retailers had set the release date as 6 November 2006; the release was delayed and re-announced for 2007 Holiday Season.

An HD DVD
HD DVD
HD DVD is a discontinued high-density optical disc format for storing data and high-definition video.Supported principally by Toshiba, HD DVD was envisioned to be the successor to the standard DVD format...

, Blu-ray
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

, and DVD re-release version of the film was released on October 23, 2007. The release accompanies four other Kubrick classics. 1080p video transfers and remixed Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (for HD DVD) and uncompressed 5.1 PCM (for Blu-ray) audio tracks are on both the Blu-ray and HD DVD editions. Unlike the previous version, the DVD re-release edition is anamorphically enhanced. The Blu-ray was reissued for the 40th anniversary of the film's release, however this release is identical to the previously-released Blu-ray apart from adding a Digibook and the Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures is a 2001 documentary about the life and work of Stanley Kubrick, famed film director, made by his long-time assistant and brother-in-law Jan Harlan...

documentary as a bonus feature.

In popular culture




Further reading

  • Stuart Y. McDougal, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (Cambridge University Press, 2003). ISBN 0-521-57376-9

External links