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A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Anthony Burgess (novel)
Popularity
377 ( 2)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Alex
Patrick Magee ... Mr. Alexander
Michael Bates ... Chief Guard
Warren Clarke ... Dim
John Clive John Clive ... Stage Actor
Adrienne Corri ... Mrs. Alexander
Carl Duering ... Dr. Brodsky
Paul Farrell Paul Farrell ... Tramp
Clive Francis ... Lodger
Michael Gover Michael Gover ... Prison Governor
Miriam Karlin ... Catlady
James Marcus James Marcus ... Georgie
Aubrey Morris ... Deltoid
Godfrey Quigley ... Prison Chaplain
Sheila Raynor ... Mum
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Storyline

Protagonist Alex DeLarge is an "ultraviolent" youth in futuristic Britain. As with all luck, his eventually runs out and he's arrested and convicted of murder and rape. While in prison, Alex learns of an experimental program in which convicts are programmed to detest violence. If he goes through the program, his sentence will be reduced and he will be back on the streets sooner than expected. But Alex's ordeals are far from over once he hits the mean streets of Britain that he had a hand in creating. Written by Nikki Carlyle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,589,355

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,903,401
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (re-issue)| Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Warnercolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Malcolm McDowell based aspects of his performance as Alex on the mannerisms and vocal tics of the British comedian Eric Morecambe, particularly during the dinner scene with Patrick Magee and David Prowse. See more »

Goofs

During Alex's slow-motion attack on his gang members by the Marina River, a dirty black patch appears---then disappears----on the leg of his white trousers. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alex: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title, which is followed by the opening shot of Alex the Droog. Although it is now commonplace for major films to not have opening credits, in 1971 it was considered rather unusual and was considered a trademark of director Stanley Kubrick. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1973, a new version of "A Clockwork Orange" was released to theaters with an MPAA rating of "R", replacing the previous "X". The new version contained approximately 31 seconds of replacement, less lascivious footage for two scenes: the high speed (2 fps) orgy in Alex's bedroom, and the Ludovico rape scene. The bedroom scene was made more comical by having one of the girls fall off the bed and Alex joins her down there. The Ludovico rape scene was altered in that the scenes with the first two droogs was from the side and waist-up, so it is less explicit. The third droog was removed completely and replaced with a close-up of one of the doctor's face as they are watching Alex's treatment. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No.9 in D Minor, Opus 125 Choral: II. Scherzo. Molto vivace
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A controversial and offensive masterpiece.
31 January 2017 | by tyson-hunsakerSee all my reviews

Anyone looking to watch A Clockwork Orange might be wanting to revisit some of Stanley Kubrik's work and might be interested in studying this film. Those who have already seen this film tend to already have strong opinions regarding this dark sci-fi movie but for me, I approached this film recently to obtain an opinion for myself and study one of the great masters of cinema.

The fact that this film was regarded as one of the most controversial films ever made (rightfully so) sparked genuine curiosity to give this flick a full viewing and while I have large issues with the film, the experience as a whole was both satisfying and a learning experience.

This story centers on "Alex" our main protagonist and his gang of hoodlums set in a not so distant, dystopian Great Britain. The beginning portion unfolds Alex's dark and twisted soul as we watch him and his gang fight, rape, and kill. When he's eventually caught, he undergoes controversial "treatment" to be cured of his dark soul.

I first appreciated the inmate concepts of this story and the type of questions the story attempted to raise to the audience. Furthermore, much of the psychological ideologies surrounding freedom, choice, good vs evil, and selfishness were extremely thought-provoking. It had a way of making me feel self-exploratory despite the character's complete inability to relate with (hopefully) any viewer.

Performances were top notch; especially from the lead: Malcom McDowell. His performance felt so authentic there's never a single moment that feels fake or forced with his dark character. As always, Stanley Kubrick directs the hell out of this. His commanding and authoritative shooting style is apparent in every frame of the picture and he does a wonderful job at sucking the viewer into this terrible world to the point of enthrallment.

While all these positives make for a great movie-going experience and when Kubrick is at the director's helm not much can go wrong, the film's biggest downfall is indeed its controversy. Disturbing subject matter in this piece is indeed vital to the essence of the story but taking off the gloves when it comes to fighting, rape, and killing (especially the rape) make this so incredibly disturbing that it's difficult to muscle through. I found that A Clockwork Orange was not only offense because of its disturbing content, it was personally offensive in so many ways. Frankly, these extremely rare and offensive movie experiences are not quite the reason I enjoy films in the first place; stories can still be thought-provoking while not morally offend and damage the viewer internally. In addition, a viewer looking to study the work of Stanley Kubrick can still experience some of cinema's greatest and transcendent experiences without feeling like their conscience has blackened.

It's understandable that not everyone feels this way; just as stated before, opinions about this film are all across the board. As time has passed however, A Clockwork Orange has stood out has one of Kubrick's finest and has been adored by die-hard fans so much its fan base has grown over the years.

The best advice to give is to see it for yourself. Much like all other Kubrick films, relying on anyone's opinion won't help one bit. Seeing it and deciding for yourself is the best course of action. That being said, despite it's strong artistic merit, I wouldn't recommend seeing it simply because of the morally offensive and sickening content that most don't appreciate. Overall, it's been the hardest one to review in a long time because it's not a simple: see it or don't see it. There's much more to this picture than that. If you do decide to see it though, be warned and well prepared. If not, that's probably just fine too.


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