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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
368 ( 33)

Director's Trademarks: A Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Films

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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 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:

A Clockwork Orange See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£618,615 (United Kingdom), 19 March 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,589,355, 31 December 1973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros.,Hawk Films See more »
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

Anthony Burgess, the author of the novel, lived for a time in Malaysia during WWII. After returning to London, his wife was assaulted by four American GIs during the blackout, inspiring this story. Burgess claimed that "clockwork orange" was a Cockney phrase, but most philologists agree that he made it up. The Malay word for man is "orang," as in "orangutan" (man of the jungle), and a clockwork orang would be a clockwork man. However, a UK slang expression for a gambling device is a "clockwork fruit" or "fruit machine," due to the depictions on its dials. The anthropomorphic look of a "fruit machine" (thus, its name "one-armed bandit" in the USA for its roughly man-sized shape and "arm" giving it a humanoid appearance) may well have given rise to the term "clockwork orange" in Burgess' fertile mind, as Alex, through conditioning, is turned into a robotic clockwork man. Gambling also is a game of chance, and Alex literally is gambling with his soul. Dr. Brodsky tells Alex to take his chance and be free in a fortnight, as long as a vacation in Blackpool, the most popular slot machine resort in Britain. See more »

Goofs

When Alex is licking the stage man's shoe, it's supposed to be filthy but is visibly clean. 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 1986, the full uncensored "X" rated version of the film was released on home video, and later on DVD, despite the fact that the video/DVD sleeve bears the "R" rating (which leads people to believe it's the censored version). The MPAA never re-rated the uncut version as an "R", but the uncensored version does bear the "R" certification on the DVD/video box. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serum 114 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture to the Sun
Composed by Terry Tucker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Piece of Art
28 July 2004 | by varun_iitianSee all my reviews

I would say that the movie is really a gem of an art piece. The use of excellent imagery coupled with pretty out-of-the-place background score tells us about the uniqueness of this movie. Stanley Kubrick has really applied a lot of thought into this.

The director wants the audience to feel something as bad not because he is showing it as bad but because it really is bad. The background music accompanying the ultra violent scenes is comical, and not dramatic or anything else that is commonly associated with such scenes. This gives the viewer an opportunity to feel the bitterness not because the music hints so but because he himself feels so. Viewer's emotions should arise irrespective of what the director is trying to show, and this is one of the greatest successes of the movie.

Another glorifying feature is the central idea of the movie. If a human is striped of the choice to choose from good and evil, he no longer remains a human, he becomes a clockwork. When Alex is brain-washed and "programmed" to choose only good, he wasn't accepted by the society and this shows the irony in the objectives of the British Government. The word Orange from the title presumably comes from the word "Ourange" that loosely means man. And hence the title is so appropriate to the movie.

The artificiality in dialogues and sets give the movie a unique feature and enhance the grip on it. This also means that the viewer has to get more involved. This is definitely one of the best technically shot movies, another masterpiece of Kubrick like the Space Oddessey.

For the uninitiated, set in near future Britain, the movie shows Malcom MacDowell as the head of a group of youngsters involved in sexual violence. Turn of the events leave the protagonist in the hands of the police. Worried by the growing number of prisoners the British Government devises a method of "programming" them so that they always choose the good. Alex is chosen as one of those on which the new system is to be tested. The rest unfolds as a saga of the very human characteristic.

Lastly, I would like to say that you may be compelled to leave the movie in between, but if you are watching it for art and cinematic experience, I recommend you to sit through.


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