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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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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476 ( 55)
Top Rated Movies #86 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Alex
... Mr. Alexander
... Chief Guard
... Dim
John Clive ... Stage Actor
... Mrs. Alexander
... Dr. Brodsky
Paul Farrell ... Tramp
... Lodger
Michael Gover ... Prison Governor
Miriam Karlin ... Catlady
James Marcus ... Georgie
... Deltoid
... Prison Chaplain
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

2 February 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Clockwork Orange  »

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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:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(re-issue)|

Color:

| (Warnercolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film prominently features a sculpture by Dutch artist Herman Makkink (the phallic-shaped "Rocking Machine") and nine paintings and a sculpture (called "Christ Unlimited") by his brother Cornelis Makkink, all of which had been featured in Tinto Brass' film Dropout (1970) a year before. See more »

Goofs

The wine Alex drinks appears far too light in color to be a 10 year old Medoc. Stanley Kubrick did use the actual wine described by Alex (specifically a 1960 Château Saint-Estèphe Médoc). But after each take water was added, ostensibly to keep the wine level consistent without intoxicating Malcolm McDowell. By the time Kubrick got what he wanted the wine was visibly watered down. 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.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Southland Tales (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Biblical Daydreams
(uncredited)
Composed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
Arranged and Performed by Wendy Carlos on synthesizer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, stunning and disturbingly entertaining
1 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

Few films are as sensational or infamous as Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange". It's impossible to sit through ACO and not have a reaction; whether it be shock, disgust or amazement. The savage tale of a brutal young droog and his subsequent "reformation" by the government is as shocking and thought-provoking as ever.

While the film's depictions of violence and sex are what it's most known for, ACO works on far deeper levels. The disturbing portrayal of youth and its satirical depiction of a government's attempts to create a better society are brilliant, but the most fascinating aspect of ACO is the questions it poses about good and evil. While the crimes Alex commits at the beginning of the film are atrocious, what the government does to him is worse. The film presents the absolute worst aspects of man, but shows that even these are still favorable to a man without the choice. People can denounce the film because of its brutal content, but the importance of the questions it poses can't be denied.

Equally excellent to the film's content is the effort by the crew. Kubrick's perfectionism pays off well, as ACO in one of his most visually striking films. Malcolm MacDowell is nothing short of amazing as Alex. Kubrick's use of surreal imagery and set pieces, as well as the ingenious use of music to compliment the on-screen action, creates a world that perfectly reflects the protagonist's behavior and the government's policies.

A Clockwork Orange is by no means an easy film to get through, as many will be turned off by the scenes of violence and rape. But this masterpiece is far more complex than a simple romp through a world of youthful violence. It's a rare example of film-making that demands that the viewer actually think. Real horrorshow all around, Oh my brothers.


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