A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick (1971)

130min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Withdrawn from release by director Stanley Kubrick in 1974 and officially unseen until 1999 (after his death), A Clockwork Orange suffers from an artificially inflated degree of mythology. Adapted from the 1962 Anthony Burgess novel about anarchic, slang-spouting yobs ("droogs") in a grey, divided, dystopian future, it was shocking then and still is today, particularly the rape and sadistic "ultraviolence" in the first half. But such unpleasant excesses make important points about the dangers of a two-tier totalitarian society, and the scenes in which ringleader Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is relentlessly brainwashed into submission by the state send an ambiguous message. Kubrick's vision is a thing to behold; whether or not it's an actual masterpiece is still up for debate. What it is, however, is prescient, visceral, compelling and hard to forget.

Summary

Sadistic young gang leader Alex leads a carefree life indulging his love of rape, violence and classical music. When he is finally arrested, he is subjected to a sinister form of aversion therapy that brainwashes him into being physically unable to use violence. However, on his release, he finds friends and family have turned on him, while others seek to exploit him to further their political ends. Drama, starring Malcolm McDowell and Warren Clarke.

Cast & Crew

Alex Malcolm McDowell
Dim Warren Clarke
Mr Alexander Patrick Magee
Chief Guard Michael Bates
Stage actor John Clive
Mrs Alexander Adrienne Corri
Julian David Prowse
Dr Brodsky Carl Duering
Cat lady Miriam Karlin
Constable Steven Berkoff
Conspirator Margaret Tyzack
Director Stanley Kubrick
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: May be edited for violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 17 Mar 2000
Drama Comedy