Skip to main content

Movie Critic Review: A Clockwork Orange

On the 40th anniversary of A Clockwork Orange a new enhanced Blu-Ray Disc (BD) of it was released.
It is the soundtrack that is particularly excellent in this edition.

See trailer:

Video is courtesy of The Independent of Britain. Read the article
The film has gained a lot of publicity following its second release in 1999, the year its maker died. It was Stanley Kubrick (SK), who adapted this film in 1971 from a successful novela by the British author Anthony Burgess.

Following death threats related to the movie's violent and sexual content he and his family had received, SK had to stop the screening of the movie. There were reports of copycat crimes of rape and murder committed by teenagers who saw A Clockwork Orange which was initially rated X (just like porn) but later acquired the R rating.
It might be a bit disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised!

Summary Of Film Story

A music-loving teen addicted to some drug which is sold as milk is arrested following his and his gangs committing of a series of brutal crimes of rape and murder.

Alex, the teen gang leader, is sent to prison for a long sentence. In prison, the authorities in this near-future, unspecified society offer him the chance of an early release provided his enrollment in a correctional experiment aimed at eliminating his ability to harm or become violent. The experiment involves what is termed "aversion therapy" in addiction medicine.

Anthony Burgess
Alex is then released into the society conditioned and devoid of his natural ability to protect himself. He falls victim to the very people he has victimized before going to jail.
His post-prison sufferings do not go unnoticed and the morality of the authority's conditioning programme becomes an issue.
Alex is taken back to reverse his conditioning!
The central theme in the movie is free moral choice. No authority has the right to eleminate core human attributes from its citizens. Alex seems to commit his crimes without remorse. This tendency to rape and kill with pleasure must be a sign of the collapse of the social system and cannot be solved at the expense of human values.
"society is always sicker than even its single sickest individual member".

The Visual Marvels of Kubrick

Kubrick is known for his imagery. In a single shot he summons every single visual detail. Having a background as a magazine photographer he is said to make movies to take pictures not to take pictures to make movies! His visual style fits snugly when a quick definition of pure cinema is sought.
The viewer is promised a sweeping mental storm from the opening scene. A hard stare and a menacing grin. A disturbing close-up (to open with a close-up?) and foreboding music! That is how Alex (portrayed aptly by Malcolm McDowell) is introduced to the viewers.
Icons and artifacts enrich most of the scenes in Orange. The set design, the decor provoke questions. There is a sense conveyed of withering affluence. A dirty near-future city with  remarkable architecture. A decaying dystopian metropolis. The sex pin-ups, the drawings on the walls and the phallus sculpted out of plastic. The lady with many cats yells at Alex to leave alone her idolized huge plastic phallus. Alex fights and kills the lady with the phallus! 
Girls sucking on ice-cream molded on the shape of the penis.
There is, even, an image of Heaven in one of Alexis' day-dreams. One of the two ladies in his dream looks bored sick. Why? Such a question would make a movie buff eager to revisit this image time and again even if he knows there won't be an answer to why.
The music in A Clockwork Orange is probably meant to denote that people don't really listen to it but rather possess it! The aversion experiment made Alex loathe  Beethoven's The Ninth Symphony, his favorite, apparently as an adverse effect to the experiment. Alex used to masturbate on it, anyway! So this adds one more of his rights lost to the correctionist authority.
Kubrick mockingly designs one act of rape in the style of an operatic stage scene which is dumbfounding. The rape of the writer's wife, and his beating, in Alex & gang's first home invasion is accompanied by Alex's singing of a Gene Kelly song, singing in the rain!
He uses the slow-motion in the scene where we see Alex and his gang walking by the bank of a river to augment our awareness of, and unease at, a vague sense of the heroic.
Countless are the findings in a Kubrickian image. Kubricks is a limitless discipline.   

 In 1971, A Clockwork Orange won two awards from the New York Film Critic's Circle: Best Picture and Best Director. The Academy recognized the picture with four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The British Academy followed suit, topping the American total with six. And the public-friendly Golden Globes accorded A Clockwork Orange a trio of nominations - one for the film, one for the director, and one for Malcolm McDowell as Best Actor.

Watch Full Movie Free Here

Movie Details and Specs

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
United Kingdom, 1971
Running Length: 2:17
MPAA Classification: R (Sex, nudity, violence, rape)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Warren Clarke, James Marcus, Aubrey Morris, Godfrey Quigley, Michael Bates
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick based on the novel by Anthony Burgess
Cinematography: John Alcott
Music: Walter Carlos


Popular posts from this blog

MovieGlobe: Japan's Version of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet (2007) JapanOriginal Article by: Fateh Mirghani-Japan

I have just finished watching the masterpiece of Shakespeare” Romeo and Juliet “in its Japanese version.
The quality of the movie is great and the soundtrack, injected with a little Japanese folklore music, has given it a sensational dimension and Eastern fascination!
Basically, the theme of the movie remains the same as the original play, and that has been a particular Japanese notion in dealing with other nations’ cultural products. Part of the reason may lay in Japan's sensitivity to other nations’cultural products- given the long standing historical disputes with its neighbours, and part of it may lay in a fierce sense of homogeneity that has come to characterize Japan as an island nation-state since time immemorial. Thus the Japanese, unlike the Americans, don’t seem to have the temerity to ‘Japanize’ others’ cultural stuff. The movie “Renaissance man”  can be cited as an example of American boldness. The …

Thursday Evening

Short Story by Ali Elmak* Translated by MM
Getting off the tram, he slipped. Was it the right or the left foot that skidded? It did not matter!  All that mattered really, all that he cared for at that hour, at that moment, was that he fell and soiled his pants. those characteristically beautiful white pants which he had preserved for Thursday evenings; for the soiree gatherings which started by hanging around in the market; loitering for short or long periods; then to the cinema house; any film and peace be upon him. Then, was this bad luck or what? Did he really need to take the tram for such a short distance? “That was a fair reward for your laziness” he said to himself. As for those pants, they were turned into a dusty colored thing. The more he shook those tiny particles off, the closer they became attached to the pants. Oh what a gloomy evening for you!  "Is this what concerned you?" thought he.

The posters of Alan Ladd and Van Heflin still stood their, at the cinema entrance.…

Movie Critic Review: Zorba The Greek (1964)

" All right, we go outside where God can see us better." Alexis Zorba "God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive; [slaps table] if a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go. I know because a very wise old Turk told me." Alexis Zorba

Zorba (Anthony Quinn) with a lascivious look lays the gentle order, 'Two beds Madam. Without bugs!' Mme Hortense defiantly tilts her head and answers proudly, 'Mme has not THE bugs!'

The bookish intellectual Basil  (Alan Bates) who has appeared unaffected by the collective vertigo experienced on the boat taking them to Crete, did not seem interested in this outward and stimulated first-time exchange between his newly-found companion, a robust natural philosopher named Alexis Zorbas and this old lady who rushed  to offer them her hospitality services in her own (Marriot) of a dilapidated house on this island of pathos and the poor. Mme Hortense then treats the c…