Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Plot: 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.
According to Malcolm McDowell (on the commentary track from the 2007 DVD release), the sped-up sex scene was originally filmed as an unbroken take lasting 28 minutes.
The doctor standing over Alex as he is being forced to watch violent films was a real doctor, ensuring that Malcolm McDowell's eyes didn't dry up.
Alex performing "Singing in the Rain" as he attacks the writer and his wife was not scripted. Stanley Kubrick spent four days experimenting with this scene, finding it too conventional. Eventually he approached Malcolm McDowell and asked him if he could dance. They tried the scene again, this time with McDowell dancing and singing the only song he could remember. Kubrick was so amused that he swiftly bought the rights to "Singing in the Rain" for $10,000.
Before filming the scene where he had to carry Patrick Magee's wheelchair up the stairs, professional bodybuilder David Prowse went up to Stanley Kubrick and asked if he could make sure that (due to the difficulty of the task) he got the scene in as few takes as possible, saying, "You're not exactly known as 'one-take-Kubrick', are you?" The rest of the crew was horrified at such a famous director being talked to like this, but Kubrick just laughed and promised to do his best. The scene was filmed in only six takes, an incredibly small amount for a perfectionist like Kubrick. Even so, Prowse was near exhaustion after the repeated takes of him carrying Frank and his wheelchair down the stairs.
The film was unavailable for public viewing in the UK from 1973 until 2000, the year after Stanley Kubrick's death. British video stores were so inundated with requests for the movie that some took to putting up signs that read: 'No, we do not have A Clockwork Orange (1971).'
According to author Anthony Burgess, the title of the book (and the movie) came from East London slang, deriving from the phrase, "as queer as a clockwork orange." No independent references are known, however, and it is thought that Burgess invented the phrase himself.
Filming the rape scene was so difficult for the actress originally cast in the role that she quit. The part was recast with Adrienne Corri, who was said to have been furious at the large number of takes that Stanley Kubrick required, feeling it ought to have been done swiftly.
In the police station scene when Mr Deltoid (Aubrey Morris) spits in Alex's face, it is actually Steven Berkoff doing the spitting. After several takes, Morris complained to Stanley Kubrick that he had run out of saliva, and Berkoff volunteered his services until Kubrick's cameras captured the perfect 'spit-shot'.
Malcolm McDowell is actually urinating in the toilet scene early in the film, when he goes home and prepares for bed. He drank a lot of coffee before filming the shot.
Both Stanley Kubrick and Malcolm McDowell at one point in their lives regretted making this film. Kubrick found out that this film was causing gangs to form in the UK and the US, and even tried to stop the film's distribution. This caused confusion, because he had previously insisted that the original cut of the film be played in theaters. McDowell saw the film and was so disgusted by the character he created, he decided to avoid violent and unsettling films for the majority of his career. Eventually, the controversy had abated, and both since changed their minds because of the film's recognition as one of the greatest films of all time.
Alex is 15 years old by the beginning of the book and 17 by the end of it . However, to minimize controversy, his age started from 17 and ended at 19 in the film.
Alex "popping" his mouth open for food was entirely improvised, as Stanley Kubrick got incredibly bored during the scene and Malcolm McDowell started acting silly just to keep everyone's attention focused.
To film Alex's suicide attempt from his own perspective, a Newman Sinclair camera enclosed in a custom-built plastic box was thrown off a building six times until it finally landed pointing downwards. It broke the lens, but the camera itself survived otherwise unscathed. Stanley Kubrick later marveled at the durability of this particular type of camera.
When the Dim and Georgie as police are dragging Alex between them, their numbers are 665 and 667, implying that Alex is 666.
The novel and the film end very differently. The theme in the film is dark and evil, as Alex goes back to his old ultra violent ways. As for the novel, Alex indeed resumes a violent life, but that isn't the ending. Eventually, Alex genuinely wants to stop being a menace to society, to get a wife and live like a good citizen. This was because Kubrick based the script on the shortened US edition of the book, which omitted the final chapter
Malcolm McDowell's rib was accidentally broken during the demonstration scene in which he is prodded by the actor's shoe: "GO ON!" The take is in the film. McDowell further suffered a blood clot that was not diagnosed when his rib was treated, sending him back to the hospital a second time.
Malcolm McDowell insisted that a new shoe that had never touched the floor be used for the closeup of Alex licking it.
During the filming of the Ludovico technique scene, McDowell scratched a cornea, and was temporarily blinded.
The society depicted in the film was perceived by some as Communist due to its slight ties to Russian culture. In the novel, streets have paintings of working men in the style of Russian socialist art, and in the film, there is a mural of socialist artwork with obscenities drawn on it. Droogs is a Russian word for friend.
Based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name