Stanley Kubrick: A Clockwork Orange

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by lucifers angel, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

    i finally got to watch this last night, and i loved it, at the end of the film i was crieng like a baby, because i felt so sorry for A-Lex, yes i know he was a nasty piece of work but what he went through was terrible, and when his "mates" beat him up i cried, anyway here is a bit about the tfilm:


    The film opens with Alex and his droogs drinking at the Korova Milk Bar for purposes of (in the words of Alex’s voice-over narration) “sharpening up their minds” with Narcotic-spiked milk for “the old ultraviolence”. After leaving they ridicule and beat an elderly vagrant under a motorway flyover at night. They then get into a gang brawl with a rival gang led by Billy Boy, but leave when they hear the police coming. Then follows a high speed country night-drive with a stolen car. They gain entry into the house of a writer through a deceptive ruse claiming that they need to use the phone to call an ambulance. They assault the writer and rape his wife while Alex sings "Singing in the Rain". After getting rid of the car, they return to Korova milk bar. At a different table are some well-dressed guests including a woman who starts singing the melody of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Dim expresses his dislike of this music by making a rude noise, whereupon Alex immediately hits Dim sharply with his cane. Being very fond of classical music, Alex finds Dim’s attitude disrespectful. When Alex returns to his own home, he puts on a cassette tape of Beethoven’s Ninth. This is accompanied by a fantasy montage of violent images.

    Alex’s mother attempts to wake him up, but Alex claims that he is too sick to go to school. He gets a visit from a social worker, Mr. Deltoid, who suspects Alex has been up to “some nastiness”. Alex then goes to a music shop and picks up two young women. When Alex later that day meets up with his Droogs, they express displeasure with his leadership stating they want to run things differently according to a “new way” that entails more ambitious crime and “no more picking on Dim”. While they are walking by a canal, Alex without warning suddenly attacks the other Droogs in a move to reestablish his leadership.

    The Droogs' next job is to burgle the home of a woman who runs a health farm and owns an enormous number of cats and suggestive works of art. Alex and the “cat lady” get into a fight which results in Alex’s mortally wounding her with a large penis statue. When Alex exits the house, his fellow Droogs attack him, the police arrive, and Alex is arrested.

    He is visited in the interrogation room by Mr. Deltoid, who tells him he is “now a murderer”after the 'cat lady" dies in the hospital. Arriving at the jail, Alex is processed and assigned the number #655321. In jail, he develops a relationship with the prison chaplain, a kindly soul who preaches to the prisoners about hellfire and damnation. Alex begins studying the Bible, but largely identifies with the violent characters in it, including a soldier who whips Jesus. Alex discovers about a new experimental medical procedure called the Ludovico technique an experimental aversion therapy for rehabilitating criminals. When the Minister of the Interior visits the prison looking for potential candidates for this treatment, Alex presents himself as a possible candidate for it. Alex is chosen and reports to the Ludivico facility. He is made to wear a straitjacket and watch films containing extreme scenes of violence while being given drugs to induce reactions of revulsion and regurgitation. At one point, Alex notes that the soundtrack on one film is music by Beethoven. He shrieks in agony realizing that he will now have similar feelings of revulsion towards Beethoven’s music. He yells out “I’m cured, praise God” hoping to have the treatment prematurely terminated.

    When the treatment is concluded, a demonstration of the technique’s effects is given to an audience that includes the prime minister and one of the prison guards. In this demonstration, an actor gratuitously insults and then picks a fight with Alex, and Alex is unable to fight back. The other man forces Alex to lick his boot. This is followed by the appearance of a nude woman who stands in front of Alex. Alex gets up and attempts to reach for her breasts but “the sickness” suddenly floods over him and he is unable to continue any interaction with her. At the end of this demonstration the Minister of the Interior declares that Alex is now a “true Christian” over the prison chaplain’s protests that Alex has no free choice.

    Alex returns home hoping for a reunion with his parents, but they have taken on a new lodger who now lives in his room whom they decline to evict, leaving Alex to fend for himself. Alex wanders the streets, and runs into the tramp that he and his droogs beat up at the beginning of the film. The tramp summons several of his friends all of whom now assault Alex, who is of course unable to fight back. Two police arrive to break up the brawl, but they turn out to be two of Alex’s old droogs who now work for the police. They continue to bear a grudge against him and take him out to the country and savagely beat him, then abandoning him. Alex, now in very bad shape, stumbles on the country house of the writer whose wife he had raped two years earlier. The writer, Mr. Alexander, does not at first recognize Alex as his wife’s rapist, as Alex had been masked at the time. But Mr. Alexander does recognize Alex as the young lad in the news who had been subjected to the Ludovico technique. Mr. Alexander takes Alex in. However, the writer does realize who Alex is when he hears him singing the song “Singin’ in the Rain” in the bathtub, as Alex had also sung this song when raping the writer’s wife. Mr. Alexander first drugs Alex and then locks him in a room on the upper story of a house, while blasting the music of Beethoven’s Ninth at full volume from a stereo on the floor below. Mr. Alexander knows that Alex will have a revulsion reaction to this from the side-effect of the Ludivico technique, and as Mr. Alexander predicts, Alex jumps out of the third-story window of the house.

    The action now cuts to Alex in traction at a hospital. When he awakes, he is given a psychological test of a slide show of pictures. He is asked to say what he thinks the characters are saying. His answers are typically violent. Alex reports having had dreams about doctors messing around inside his “gulliver” (head). Alex is now visited by the prime minister who tells him how much he regrets subjecting Alex to the Ludovico treatment, and reassures him that the state will look after him from hereon, and that the writer, Mr. Alexander, has been arrested. Alex is also told he will be granted an important government job. As a token of good will, the prime minister has wheeled into Alex’s room a large stereo system playing Beethoven’s Ninth. Alex realizes that he is having no aversion reactions. He briefly has a fantasy of him having sex with a naked woman while Victorian age figures look on applauding. The film closes with his words “I was cured all right”.

    The closing credits are accompanied by Gene Kelly’s rendition of “Singin’ in the Rain”.


    Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge (or Burgess)
    Warren Clarke as Dim
    James Marcus as Georgie
    Patrick Magee as Frank Alexander
    Adrienne Corri as Mrs. Alexander
    Michael Bates as Chief Guard
    John Clive as Stage Actor
    Aubrey Morris as Mr. P.R. Deltoid
    David Prowse as Julian
    Tony Hargreaves as Prison Guard
    Michael Tarn as Pete


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    has anyone else seen this, if so what did you think?

    i thought it was brilliant, and i might watch it again today!
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  3. CarpetDiem Burnin' hours, season days Registered Senior Member

    LA, where you been girl? Last time we heard from your daughter you took ill. Hope you're OK now. Yup, CO is a cult movie and topical even by todays' standards. Frightening, surreal and real all at the same time. A rite of passage in so many ways. Same pathos for Jack Nicholson's ending in 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest'.:bawl:
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  5. BlueMoose Guest

    Masterpiece. Kubrick films are full of metaphors.
    It went somewhat over my head at first time, I was 15 or so, I have watched it about five times now, every time I watched it seemed "different".
    Also I liked Full Metal Jacket, one the best war film IMO

    The original poster.

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    What do you all think, what is the orange ?
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  7. BlueMoose Guest

    -Agreed. Cuckoo´s Nest is one of my all time favorites, I have watched that too about 7 times or so

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  8. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    I think we are about even on how many times I have watched it. I still get a kick out of it no matter how many times I see it. That line "It's Medication Time" has stuck with me from the first time I saw it.

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  9. CarpetDiem Burnin' hours, season days Registered Senior Member

    Apparently according to Wiki, its a reference to an old Cockney expression, "as queer as a clockwork orange". Related to him serving in Malaysia and the author Burgess thought "that the phrase could be used punningly to refer to a mechanically responsive (clockwork) human (orang, Malay for "man")". I suppose.:shrug:
  10. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    I remember this film when it first came out.
    They had to ban it because people were copying the violence in the film.
    The actual kicking to death of a vagrant in Britain led to the banning.
    In the film, it is shown as an enjoyable event, with "Ludvig Van" accompaniment.

    I can remember being in the house of a skinhead listening to a soundtrack from it, a moog version I think.
    People who celebrated violence liked it. As a youth cult, it was beginning to take off in the UK.

    Other than that.
    It is one of the best crafted films ever made.

    Glad you are back LA, I was worried about you.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I've also enjoyed the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and 2001: A Space Odyssey as well , if not even more. The Clockwork movie , to me, was just to violent for my liking. Strangelove was a very funny but yet made you think about things type of movie when it came out. I was lucky enough to see these movies when they first came out and have enjoyed hios quality of filmaking ever since he made Sparticus with Kirk Douglas back in the 1950's.
  12. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

  13. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

    One of the best ever. The book is interesting but the movie better. The book actually has an extra chapter that was cut from the movie that changes the whole point.

    Kubrick had a way with taking good books and making them into truly great movies. Shining, 2001, clockwork.....
  14. oiram Registered Senior Member

    Weird film, but it was really good.
  15. BlueMoose Guest

    Some symbolism, both posters have something in common, the sun. A-Lex (the law) of
    Sun, orange is sun in symbolism, the eye is sun in symbolism, thats why the other eye of Alex is highlighted, the eye of Horus. Prove me wrong

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  16. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    Great film! I used to watch it religiously! The book ends differently from the movie. Its a much happier ending.


    In the book, Alex is in a park ( I think) and sees a young couple cradling their new born child. He observes how both of the parents are so in love with each other and are acting all googly over the child, and the while scene really touches Alex. He decides on his own that he no longer wants to be a violent person. That he is so touched by the scene that he wants to someday have the same thing. He goes on to describe the life he wants, and he feels a sense of peace at his decision.
  17. BlueMoose Guest

  18. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I've always assumed it was simply a metophor for an organic being (be it a human or an orange) being forced to function like a machine (losing your freewill). Great film.
  19. CheskiChips Banned Banned

    Horrible cult film for pseudo-intellectuals to speak down on others...garbage.
  20. BlueMoose Guest

    -Its that too, there is no contradiction. The free will, thats right, maybe thats why Alex is obsessed with Beethoven ninth symphony and the snake, The Ode To Joy and the Serpent.?. The Serpent was the one that lured us to free will. The film speaks through metaphors, Alex is metaphor himself, white man with dress shirt, cane and derby hat "ruling the world" with fascism the (army boots) and "serving" the phallus, patriarchal over matriarchal, thats why the jockstraps and the big porcelain cock in raping scene.
    The contradictions with Ode To Joy used in violence fantasies and Singing In The Rain used in violence scenes are metaphors for the worlds contradictions, we speak lovely things and do the opposite.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2008
  21. BlueMoose Guest

    -You really make a compelling speaking down to others...

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  22. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    Who does the film make one speak down on?

    I thought people actually ended up talking down on certain kinds of government policies, or dehumanizing aspects of society, even intellectuals, I suppose.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    As skaught has pointed out, the book "ends" differently -and that difference is the major basis of the book.

    The book has character development. Alex changes. The movie takes place entirely within Alex's amoral viewpoint as an adolescent, and revolves around a conflict with arbitrary authority - a great simplification, and a missing of the whole point, of the book.

    I don't want to overpraise the book. But the movie was, comparatively, an oil slick.

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