SciFi
Clockwork Orange
.
Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Star: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Warren Clarke, James Marcus
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1971
Format: DVD R2
'

This film has received so much media hype over the years that I was quite excited to finally get to watch it, although I didn't have that much idea of what to expect.

Clockwork Orange was banned very soon after its release in the UK not by the film agencies but by the director and writer Stanley Kubrick, who would later become famous for directing the movie masterpiece 2001 and the Vietnam war film Full Metal Jacket.

Stanley Kubrick was tortured by guilt after copy cat incidents occurred in Britain mimicking some of the more gross bits of the film. So for thirty years until Kubrick's death the film remained in dusty vaults at various studios until it could finally be re-released.

Clockwork Orange is an abstract look into a futuristic English city and the deeds of so called Ultra Violence which plague it. The story is narrated by and follows the story of a young teenager named Alexander De Large (Malcolm Macdowell) who is a stereotypical gang leader in this city, gang members are referred to as Droogs and Alex has two members in his group Georgie Boy and Dim ( Warren Clarke who later starred in Dalziel and Pascoe).

The script is disjointed and sometimes very difficult to follow and the language used in the film by the characters is a cross between East End Rhyming slang and Shakespeare. Throughout the film electronic arrangements of well known pieces of classical music are included. There is also an extremely amusing high speed sex scene which is performed to William Tell's Overture.

Alex and his friends do over a Tramp in a subway for being dirty and bludgeon him with iron bars. Then after stealing a car they drive wildly into the night forcing other cars off the road and deliberately causing crashes. They stop at a remote house where an aged and somewhat eccentric writer and his wife live. Alex pretends to be someone asking for help and the woman opens the door. Alex kicks the old writer to the ground and continues to kick him until he is paralysed, then he and the other two droogs gang rape the wife.

Alex passes the treatment with flying colours but no one will accept him in the community and he meanders from one crisis to another until the rather amusing twist at the end.

Clockwork Orange in its day was no doubt a very shocking experience for the cinema goers and at that time probably left an unpleasant feeling with them. However the film has dated badly, and the furniture and decor by modern standards is hideous, the acting in some places is very wooden and I am now in no doubt whatsoever why John Savident ended up in Coronation Street, his acting ability is diabolical (no wander someone tried to stab him, I think I could do it myself) However Macdowell plays Alex very well, and there is a lot of humour in his narration of the film as well as very theatrical expressions throughout. The costumes are creative if somewhat weird and the film does flow quite well.

I would recommend that people watch this film if only to satisfy their curiosity, but don't expect to be shocked a lot of more violent films have been made since and Clockwork Orange is somewhat weak by comparison, Reservoir Dogs was about the same in its content.

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.66:1 Visual quality is excellent.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Great for the clasical music.
Features Trailer
Verdict Good transfer, but where are the extras? Given this films interesting history there should have been loads more to say.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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