Friday, March 13, 2015

525. A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Pictured above is the device that was needed to make me sit through this film.  I promise there will come a time when I like a Stanley Kubrick film, but this isn't it.  In fact, this is one of my least favorite movies of all time. Please be gentle in the comment section.  I have a family!

All right, let's get this over with.  Alex and his "droogs" get high off of milk, presumably milk that is laced with drugs or maybe they just go really crazy for milk.  Anyway, they engage in "ultra-violence" which includes crippling a man for life and raping a woman in front of her husband.  Blah, blah, blah, Beethoven music.  Alex is sent to prison and volunteers to do an experimental procedure to cure him of his violence in exchange for a shorter sentence. Blah, blah, blah is safety better than free will?  Wasn't that a mature and sophisticated synopsis?

I think I have mentioned before how any rape scene in a film completely ruins the movie for me.  It is extremely upsetting for me to watch, I have nightmares for days afterward, and I can't stop thinking about it.  I am not sure what exactly I want done about it.  On the one hand, a crime that is so traumatic and prevalent in society can't just be completely ignored in film.  On the other hand, if it is being used for shock value or, in this case, portrayed in a disgustingly silly way, shouldn't we eliminate it altogether?

I am all for having an anti-hero, but surely the filmmakers can't expect us to mourn Alex's loss of free will?  However, that is what it felt like at the end.  I wish he had been strapped in that chair longer.  They should have forced him to watch W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism.  Or this film.  That's true punishment.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Stanley Kubrick added the snake to the movie because Malcolm McDowell was afraid of reptiles.  This guy had some serious issues.

Gene Kelly was extremely upset about how the song "Singin' in the Rain" was used in the film.  Don't blame him one bit.

Several copycat crimes were committed in the UK after this was released.  It was then withdrawn.  Dear lord.

Malcolm McDowell's corneas were scratched several times during filming.


  1. Oh boy .. this one... A deeply, deeply disturbing film.. but it is supposed to be. That is it's point

    This has some history for me. When I was younger, I was there when it came out. I saw all the hysteria.. the outrage over the (supposed) copy cat killings.. and the banning. I had been too young to see it when it came out.. and so wondered what it was like all through the ban. I heard from people who were supposed to have seen it, and, occasionaly heard rumours of dark back sreet shops that could 'get you a copy' on well doddgy tape' at silly prices.
    This, of course, was well before the internet age. I bet, now, with very little effort you can find all sorts of 'missing scenes' - real or not.

    Anyway, when it, at last came out, I went to see it
    The worst aspect of the experience? That was me. coming out muttering uncharacteristic reactionary things like 'ban this sick filth now'
    I hated it. All the same reaction you did Amanda .. rape for entertainment.. and, somehow.. sort of 'softened' by the almost lighthearted way in which it was shown
    But I believe I was wrong. That trivialisation of the rape? How it shocked us? Well, that was the point...That Alex and his mob were so .. corrupted.. that they saw something like a viscious rape as 'a bit of fun'.. and we were supposed to be appalled by that.
    The thing is... the more we are told - and showed - about such things.. I'm afraid there IS de sensitivation (?? the right word? Right spelling??).. and, however good the intent, the simple portrayal, drip by drip, makes it almost acceptable.
    As for the rest of the message... freewill V the need for society to controll it's wayward citizens... Again .. so many dilemas. The highly liberal part of me is, of course, appalled at the methods used to destroy a person.. but then the non liberal side of the brain kicks in and admits that I'm really, REALLY glad that Alex is off the streets.. or at least not in a street near me.
    So.. in the end, have I agreed with you or not? Do I still hate this film? Well, in a way yes.. in that I have no desire to ever see it again. Do I think it is a one star film that shouldn't have been made? No.
    In other words .. a typical vague wishy washy liberal "ohh I'm not sure" answer from me. Oh dear..

    1. Lol I understand your dilemma. I just thought it was rather unnecessary; of course rape is horrifying, why do I need to see it? Maybe some people do? It's just something I wish I hadn't seen.

  2. Hate, hate, hated this film. Hate it.

  3. Sorry Diane, i didn't quite get what you were trying to say there......


  4. My own conclusion when I watched this was that it was VERY impressive but that I did not LIKE it.
    I guess that places me in Ray's ring-corner.
    It is tremendously effective. I gout super disgusted with Alex and his nihilistic lack of empathy, but then the pictures turn and we see that all his surroundings suffer from a similar nihilistic and very selfish lack of empathy. Sort of an "who are we to judge" movie. I felt physically sick watching it, but it also made me think. It goes all in and I have to respect that.