D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
A Clockwork Orange, 1971.
Written and Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Michael Tarn, James Marcus, Warren Clarke and David Prowse.
A Clockwork Orange is Stanley Kubrick’s highly stylised and controversial adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel. The film depicts a dystopian Britain plagued with youth gangs, crime, rape and ultra violence.
The story follows Alex (McDowell) a charming, but unhinged leader of a small youth gang who spend their time robbing, raping and generally committing crimes. Alex leads his little gang on a crime spree that sees them rape a woman and cripple her husband in their own home. The spree continues, but with his droogs unhappy with Alex’s leadership they set him up to get caught and imprisoned. The government then attempts to rehabilitate Alex using controversial psychological conditioning, which sees him unable to function in society.
Alex’s rehabilitation leaves him horrified by violence and unable to defend himself. When released back into society he finds that his possessions have been seized and his parents have rented out his room. As he wanders aimlessly he is attacked and almost killed before stumbling upon the house where he had raped the woman and crippled her husband. Unknown to the house owner and his man servant they take Alex in and care for him before realising who he is. Once the truth is revealed they hold him captive in an upstairs room and Alex jumps from the window and knocks himself unconscious.
Alex wakes in hospital and is apologised to by the Minister of the Interior. Despite all that has happened to him Alex appears to no longer have an aversion to violence and still no remorse for his actions.
The film deals with morality on a massive scale. The film’s main character Alex is a very devious and malicious young man who represents the troublesome youth within society. His character’s immorality is heightened beyond belief to really show the darker side of society and create a very shocked response from audiences. Not only is Alex immoral, but the majority of other characters within the film all have immoral viewpoints and act accordingly for a very dark tale. Even the victims within the film are unable to remain innocent.
A Clockwork Orange is a film you must see before you die because it so brutal, dark and menacing as well as sparking a boat-load of controversy. People sent death threats to Kubrick and many people blamed the film for copy-cat crimes that were taking place across the country. Kubrick pulled the film from British distribution shortly after one trial in 1972 where the film was vehemently blamed for the crimes in question and it wasn’t until 2000 that the film was available again.