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A Clockwork Orange Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Bryan Reesman

Stanley Kubrick's striking visual interpretation of Anthony Burgess's famous novel is a masterpiece. Malcolm McDowell delivers a clever, tongue-in-cheek performance as Alex, the leader of a quartet of droogs, a vicious group of young hoodlums who spend their nights stealing cars, fighting rival gangs, breaking into people's homes, and raping women. While other directors would simply exploit the violent elements of such a film without subtext, Kubrick maintains Burgess's dark, satirical social commentary. We watch Alex transform from a free-roaming miscreant into a convict used in a government experiment that attempts to reform criminals through an unorthodox new medical treatment. The catch, of course, is that this therapy may be nothing better than a quick cure-all for a society plagued by rampant crime. A Clockwork Orange works on many levels--visual, social, political, and sexual--and is one of the few films that hold up under repeated viewings. Kubrick not only presents colorfully arresting images, he also stylizes the film by utilizing classical music (and Wendy Carlos's electronic classical work) to underscore the violent scenes, which even today are disturbing in their display of sheer nihilism. Ironically, many fans of the film have missed that point, sadly being entertained by its brutality rather than being repulsed by it.

Academy Awards

A Clockwork Orange received Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kubrick - Producer), Directing (Stanley Kubrick), Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium; Stanley Kubrick), and Film Editing (Bill Butler).

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Your Memories Shared!

"My parents refused to let me see this movie, even though it was a Kubrick film and I was convinced that anything the director of 2001 did *had* to be great. Finally, at the ripe old age of 42, I rented it and watched it while the kids were at Grandma's and the wife went out of town on business. I understand why this film caused such a stir; the violent and blatantly sexual images were disturbing even to a jaded old Master Sergeant.

I was entranced, however, by the commentary the film provided on society, the nature of violence, and politics. The last half-hour, when the protagonist is rehabilitated *out* of his punishment, is a damning expose' of what politicians are willing to do to stay in power. Kubrick was a certifiable genius, and I don't care who knows it."

--Sgt. Bob

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated ROn an American Film Institute 100 list (click here to learn more)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Aubrey Morris, James Marcus, Steven Berkoff

Released: December 19, 1971

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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