The controversy that surrounded Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Anthony Burgess's dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange while the film was out of circulation suggested that it was like Romper Stomper: a glamorisation of the violent, virile lifestyle of its teenage protagonist, with a hypocritical gloss of condemnation to mask delight in rape and ultra-violence. Actually, it is as fable-like and abstract as The Pilgrim's Progress, with characters deliberately played as goonish sitcom creations. The anarchic rampage of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a bowler-hatted juvenile delinquent... of the future, is all over at the end of the first act. Apprehended by equally brutal authorities, he changes from defiant thug to cringing bootlicker, volunteering for a behaviourist experiment that removes his capacity to do evil.It's all stylised: from Burgess' invented pidgin Russian (snarled unforgettably by McDowell) to 2001-style slow tracks through sculpturally perfect sets (as with many Kubrick movies, the story could be told through decor alone) and exaggerated, grotesque performances on a par with those of Dr Strangelove (especially from Patrick Magee and Aubrey Morris). Made in 1971, based on a novel from 1962, A Clockwork Orange resonates across the years. Its future is now quaint, with Magee pecking out "subversive literature" on a giant IBM typewriter and "lovely, lovely Ludwig Van" on mini-cassette tapes. However, the world of "Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North" is very much with us: a housing estate where classical murals are obscenely vandalised, passers-by are rare and yobs loll about with nothing better to do than hurt people. On the DVD: The extras are skimpy, with just an impressionist trailer in the style of the film used to brainwash Alex and a list of awards for which Clockwork Orange was nominated and awarded. The box promises soundtracks in English, French and Italian and subtitles in ten languages, but the disc just has two English soundtracks (mono and Dolby Surround 5.1) and two sets of English subtitles. The terrific-looking "digitally restored and remastered" print is letterboxed at 1.66:1 and on a widescreen TV plays best at 14:9. The film looks as good as it ever has, with rich stable colours (especially and appropriately the orangey-red of the credits and the blood) and a clarity that highlights previously unnoticed details such as Alex's gouged eyeball cufflinks and enables you to read the newspaper articles which flash by. The 5.1 soundtrack option is amazingly rich, benefiting the nuances of performance as much as the classical/electronic music score and the subtly unsettling sound effects. --Kim Newman [show more]
"A Clockwork Orange", released in 1971 was one of the most controversial films of its time, and quite possibly still is. With the first half of the film revolving around shocking scenes of violence and rape, it's not surprising that many viewers fail to realise what this film is really about. In an attempt not to spoil this fantastic film for first time viewers, all i can really say is that it is quite simply one of the most thought provoking films of all time, reaching what may at first appear to be a reasonably disappointing conclusion, however before making any final judgements about this masterpiece, time should be spent considering the many questions raised by the film, not least of all those about the common youth culture which are possibly more relevant today than ever before. This is a true classic, even if it isnt for everyone. I would thoroughly recommend any serious cinema goers to watch this.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Stomping, whomping, stealing, singing, tap-dancing, violating. Derby-topped teddy-boy hooligan Alex has his own way of having a good time. He has it at the tragic expense of others. Alex's journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen forms the dynamic arc of Stanley Kubrick's future-shock vision of Anthony Burgess' novel. Unforgettable images startling musical counterpoints, the fascinating language used by Alex and his pals - Kubrick shapes them into a shattering whole. Hugely controversial when first released, A Clockwork Orange won the New York Film Critics Best Picture and Director honors and earned four Academy Award nominations, including best picture. The power of its art is such that it still entices, shocks and holds us in its grasp. Actors Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Adrienne Corri, Aubrey Morris, James Marcus, Mariam Karlin, Steven Berkoff, John Clive & David Prowse Director Stanley Kubrick Certificate 18 years and over Year 1971 Screen Widescreen 1.66:1 Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1) Additional Languages French ; Italian Subtitles English ; English For The Hard Of Hearing Duration 2 hours 12 minutes (approx) Region Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.
Stanley Kubrick's controversial film triggered copycat violence on its initial release and as a result the director withdrew the film from circulation in Britain, keeping it suppressed right up to his death in 1999. The film follows sadistic punk Alex (Malcolm McDowell) as he takes his gang on a rape and murder spree, showing absolutely no mercy to any of his victims. When he is eventually captured, the authorities subject him to a series of experiments designed to rid him of his violent tendencies.