A Clockwork Orange (1971)

35mm film, colour, black and white, 1.33:1 (negative ratio), 1.66:1 (intended ratio)
mono, Dolby Stereo (re-issues), English

A British/American science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Plot Summary

In the near future, teenage thug Alex Delarge is brought to justice after an orgy of rape, murder and ultra-violence. His punishment is the Ludovici Treatment, government sanctioned brainwashing to make him a model citizen.


Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
© MCMLXII by Warner Bros. Inc and Polaris Productions Inc.
Warner Bros., a Kinney company, presents a Stanley Kubrick production. Made by Hawk Films Limited. Distributed by Warner Bros. a Kinney company
Executive Producers: Max L. Raab and Si Litvinoff
Produced by: Stanley Kubrick
Associate Producer: Bernard Williams
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick
Based on the novel by: Anthony Burgess
Lighting Cameraman: John Alcott
Editor: Bill Butler
Music Composed and Realised by: Walter Carlos
Sound Recordist: John Jordan
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
Make Up: Fred Williamson, George Partleton, Barbara Daly
Hairdresser: Olga Angelinetta
Production Designer: John Barry
Locations: Aylesbury, England, UK (tramp scene); Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, UK (Ludovici Centre); Festival Embankment, London, England, UK (last tramp scene); Joyden's Wood, Bexley, Kent, England, UK (Alex being beaten by Dim and Georgie); Shenley Lodge, Shenley, Hertfordshire, England, UK; Thamesmead South Estate, London, England, UK
Made at Pinewood Studios, London, England, at EMI-MGM Studios, Borehamwood, Herts, England and on location in England

Malcolm McDowell (Alex DeLarge)
Patrick Magee (Frank Alexander)
Michael Bates (chief guard)
Warren Clarke (Dim)
John Clive (stage actor)
Adrienne Corri (Mrs Alexander)
Carl Duering (Dr Brodsky)
Paul Farrell (tramp)
Clive Francis (Joe, the lodger)
Michael Gover (prison governor)
Miriam Karlin (cat lady)
James Marcus (Georgie)
Aubrey Morris (Deltoid)
Godfrey Quigley (prison chaplain)
Sheila Raynor (mum)
Madge Ryan (Dr Branom)
John Savident (conspirator)
Anthony Sharp (minister)
Philip Stone (dad)
Pauline Taylor (psychiatrist)

Alternative Titles

Arancia meccanica – Italy
Uhrwerk Orange – Germany

Extracts included in
Here's Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991)

See also
1984: A Personal View of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four (1983)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movies (1998)
Animal Room (1995)
The Avengers (1998)
Batman and Robin (1997)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Bowfinger (1999)
Dark City (1998)
Deadbeat at Dawn (1988)
Dellamorte dellamore (1994)
Disturbed (1990)
Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Dogma (1999)
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Due occhi diabolici (1990)
Fight Club (1999)
Funny Games (1997)
Hackers (1995)
Heavy Metal (1981)
M (1931)
Mad Max (1979)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Precious Images (1986)
Singin' in the Rain (1951)
Sleeper (1973)
Trainspotting (1996)

Production Notes

Although the film opened in London on 19 December 1971, it didn't go on general release (on the ABC cinema circuit) until 21 January 1973.

To celebrate the film's first anniversary in British cinemas, Warner Bros. held a party at the Cafe Royal attended by Aubrey Morris, Miriam Karlin and Virginia Wetherell. It was, in part, to celebrate the film being Warner's first ever release to run continuously for over a year in cinemas in the West End of London. That same week (beginning Saturday 13 January 1973) the film opened at two new screens, the ABCs in Edgware Road and Fulham Road where it continued to do well at the box office.

Censorship History
In the UK A Clockwork Orange was unavailable for legal public viewing throughout most of the 70s, 80s and 90s but this was not due the BBFC refusing it a certificate. It was Kubrick himself, disturbed by stories in the British press linking the film to ‘copycat' killings, who removed it from circulation. It was issued again after Kubrick's death.


CinemaTV Today no.9965 (29 January 1972) p.18
Perhaps it is because I have seen all three fairly recently that I was struck by the thought that A Clockwork Orange needs to be seen as one part of what you might think to be a very unlikely trilogy in which the other two are The French Connection and Ken Loach's Family Life. The French Connection shows us the legalised violence that is arguably inevitable in crime prevention. Family Life reveals the well-intentioned assaults that the family and society may make on our minds under the banner of conformity. A Clockwork Orange displays the logical outcome when these two schools of thought unite. Stanley Kubrick has taken a very ingenious but rather meretricious novel and developed it in such a way that it is convincingly accurate as a forecast of what life could soon be like if trends in behaviour, art, architecture, entertainment and the more insensitive decisions of the planners continue unchecked. In this stylised yet wholly believable setting, the characters move like creatures in a nightmare performing actions that are horrific yet safely distanced from us by a gauze of unreality. A film about violence, both physical and mental, must necessarily include scenes which may distress and disgust. It is perhaps a measure of our own confusion that we may react against the sights and sounds of physical violence more immediately than we do against the more subtly disgusting onslaughts of mind on mind that are also portrayed. – from a review (The new films) by Marjorie Bilbow

The New Yorker January 1972
Stanley Kubrick has assumed the deformed, self-righteous perspective of a vicious young punk who says, “Everything's rotten. Why shouldn't I do what I want? They're worse than I am.” In the new mood (perhaps movies in their cumulative effect are partly responsible for it), people want to believe the hyperbolic worst, want to believe in the degradation of the victims — that they are dupes and phonies and weaklings. I can't accept that Kubrick is merely reflecting this post-assassinations, post-Manson mood; I think he's catering to it. I think he wants to dig it. – from a review by Pauline Kael

The Times 31 August 2000 p.19 (UK)
[B]ack from legend after decades away, looking brilliant, nasty, funny, dated and prophetic all at once. Not a film for repeated viewings, but worth a trip to the rental shop to see what the fuss was all about. – from a video review (by Geoff Brown)



  • The Times 31 August 2000 p.19 – video review (by Geoff Brown)


  • American Cinematographer vol.80 no.10 (October 1999) pp.52-61 – illustrated credits, article
  • Cinema vol.7 no.3 (Winter 1972/1973) pp.48-57 – article
  • CinemaTV Today no.9963 (15 January 1972) pp.8; 31 – illustrated interview with Stanley Kubrick (Sex, ultra violence, Beethoven and Stanley Kubrick by David Lewin); trade show details
  • CinemaTV Today no.9965 (29 January 1972) p.18 – review (The new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10014 (13 January 1973) p.5 – note (General releases)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10015 (20 January 1973) p.21 – note (General releases)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10017 (3 February 1973) p.4 – note
  • CinemaTV Today no.10026 (7 April 1973) p.32 – note (Tango', ‘Orange' pack them in – at 9 a.m.!)
  • Creative Screenwriting vol.6 no.4 (July /August 1999) pp.38-41 – illustrated article
  • Empire no.43 (January 1993) p.7 – illustrated article (It's My Movie…)
  • Empire no.54 (December 1993) pp.64-71 – illustrated article (Alex through the looking glass by Tony Parsons); interviews with Malcolm McDowell, Anthony Burgess, Alexander Walker and Ron Scammel
  • Film Review Special no.25: Sci-Fi (1998) pp.22-23 – illustrated article
  • Film Score Monthly vol.4 no.3 (March 1999) pp.18-23 – illustrated interview
  • Filmfax no.74 (August/September 1999) p.32 – illustrated review
  • Films and Filming vol.18 no.5 (February 1972) pp.12, 49 – review
  • Films in Review vol.46 no.1/2 (January/February 1995) pp.40-43 – illustrated article (The new violence or twenty years of violence in films: An appreciation by Michael Eric Stein)
  • Flicks September 2000 p.85 – illustrated video review (by Phil Hoad)
  • Index on Censorship vol.24 no.6 (1995) pp.48-52 – illustrated article
  • International Media Law vol.13 no.8 (August 1995) pp.63-64 – article
  • Invasion no.11 (1995) pp.52-44 – illustrated review
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.1 no.2 (April 1973) pp.122-131 – article
  • Making Films in New York vol.6 no.1 (February 1972) p.37 – review
  • The Movie p.1560 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 no.457 (February 1972) pp.28-29 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The New Yorker January 1972 – review (by Pauline Kael) [http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0051.html full review on line here]
  • PACT Magazine no.26 (December 1993) p.12 – article
  • Positif no.136 (March 1972) pp.22-27 – illustrated article
  • Positif no.439 (September 1997) pp.94-95; 96-98 – article; illustrated article
  • Samhain no.8 p.23 – illustrated review (by John Martin)
  • Screen International no.227 (9-16 February 1980) p.7 – illustrated interview with James Ferman (The censor's role in the '80s by Colin Vaines)
  • Screen International no.894 (12 February 1993) p.7 – illustrated note
  • Sight & Sound vol.9 no.9 (September 1999)pp.24-27 – illustrated article
  • Sight & Sound vol.41 no.2 (Spring 1972) pp.62-66 – illustrated interview with Stanley Kubrick (by Philip Strick and Penelope Houston)
  • Sight & Sound vol.42 no.1 (Winter 1972/1973) pp.44-46 – illustrated article (A Clockwork Orange by Don Daniels)
  • Starburst no.178 (June 1993) p.8 – note
  • Today's Cinema no.9803 (12 May 1970) p.33 – note (McDowell in ‘Orange)
  • TV World April 1998 p.12 – article
  • Velvet Light Trap no.13 (Autumn 1974) pp.11-12 – illustrated article (Violence and film: The thesis of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange by Walter Evans)
  • Velvet Light Trap no.16 (Autumn 1976) pp.28-31 – illustrated article (A Clockwork Orange by Kenneth Moshowitz)


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.297-298 – illustrated credits, review
  • The BFI Companion to Crime pp.84-85 – short review
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.31-32 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick by Norman Kagan pp.167-187; 204 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick by Peter J. Bailey (ed.) pp.x, xi, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 22, 28, 38, 39, 40, 51, 52, 56, 59, 85, 98, 131, 155, 158, 159, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 180, 183, 184, 188, 193, 194, 195, 199, 204, 207, 210, 216, 217, 219, 220, 221, 226, 249, 254, 257, 259
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.62-63 – illustrated credits, review (by V.P.H. [Victor Paul Hitchcock] and J.C.T. [John C. Tibbetts])
  • Film Review 1972-1973 by F. Maurice Speed p.215 – credits
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.74 – credits, short review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.60-61 – credits
  • The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide by Stephen Jones p.68 – credits, short review
  • by Walt Lee p.69 – credits
  • Science Fiction Films of the Seventies by Craig W. Anderson pp.41-46 – credits, review
  • Science Fiction in the Movies: An A-Z by Roy Pickard p.14 – credits, note
  • Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey by Gene D. Phillips pp.154-170; 186-187 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • The Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard pp.117-132 – illustrated credits, chapter
  • Stanley Kubrick Directs by Alexander Walker pp.268-299; 304 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual by Nathan Abrams pp.14, 21, 33, 124, 142-164, 165, 168, 171, 181, 183, 186, 217, 219-230, 221, 232, 237, 241, 262, 266