A Clockwork Orange

Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"
Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"

Historical Context

A Clockwork Orange was one of the most controversial films of the 1970s from one of cinema's most enigmatic directors, the great Stanley Kubrick. Fresh from the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange tells the story of a crime spree of a psychopathic youth gang in a dystopian Britain. The film was based on the 1962 novel of the same name.

The film was acclaimed in America and was a box office success. In the UK however, the film was pulled by Kubrick from circulation after a media frenzy over the violence in the movie. The film was connected to several murders committed by young people in Britain at the time. Kubrick's wife Christiane later recalled that the family received death threats and protestors outside their home.

A Clockwork Orange was also banned in Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and parts of Canada. In response to allegations that the film was causing violence, Kubrick replied: "To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life, but it does not create life, nor cause life. Furthermore, to attribute powerful suggestive qualities to a film is at odds with the scientifically accepted view that, even after deep hypnosis in a posthypnotic state, people cannot be made to do things which are at odds with their natures."

Photo Info


Photographer: Stanley Kubrick
Location taken: United Kingdom

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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