A Clockwork Orange
(1971-present)

thing and film

Aged 50

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It employs disturbing, violent images to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian near-future Britain. Alex (Malcolm McDowell), the central character, is a charismatic, antisocial delinquent whose interests include classical music (especially Beethoven), committing rape, theft and what is termed "ultra-violence". He leads a small gang of thugs, Pete (Michael Tarn), Georgie (James Marcus), and Dim (Warren Clarke), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian word друг, "friend", "buddy"). The film chronicles the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via an experimental psychological conditioning technique (the "Ludovico Technique") promoted by the Minister of the Interior (Anthony Sharp). Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat, a fractured adolescent slang composed of Slavic (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang. The film premiered in New York City on 19 December 1971 and was released in the United Kingdom on 13 January 1972. The film was met with polarised reviews from critics, and was also heavily controversial due to its depictions of graphic violence. It was later withdrawn from British cinemas at Kubrick's behest, and was also banned in several other countries. In the years following, the film underwent a critical re-evaluation and gained a cult following. It received several awards and nominations, including four nominations at the 44th Academy Awards. In 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Alex May on Flickr

Canterbury House Refurbishment 2004-6 Location site of scenes from A Clockwork Orange (1971) a film directed by Stanley Kubrick (1928-99) founder member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain and recipient of its lifetime achievement award 1999

Canterbury House, Stratfield Road, Borehamwood, United Kingdom where it was filmed