Stanley Kubrick's first cut (before hiring several assistant editors) ran almost four hours.
Malcolm McDowell's eyes were anesthetized for the torture scenes so that he would film for periods of time without too much discomfort. Nevertheless his corneas got repeatedly scratched by the metal lid locks.
According to Malcolm McDowell (on the commentary track from the 2007 DVD release), the sped-up sex scene was originally filmed as an unbroken take lasting 28 minutes.
The doctor standing over Alex as he is being forced to watch violent films was a real doctor, ensuring that Malcolm McDowell's eyes didn't dry up.
The snake, Basil, was introduced into the film by Stanley Kubrick when he found out Malcolm McDowell had a fear of reptiles. The stated purpose was to make McDowell's character seem more intimidating, but secondarily it functioned as a practical joke by Kubrick.
When Malcolm McDowell met Gene Kelly at a party several years later, the older star turned and walked away in disgust. Kelly was deeply upset about the way his signature from Singin' in the Rain (1952) had been portrayed in A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Korova Milk Bar is named after the Russian word for cow. Moloko (written on the wall) means milk. The bar's sculptures were based on the work of sculptor Allen Jones. Stanley Kubrick had the milk dispensers emptied, washed and refilled every hour, as the milk curdled under the studio lights.
Alex performing "Singing in the Rain" as he attacks the writer and his wife was not scripted. Stanley Kubrick spent four days experimenting with this scene, finding it too conventional. Eventually he approached Malcolm McDowell and asked him if he could dance. They tried the scene again, this time with McDowell dancing and singing the only song he could remember. Kubrick was so amused that he swiftly bought the rights to "Singing in the Rain" for $10,000.
Malcolm McDowell chose to play Alex speaking in his normal Northern English accent instead of a Cockney accent. McDowell felt his softer accent would strike an interesting contrast with Alex's menacing personality and also help him stand out amongst his friends.
During the filming of the Ludovico scene, star Malcolm McDowell scratched one of his corneas and was temporarily blinded. He suffered cracked ribs during filming of the humiliation stage show.
The two copycat crimes that prompted Stanley Kubrick to have the film withdrawn in the United Kingdom were the rape of a Dutch girl in Lancashire in 1973 at the hands of men singing "Singin' in the Rain" and the violence of a 16 year old boy who had beaten a younger child whilst wearing Alex's uniform of white overalls, a black bowler hat and combat boots.
Before filming the scene where he had to carry Patrick Magee's wheelchair up the stairs, professional bodybuilder David Prowse went up to Stanley Kubrick and asked if he could make sure that (due to the difficulty of the task) he got the scene in as few takes as possible, saying, "You're not exactly known as 'one-take-Kubrick', are you?" The rest of the crew was horrified at such a famous director being talked to like this, but Kubrick just laughed and promised to do his best. The scene was filmed in only six takes, an incredibly small amount for a perfectionist like Kubrick. Even so, Prowse was near exhaustion after the repeated takes of him carrying Frank and his wheelchair down the stairs.
The film was unavailable for public viewing in the UK from 1973 until 2000, the year after Stanley Kubrick's death. British video stores were so inundated with requests for the movie that some took to putting up signs that read: 'No, we do not have A Clockwork Orange (1971).'
Although he is playing a 15-year-old (17 in the latter half), Malcolm McDowell was actually 27 at the time of filming.
Before the rape scene was filmed, Adrienne Corri walked up to Malcolm McDowell and said, "Well, Malcolm, today you're going to find out I'm a real redhead".
Anthony Burgess was raised a strict Roman Catholic (even though he has an obsession with the tarot), he originally wrote his novel as a parable about Christian free will and forgiveness. His take on it was that to be a true Christian, one had to forgive the most horrifying of acts, something Burgess knew only too well, having seen his wife be assaulted and beaten by American soldiers during World War II. This attack resulted in a miscarriage and a lifetime of gynecological troubles for his wife.
According to author Anthony Burgess, the title of the book (and the movie) came from East London slang, deriving from the phrase, "as queer as a clockwork orange." No independent references are known, however, and it is thought that Burgess invented the phrase himself.
One of the first films to employ radio mics to record the sound. No post synching was required.
The doorbell at the Alexander residence, "Home," plays the first four notes of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" (but in a different key).
The first movie to make use of Dolby sound, it used Dolby noise reduction on all pre-mixes and masters, but a conventional optical sound track on release prints.
While recording narration, Malcolm McDowell would often feel the need to stretch his legs. So to satisfy McDowell and quite possibly get better narration from him, Stanley Kubrick and McDowell would play table tennis (a sport featured in Kubrick's own Lolita (1962)), and although they played many games, Kubrick never beat a rather skilled McDowell at table tennis. McDowell was later irritated to find that his salary had been docked for the hours spent playing the game. McDowell often kept Kubrick highly amused by his ability to belch on command (as illustrated at various points of the movie). They would play chess as well, and since Kubrick was an excellent chess player, McDowell never managed to beat him. Chess was a regular thing with many actors in Kubrick's films. He would regularly beat George C. Scott at chess while making Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and also Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall on The Shining (1980).
Contrary to popular claims, this was never banned in the UK. It originally received an "X" rating in 1971 and was withdrawn from distribution in 1973 by Stanley Kubrick himself. One of Kubrick's reasons for withdrawing the movie in the UK was that, according to his wife Christiane Kubrick, he and his family received several death threats because of the film. In the 1980s and 1990s, British fans who wanted to see this movie would have to order it from video stores in other countries, usually France. In 1993 London's popular Scala Film Club showed this movie without permission. At Kubrick's insistence, Warner Brothers sued and won, causing the Scala to close in near bankruptcy. In 2000, the year after Kubrick's death, the film was released again throughout Great Britain and received an "18" rating.
One of only two movies rated X on its original release (the other being Midnight Cowboy (1969)) to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Malcolm McDowell delighted in the speeded-up orgy, since Stanley Kubrick could not shout "Cut!" until it was over and McDowell could accordingly do whatever he wanted during the take. Carrying the girls back to the bed a second time was improvised by McDowell, much to the irritation of Kubrick who shouted off-camera "That's enough Malcolm! That's enough!"
Of the 11 adaptations that Stanley Kubrick worked on in his career, this is the most faithful to its source material.
The language spoken by Alex and his droogs is author Anthony Burgess's invention, "Nadsat": a mix of English, Russian and slang. Stanley Kubrick was afraid that they had used too much of it, and that the movie would not be accessible. The original edition of the novel suffered from similar criticisms, and a Nadsat glossary appendix was added to the second and subsequent editions.
The film was released just over a year after principal photography began, the fastest film shot, edited and released by Stanley Kubrick.
Stanley Kubrick was afraid theatre owners would edit the movie. So every week, the reels would be exchanged for a clean, inspected copy.
This film was shot almost entirely on real locations as opposed to sets and was lit almost entirely with a Lowell Kit, a staple for film students, perhaps as a reaction against the huge apparatus needed for Stanley Kubrick's previous film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
In the scene after Alex talks with the priest about Ludovico therapy, we see the prisoners marching in a circle around the exercise yard, recreating an 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh, "Prisoners Exercising (after Gustave Doré)."
It is often claimed that Malcolm McDowell nearly drowned when his breathing apparatus failed during filming of the waterboarding scene. This is not true. Daily records indicate that the scene was filmed in repeated takes with no stoppage from equipment failure. McDowell has never reported a near drowning, while he does report many similar close calls in other scenes.
As he would go on to do in Barry Lyndon (1975) (to Oscar-winning effect), director of photography John Alcott lit most of the film using only natural light.
Filming the rape scene was so difficult for the actress originally cast in the role that she quit. The part was recast with Adrienne Corri, who was said to have been furious at the large number of takes that Stanley Kubrick required, feeling it ought to have been done swiftly. Malcolm McDowell, however, has stated that Corri was very "game" about the brief but difficult role throughout filming.
Although the car used by Alex and the droogs was called a "Durango 95" in the film, it is, in reality, the "Adams Probe 16," one of three ever made.
Anthony Burgess originally sold the movie rights to Mick Jagger for $500 when he needed quick cash. Jagger intended to make it with The Rolling Stones as the droogs, but then re-sold the rights for a much larger amount. Ken Russell was then nominated to direct because his style was considered well-suited for the material. He would have cast Oliver Reed as Alex. Tinto Brass was another possible director. At some point, someone suggested rewriting the droogs to be girls in miniskirts or old-age pensioners. Tim Curry and Jeremy Irons turned down the role of Alex. Stanley Kubrick once said "If Malcolm McDowell hadn't been available I probably wouldn't have made the film." Author Anthony Burgess initially distrusted Kubrick as a director, but was happy with the results. He felt the film later made the book, one of his least favorite books he had written, overshadow his other work.
Rated #2 of the 25 most controversial movies of all time by Entertainment Weekly, 16 June 2006. Rated by Premiere as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies." Rated as the #70 Greatest Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute, 2007. Rated #4 out of 10 by the American Film Institute's "Sci-Fi" list, June 2008.
In the police station scene when Mr Deltoid (Aubrey Morris) spits in Alex's face, it is actually Steven Berkoff doing the spitting. After several takes, Morris complained to Stanley Kubrick that he had run out of saliva, and Berkoff volunteered his services until Kubrick's cameras captured the perfect 'spit-shot'.
Because of the limited budget, various techniques had to be used such as dolly shots on wheelchairs, sound recorded live on set, the use of natural light and some scenes in handheld cameras. However, at that time the new camera zoom control was first used in the picture.
Stanley Kubrick handled the advertising campaign, including posters, commercials, the trailer, etc.
The first line of the novel is "What's it going to be then, eh?" and this line is repeated frequently throughout the book. Another recurring phrase is "dressed in the heighth [sic] of [insert adjective here] fashion," which is how Alex describes every single set of clothes that he or anyone else is wearing. The movie omits all but one occurrence of each phrase. Prison Chaplain Godfrey Quigley is introduced with the line "What's it going to be, eh?" In the next scene Alex imagines himself as a first-century executioner "dressed in the height of Roman fashion."
In the music shop scene where Alex asks the shopkeeper about an order he'd placed, there is a record cover clearly visible at the front that says 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick's previous film.
In the music shop scene there is a list of Top Ten music bands up on the wall. One of the bands listed is Heaven 17, which one of the girls mentions to Alex. This name was used by a real band in the 1980s.
In the book, the girl whom Billy Boy's gang is raping, as well as Marty and Sonietta (the girls Alex picks up) are described as being approximately 10 years old, and Alex rapes the two girls while they are drunk and drugged. Stanley Kubrick explained that in addition to ruling the scenes too distasteful to film, using adult actors to play the "teenage" gang members would have made Alex seem like a pedophile (rather than also being underage himself).
Terry Southern recommended the novel to Stanley Kubrick when they were working on the screenplay to Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
Malcolm McDowell was hurt when, after he and Stanley Kubrick had had such a close relationship during filming, Kubrick seemed uninterested in continuing their friendship afterward. McDowell later attributed some of that sentiment to his being a young actor, unfamiliar with the intimacy of the filmmaking process, but admitted that he was very upset by it at the time. McDowell remained friends with Kubrick's wife, Christiane Kubrick, and, while visiting her after Kubrick's death, had a good cry over his grave site.
Malcolm McDowell is actually urinating in the toilet scene early in the film, when he goes home and prepares for bed. He drank a lot of coffee before filming the shot.
Patrick Magee kept asking Malcolm McDowell if Stanley Kubrick was all right with his performance as he felt that he was being far too over the top. Magee said that he "felt like he was taking a dump," so overwrought was his performance. McDowell assured him that this was exactly what Kubrick was after.
The futuristic turntable that appeared in the movie is a Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference turntable. Stanley Kubrick found this turntable when visiting neighbouring Borehamwood company J.A. Michell Engineering, who made the spacecraft models for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). When shortly after Transcriptors moved to Ireland, J.A. Michell Engineering continued the production of the Hydraulic Reference turntable, as well as other new models. In 2005 Michell Engineering launched the limited-edition 'Odyssey' turntable.
Alex is 15 years old by the beginning of the book and 17 by the end of it . However, to minimize controversy, his age started from 17 and ended at 19 in the film.
When Alex is being drowned, there is a barely perceptible micro-cut in which Malcolm McDowell was able to use the oxygen mask that was hidden in the water. The bath was muddied by using Bovril, a beef extract.
When Malcolm McDowell recorded his voiceover material, it was on a simple Nagra tape recorder operated by Stanley Kubrick himself. Unusually, he did not have to dub a single one of his other lines in the film, owing to the director's use of then-advanced wireless microphones.
Stanley Kubrick said in an interview that he considered the Prison Chaplain (Godfrey Quigley) to be the most sympathetic and morally admirable character in the film.
Stanley Kubrick was so impressed by Jörg Pleva, the voice actor who dubbed the role of Alex in the German language version, that he sent a letter to dialogue director Wolfgang Staudte. In the letter, Kubrick expressed his fascination to the voice of Jörg Pleva and admitted that his voice suited the character even more than Malcolm McDowell's. Pleva was later personally selected by Kubrick to provide the German dubbing for Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon (1975) and Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980).
Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist who did meticulous research, took thousands of photographs of potential locations, and did many takes of scenes; however, per Malcolm McDowell, he usually "got it right" early on, so there were few takes. So meticulous was Kubrick that McDowell stated, "If Kubrick hadn't been a film director he'd have been a General Chief of Staff of the US Forces. No matter what it is -- even if it's a question of buying a shampoo it goes through him. He just likes total control."
After Malcolm McDowell's cornea was scratched during the filming of the Ludovico treatment scene, he insisted to Stanley Kubrick that the extreme closeup of his eye in lid-locks be postponed until the last day of production.
The title was translated into Serbo-Croatian as "The Orange From Hell" ("Paklena Naranca" - Croatian, "Paklena Pomorandza" - Serbian). This comes from the term for clockwork bombs - "Paklena Masina" - "Machine from hell." The Italian title was Arancia Meccanica, and the French title was "Orange mécanique". Anthony Burgess felt that these translations were misleading as they suggested a hand grenade, whereas his title meant a natural creature transformed into a machine.
Malcolm McDowell found the strange language easy to deal with as he was used to playing William Shakespeare's plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
It is said that Stanley Kubrick made this movie because of the failure of Waterloo (1970). After he completed 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), he had planned to film a movie about Napoléon Bonaparte's life. After many years of research, he sent location scouts to various Eastern European locations, and even had an agreement with the Yugoslav army to supply troops for the vast battle scenes. However, after "Waterloo" tanked, Kubrick's financial backers pulled out. He thus decided to adapt the American version of "Clockwork", which had been given to him by Terry Southern (co-writer of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)).
The tape that Alex removes from his stereo in order to play Ludwig van Beethoven bears the name of fictitious artist Goggly Gogol, mentioned later by one of the girls in the music store.
Malcolm McDowell suggested that it wasn't until the 21st century that audiences saw the film properly as a black-comedy, and that earlier audiences he saw the film with were always too unsettled by the opening 20 minutes of violence and rape scenes to appreciate the humor in the rest of the picture.
When Stanley Kubrick started receiving threats due to the gangs formed in the United States and the United Kingdom, he sought to stop the film's distribution in his home land of the UK. Despite potential financial setbacks, Warner Bros. was willing to stop circulation as requested. In his memoir "Stanley Kubrick and Me: Thirty Years at His Side," the director's longtime assistant Emilio D'Alessandro claims that Kubrick never did forgive himself for the controversy, and didn't like it whenever A Clockwork Orange (1971) was brought up in conversation. D'Alessandro also said he never saw the film while working for Kubrick because he didn't want to offend him.
Stanley Kubrick asked Pink Floyd if he could use their "Atom Heart Mother Suite" in the soundtrack. However, because Kubrick wanted unlimited license to determine what portions or edits of the song he used, the band turned him down. When Alex is in the record store, we can see the soundtrack of Kubrick's own movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) on a lower shelf with "Atom Heart Mother" above it (look for the cow in the field). Other records visible in the shop are Tim Buckley's "Lorca" (1970), on the Island shelf when Alex enters the shop. "Atom Heart Mother" is visible on this shelf as well as behind the counter. Also on this shelf is Rare Bird's "As Your Mind Flies By." Two records to the left of the "2001" in front of the counter is Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Deja Vu" (1970). To the right of "2001" is "The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death" by John Fahey. Between The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Atom Heart Mother" on the wall behind the counter is Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" (1970). The first Chicago album "The Chicago Transit Authority" (1969) can also be seen. The blonde girl with the lollipop can be seen looking at a Mungo Jerry album, "In the Summertime" (1970).
Despite the controversy and the unsettling content, this film is on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
Legendary composer Ennio Morricone was invited by Stanley Kubrick to write the music for the film, but Kubrick made the error of asking Sergio Leone (then at work on Duck, You Sucker (1971)) if Morricone was now free to work with him, to which Leone replied he was still needed - which was absolutely not true. Not getting the chance to work with Stanley Kubrick is something Morricone much regrets to this day.
When offered the part of Alex, Malcolm McDowell mistakenly thought the director was Stanley Kramer. It wasn't until McDowell's friend Lindsay Anderson showed him Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) that the actor realised who the director was.
Malcolm McDowell claimed that Stanley Kubrick conducted screen tests of actresses for the nude scenes by having them read Shakespeare during screen tests while the camera operator zoomed in for a closeup of their breasts. Kubrick then had prints made of the breast closeups so he could flip through them in his office. However, McDowell claimed that the unintended consequence of this method was that Kubrick realized he could not identify the actresses he wanted.
Fashion designer and publisher of fetish magazine AtomAge John Sutcliffe, with artist Allen Jones, designed some explicit waitresses' uniforms for the film which were ultimately unused. The sexualised Korova Milkbar sculptures were inspired - but not created - by Jones, who had been asked by Stanley Kubrick to contribute to the film. Jones refused as there would only be a credit, not a fee, for this work.
When Malcolm McDowell, a cricket fan, came in for a costume fitting with his gear, including protective cup, Stanley Kubrick told him to keep them out and incorporate his white shirt and cup into the costume. When McDowell started to dress by putting the jockstrap under his pants, Kubrick told him it would look better over his trousers instead, and the look made it into the final movie.
Despite Alex's obsession with Beethoven, the soundtrack contains more music by Rossini than by Beethoven. The fast-motion sex scene with the two girls, the slow-motion fight between Alex and his Droogs, the fight with Billy Boy's gang, the invasion of the Cat Lady's home, and the scene where Alex looks into the river and contemplates suicide before being approached by the beggar are all accompanied by Rossini's music.
Alexander, Peter, and Dimitri (which can be shortened to Dim) were common names of Russian kings and princes of the Empire of the Tsars (1462-1917). George (Gyorgi in Russian) was their patron saint.
The society depicted in the film was perceived by some as Communist (as Michel Ciment pointed out in an interview with Stanley Kubrick) due to its slight ties to Russian culture. The teenage slang has a heavily Russian influence, as in the novel; Anthony Burgess explains the slang as being, in part, intended to draw a reader into the world of the book's characters and to prevent the book from becoming outdated. There is some evidence to suggest that the society is a socialist one, or perhaps a society evolving from a failed socialism into a fully fascist society. In the novel, streets have paintings of working men in the style of Russian socialist art, and in the film, there is a mural of socialist artwork with obscenities drawn on it. As Malcolm McDowell points out on the DVD commentary, Alex's residence was shot on failed Labour Party architecture, and the name "Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North" alludes to socialist-style housing. Later in the film, when the new right-wing government takes power, the atmosphere is certainly more authoritarian than the anarchist air of the beginning. Kubrick's response to Ciment's question remained ambiguous as to exactly what kind of society it is. Kubrick asserted that the film held comparisons between both the left and right end of the political spectrum and that there is little difference between the two. Kubrick stated, "The Minister, played by Anthony Sharp, is clearly a figure of the Right. The writer, Patrick Magee, is a lunatic of the Left... They differ only in their dogma. Their means and ends are hardly distinguishable."
The actress who sings at the Korova Milk Bar was a good friend of Malcolm McDowell's who played the part as a favour.
Malcom McDowell came up with the name "DeLarge", although the book contains one part where Alex calls himself "Alex the Large", suggesting McDowell adapted and borrowed it from there.
Filming took place between September 1970 and April 1971, making this the quickest film shoot in Stanley Kubrick's career.
Stanley Kubrick and the actors hewed so closely to the book that sometimes they wouldn't even use the formal screenplay on set. Instead, they simply carried the novel as a reference for dialogue in the scenes.
On the commentary for the Special Edition, Alex toasting the viewer with his glass of milk is highlighted. This appears to occur at the 1.00 min mark, when Alex holds his glass slightly higher than required, presenting the toast. When Stanley Kubrick noticed this very subtle move in the dailies, he asked Malcolm McDowell if he realized what he had done. McDowell said - "Stanley, I just wanted the audience to know they were in for one hell of a ride".
Wendy Carlos's (born Walter) synthesized score features the first ever use of a vocoder. The two pieces featuring Carlos's custom-built vocoder, "Timesteps" (an original composition, heard during the Ludovico sequence) and Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" from his Ninth Symphony (heard in the record shop) were recorded long before the film was made. The vocoder, according to Carlos, was a development from an earlier, unsuccessful voice synthesis method she'd used on her 1969 album "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer", and she'd implored synthesizer inventor Robert Moog to come up with something better using standard Moog Synthesizer modules. "Timesteps" and Beethoven's Ninth were recorded as test/demonstrations of the new device, and she brought them to "A Clockwork Orange" when Kubrick hired her to score the film. At Robert Moog's memorial service, Wendy Carlos admitted that the tracks were recorded at 1/2 speed (7.5 ips), then played back at 15 ips simply because she couldn't play a monophonic keyboard at full, standard tempo. This is actually not an uncommon recording technique.
Most of the early scenes were filmed on the then under construction Thamesmead New Town project in South East London, Stage One. The flat used in the scene was the show home for the first block completed. Viewers will notice the area around the lake and beyond was under construction at the time and had two more years of building ahead. The scenes on Stage One are still present.
Billy Russell was cast as the Librarian (Crystallography expert), but became ill in January 1971 during production. He died in December of the same year. This character was removed from the film, with some of his lines transferred to the Tramp (Paul Farrell).
Technically, to achieve and convey the fantastic, dream-like quality of the story, Stanley Kubrick filmed with extreme wide-angle lenses such as the Kinoptik Tegea 9.8mm for 35mm Arriflex cameras, and used fast- and slow motion to convey the mechanical nature of its bedroom sex scene or stylize the violence in a manner similar to Funeral Parade of Roses (1969).
Malcolm McDowell based aspects of his performance as Alex on the mannerisms and vocal tics of the British comedian Eric Morecambe, particularly during the dinner scene with Patrick Magee and David Prowse.
Scenes filmed but not used include: The Droogs assaulting a man carrying library books (a scene from the book), who meets Alex later. This was scrapped when the actor died; The Droogs bribing old ladies with drinks and snacks to give them an alibi; The Droogs actually stealing the Durango 95 that they are later seen riding in; The Droogs reflectively stargazing after their long night of mayhem; The Droogs riding the train home and vandalizing it; Alex using the milk dispenser at The Korova; Alex taking the girls from the record shop for a meal at Pasta Parlour; In the trailer, there is a scene of Alex's snake leaving his room; After Alex has sex with the two girls, his dad comes home and they try to sneak out, but are caught.
Anthony Burgess has complained that writing this book has made people think he's a sociopath, as if he were Alex himself, and the whole thing was autobiographical.
Anthony Burgess, the author of the novel, lived for a time in Malaysia during WWII. After returning to London, his wife was assaulted by four American GIs during the blackout, inspiring this story. Burgess claimed that "clockwork orange" was a Cockney phrase, but most philologists agree that he made it up. The Malay word for man is "orang," as in "orangutan" (man of the jungle), and a clockwork orang would be a clockwork man. However, a UK slang expression for a gambling device is a "clockwork fruit" or "fruit machine," due to the depictions on its dials. The anthropomorphic look of a "fruit machine" (thus, its name "one-armed bandit" in the USA for its roughly man-sized shape and "arm" giving it a humanoid appearance) may well have given rise to the term "clockwork orange" in Burgess' fertile mind, as Alex, through conditioning, is turned into a robotic clockwork man. Gambling also is a game of chance, and Alex literally is gambling with his soul. Dr. Brodsky tells Alex to take his chance and be free in a fortnight, as long as a vacation in Blackpool, the most popular slot machine resort in Britain.
At the beginning of the rape scene (at around 10 mins), Mrs. Alexander is seated in the infamous Retreat Pod by Roger Dean, best known for his designs for the covers of Yes albums.
Before he would famously go on to portray Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, David Prowse had his first "big break" by being cast in this film. Coincidentally, James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader), had his first big break in another Stanley Kubrick film: as Lt Lothar Zogg in 'Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' (1964).
When Alex returns home after being released, the song "I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper" by Erika Eigen is heard playing on the radio. However, the second verse is not the same as that on the soundtrack album.
Ironically, Malcolm McDowell and Aubrey Morris (Mr. Deltoid) became good friends for the rest of Morris' life, and McDowell frequently advocated for Morris to be cast in his films whenever possible.
Anthony Burgess has expressed sorrow and bemusement at A Clockwork Orange being his most famous book. This is because he wanted the book to do well due to its own merit as opposed to the film.
The fight between Alex and the rich older woman harks back to the scene from Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss", where two characters briefly battle each other with the plastic body parts they happen to find at a mannequin factory.
The large yellow book in the tray on the prison governor's desk is actually a "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack."
A year after the film's release, composer Walter Carlos became Wendy Carlos via a reassignment surgery.
The commentary on the Special Edition claims that all the sound was recorded live, and that this may have been one of the first movies to use radio microphones. These had been sourced by Stanley Kubrick from Sennheiser in Germany. These allowed them to sound record on the London Embankment without picking up traffic noise.
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
The band Heaven 17 is named after one of the bands highlighted on the record store's Top-10 list that Alex visits.
In the mid-1960s, Brad Dexter, best known as one of The Magnificent Seven (1960), and who later became a producer for Frank Sinatra, wanted to breathe new life into Sinatra's film career by helping him display the same professional pride in his films as he did in his recordings. He gave Sinatra the novel to read, with the idea of making a film, but Sinatra thought it lacked potential and didn't understand the language used in the novel.
The film prominently features a sculpture by Dutch artist Herman Makkink (the phallic-shaped "Rocking Machine") and nine paintings and a sculpture (called "Christ Unlimited") by his brother Cornelis Makkink, all of which had been featured in Tinto Brass' film Dropout (1970) a year before.
Both the "William Tell" overture and the "Ode to Joy" song heard on the soundtrack are from musical compositions based on the work of German poet/playwright Friedrich Schiller. Schiller's "Sturm und Drang" dramas attest to his fascination with young, violence-prone troublemakers like Alex, from Don Carlos to Joan of Arc, and the plot of his "William Tell" in particular, which centers on a band of rebels whose leader comes into conflict with their authoritarian government, has obvious parallels to Alex's story. During the opening reels meanwhile Alex reenacts, on his own thuggish terms, things the "Ode to Joy" describes. After getting "feuertrunken" off the drug-laced beverages at the Korova bar, he and his gang enter a kind of "Heiligtum" ("shrine") --- the theater which, though wrecked and decaying, still has vestiges of the classically-styled decorations intended to mark it as a temple of culture. "Ein holdes Weib" ("precious lady") is also "errungen" (literally, "conquered") by Alex, and when he calls the bound and gagged husband of his victim "brother" he is echoing the refrain (with its cry of "Brüder") from Schiller's poem.
First cinema film of Pat Roach, in the non-speaking role of Korova Milkbar bouncer.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Malcolm McDowell and the cast and crew had thought the film they were making was a black comedy when the film was shooting.
In the book, "A Clockwork Orange", the two women with whom Alex partakes in a sped-up 28 minute sex scene with are actually said to be no more than 10 years old.
The music system in Alex' bedroom consists of a Transcriptors turntable, Bang&Olufsen Beomaster 5000 FM tuner, and Beolab 5000 amplifier. The cassette player is a prop, and not related to any existing product. It is shown to use the Philips mini-cassette system. The Deutsche Grammophon Beethoven and Polydor Gogol tapes shown are also props. The mini-cassette system was of low quality, intended for dictation only, and was never used for commercial music releases.
The movie was the most popular film of 1972 in France with admissions of 7,611,745.
The train blowing up in Alex's imagination is the same stock shot used many times in Hogan's Heroes (1965). The series sometimes reversed to make it look slightly different, but it's obvious by the way the big pieces fly off the exploding train that it's the same shot.
Due to the controversy surrounding A Clockwork Orange (1971), it was not released on VHS and DVD in Australia until 2000.
In the record shop scene, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)'s soundtrack album can be seen next to John Fahey's album "The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death". The ninth track on this album is a song named "Bicycle Built For Two (Daisy Bell)". It's the very same song that HAL 9000 sings when it's shut down, in "2001: A Space Odyssey".
During a Guardian interview in 2019, Malcolm McDowell claimed that he negotiated a salary of $100,000 and 2.5 % of the profits, but Kubrick told McDowell to just take the $100,000 as Warner Brothers would never agree to the percentage deal also. Much later, McDowell bumped into a Warner executive who said that the 2.5% must be keeping his bank manager happy. Apparently Kubrick had kept the percentage for himself.
The psychiatrist at the end of the film, played by actress Pauline Taylor, has a name tag that says "Dr. P. Taylor."
A drink recipe for the Moloko Plus that the 4 male chartors drink at the beginning of film is feature in the book Cocktails of the movies
The plot of Rossini's "La Gazza Ladra". which is tapped several times for background music, involves a character closely resembling Deltoid --- Gottardo, the petty official whose lustful advances are rebuffed by the opera's young protagonist. The snippets of the score Kubrick chooses to incorporate feature motifs that are heard when the opera protagonist is visited by Gottardo while in custody awaiting trial after being accused of a serious crime. One such snippet plays just before the scene in which Deltoid confronts Alex at the police station.
Alex and his Droogs have been compared to the girls in Spring Breakers (2012), or a teenaged version of the boys in Lord of the Flies.
Terry Southern wrote a screenplay when he had David Hemmings lined up to play Alex.
Stanley Kubrick: ["The End"] Kubrick maintained the tradition of putting the words "The End" in the end credits of all his movies, long after the industry had abandoned it.
Stanley Kubrick: [eyes] Alex's cuff links are bloody eyeballs, and his own eyes are emphasized throughout his "cure."
Stanley Kubrick:  Alex is given Serum 114 when he undergoes the Ludovico treatment. It is perhaps an in-joke on Kubrick's repeated use of CRM in his films, as serum sounds almost like CRM sounded out.
Stanley Kubrick: [First Person Shot] Frank during the home invasion, the phallic sculpture used to kill the Catlady, and Alex on the hospital bed.