Cling-Film - A Clockwork Orange - The Fruity Psychopath Who Created a Legacy
We have said it before and we will say it again - what do you do with your leftover food? That’s right. You wrap it up nice and tight in some cling film to preserve its freshness. Get yourself comfortable, because that's exactly what we're going to do with Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.
What's that now? Why are we doing this to a film that glorifies violence and sexual deviancy? I mean, sure, take that view if you want, but unfortunately, the wonderful circle of life isn't that one dimensional.
A Clockwork Orange because represents every corner of society we live breathe in today.
You can't deny that Britain has a youth population being influenced by violence and gang activity. In the same way, you can't deny that teenagers are having sex education taught to them by explicit pornography material. Then you've got the added pressure of substance abuse in teens becoming more and more commonplace.
However, this isn’t the only reason I have decided to induct the film into the Cling-Film archives.
It just so happens to be a cult classic and has a strong fanbase to this day. The film itself is based on Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel of the same name. It is simply a film that you must watch at least once in your lifetime.
Here is why we want to cling onto A Clockwork Orange.
Moments we want to cling on to...
Singing in the Rain
Blast it out with me, “I’m singing in the rain”! Hang on a minute, you forgot the part where you break into somebody’s home, steal their belongings, and hit them with a giant stick. God, no wonder show business is dead.
This is just what Alex DeLarge precedes to do when he and his droogies break into the home of a well-to-do couple and make the decision to beat seven bells of shit into them. We want to cling on to this iconic scene because it showcases the sensational acting of Malcolm McDowell, who actually improvised this scene, and Kubrick liked it so much he decided to keep it in the film. You know, the same Kubrick who would do a shot 300 times until he got the perfect one? Yep, that Kubrick.
This scene was always going to find itself on this list. We are just glad that this clip doesn’t include all of the scene because it gets a wee bit graphic.
Empty your pockets
The scene where Alex becomes 655321 is one of the standalone moments from A Clockwork Orange. The sheer brilliance of it all is a joy to watch. This scene will be etched in your memory for multiple reasons but watching Michael Bates invoke his authority by getting Alex to answer “Yes, Sir” or “No, Sir” will always be a top moment from this film. Everything from the acting to the props is perfect, and if you want to see why Kubrick is such a well-respected director, then this is the scene you need to watch.
At times it feels like a Monty Python sketch or like it’s been plucked straight from Carry On Camping. The perfect mix of the weird and wonderful, this sums up exactly what A Clockwork Orange presents its audience with.
I feel any second something terrible is going to happen to me
The slang language of Nadsat is spoken throughout A Clockwork Orange, but I don’t think it can muster up a word to describe this scene but let’s have a go anyway.
This moodge in this scene Pyahnitsa the wine from the Chasha, and now he feels like cal. He will have a sore Eggiweg when he wakes up.
Which in English would be:
The man in this scene drank the wine from the cup, and now he feels like shit. He will have a sore egg when he wakes up.
Either way this scene had to make the cut because of how bewildering it is. In a bizarre twist of fate, Alex finds himself at the writer's house once again. The same man he paralysed a few years prior. As we find out later in the movie, this man’s wife killed herself after the torture and rape from Alex and his droogies was too much to bear.
The man has a motive and that’s why he poisons the wine and plans to capture Alex and torture him by playing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 - the one song that makes Alex feel nothing but excruciating pain due to The Ludovico Treatment.
Alex says the words, “ I feel any second something terrible is going to happen to me”, and suddenly falls face-first into his plate of spaghetti bolognese.
Watch this scene. Watch this film.
Characters we want to cling on to…
The sadistic Alex DeLarge is an awful human in every sense. The man playing him however is one of the very best guys around. Malcolm McDowell shows commitment to the cause in every sense as he steals the show by bringing the character to life with some chillingly good acting.
If you want an example of one of the best British actors, then you can’t go too wrong with this fellow. From A Clockwork Orange to the background of a Slipknot video, the man has done it all.
In the role of Alex, he plays it so well and in many ways helps make the film such a cult classic. Of course, we are clinging onto Alex because he is such a key character to the story, but McDowell made this a foregone conclusion.
McDowell even had some battle scars to take away from him after A Clockwork Orange. During the filming of the Ludovico scene, he scratched one of his corneas and is momentarily blinded. He also suffered cracked ribs in the humiliation stage show. Very ultraviolence!
Mr. P. R. Deltoid
What does Mister Deltoid represent? That’s a bloody great question. On one hand, he seems to be the only person who wants to save Alex from himself. On the other, he seems to have a rather predatory nature and it comes off a tad bit creepy.
Nevertheless, Aubrey Morris did a splendid job of portraying Mr. P. R. Deltoid, and to think without his involvement we wouldn’t have this memorable moment from the film. We’ve got one word - bizarre.
The film was banned from public viewing in the UK from 1973 until 2000, the year after Kubrick’s death. So this scene has only been available to Brits for the best part of twenty years, so make sure you go ahead and share this with all your friends.
A core and integral character to the film, we see Mr Alexander only a handful of times, but each scene is key to Alex's journey. We first see Mr Alexander in the iconic "Singing in the Rain" scene where he is beaten up by Alex and company.
After this when Alex finds himself at the writer’s clutches, this is when things start to take a sinister turn. His thirst for revenge gets the better of him, and all that suppressed emotion comes out as he tortures Alex to near suicide.
The last we hear about Mr Alexander he's been locked up by the government. According to the Minister of the Interior, he has been put away for his own protection and Alex's. Truthfully it was his anti-Government vision that sealed his fate.
In many ways, Mr Alexander, the writer, is a reflection of Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange. They are both writers and in a twist of fate, they both created Alex.
The Wrap Up...
This film in many ways is the dark and twisted fantasy of many people out there. However, if you look beyond the violence and abuse, you'll come across a story with a strong moral message that wants you to be a better human.
Watch A Clockwork Orange and by the love of everything good, watch it with an open mind.
If you enjoyed what you read, and want to support Stephen and our commitment to fresh content, support Stephen with a cuppa over
Subscribe here to Fresh Take for more opinions on the world of film and television.
And subscribe to our podcast Well Good Movies, for more film and TV fun!