Not that many movies manage to stick around for more than 40 years and continue to intrigue, fascinate and frighten young audiences around the globe. “A Clockwork Orange” managed to do just that, and much more.
Producer/director/screenwriter Stanley Kubrick made a pure masterpiece back in 1971. The movie is an ultraviolent, raw and pretty graphic depiction of the near dystopian future in all its glory. The story is a terrifying and gaudy adaptation of the satiric novel written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. And what an adaptation it is.
The amazingly colorful and innovative cinematography was done by John Alcott, the writing is filled with hybrid and punny language that is often comprised of a mesmerizingly expressive combination of English, Russian, and slang, and all that was brilliantly captured by the one and only, Stanley Kubrick.
What Hides Behind The Title
The word clockwork in title refers to a mechanical, artificial and robotic human being of the Burgess’ dim future. A creature that is almost completely stripped of any self-awareness and capacity to think for itself.
The orange part may refer to orang(e)utan, a simple ape-like creature that has no integrity whatsoever. Much like what Alex becomes after his “rehabilitation via controversial psychological conditioning”.
There is also one more layer of hidden meaning in the title. Namely, there is a specific Cockney phrase coming from East London – “as queer as a clockwork orange”, which depicts something that appears normal, human and natural on the surface, while it is actually quite bizarre deep inside.
Despite all the controversy, the movie was (and stayed) a huge hit with audiences worldwide, grossing more than $26 million on a conservative budget of $2.2 million. It was also critically acclaimed and was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
If you still haven’t had the chance to watch this dystopian masterpiece by Kubrick, call some droogs to come over, pour them some milk, put on some light Beethoven, and enjoy the ride.