Saturday Movie Review – “A Clockwork Orange”

The Saturday reviews continue with a Kubrick classic.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Malcolm McDowell as Alex De Large

Patrick Magee as Mr. Alexander

Michael Bates as Chief guard

Warren Clarke as Dim

Adrienne Corri as Mrs. Alexander

Carl Duering as Dr. Brodsky

Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, based on a novel by Anthony Burgess.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from:
as a single release. It’s also available from
as part of the “Stanley Kubrick Collection” boxed set.


A young man who enjoys rape, violence, and Beethoven is cured of these tendencies rather effectively.

High Point

This is a close one. On the one hand, the recognition of Ludwig van was a major moment setting up the rest of the film. On the other, the fantasies Alex had while reading the Big Book show something of his inner, inescapable nature. They perfectly represent the two sides of the debate that was to come, and the description of the character within.

Low Point

Why did the lodger wait so long to speak if he felt that strongly about it?

The Scores

The originality loses the usual points for being an adaptation, though it is a pretty unique view of social conditioning. I give it 4 out of 6.

The only effect in the film was some bad blue screening while the droogs were driving, and it was terrible. It only lasts a few seconds, and has little to do with the rest of the film, so it doesn’t detract from the final product. Still, if we’re rating effects, there’s no way to give it a high rating. I give it 2 out of 6.

The story was very well written. The different political and ethical sides of the debate are disturbingly plausible, leaving us in a very disturbing mental state when all is said and done. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting was nailed by the entire cast. Malcolm McDowell’s performance in particular guaranteed him steady work for the rest of his career, provided that he didn’t mind playing psychopaths and other freaks for the remainder of his days. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very powerful. Some moments are very hard to watch, but it’s got such a lock on you that you can’t turn away. It’ll put you through the ringer by the time it’s done. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production was orchestrated by director Stanley Kubrick. He was a perfectionist with far more patience than his cast, often planning on doing over 50 takes of important scenes just to make sure he would be able to pick one with just the right nuances. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a powerful movie, with a message that comes across loud and clear. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Clockwork Orange receives 36 out of 42.

Additional Comments

Join us next week for a review of Conspiracy Theory.

2 replies on “Saturday Movie Review – “A Clockwork Orange””

  1. I love this movie
    "Clockwork Orange" is one of my favourite movies. It’s one of very few movies I can watch on repeat.

    Personally I think that one of the best things about it is that the high point /is/ the very last line in the movie. "I was cured, alright!" just totally makes the whole thing.

    I didn’t think there were any pacing problems with the lodger. Don’t see why it wouldn’t take a while to say something. He was probably a bit scared of Alex, having heard so much about him.

    My favorite quote from the movie.

    I read that Gene Kelly was royally pissed about how "Singing in the Rain" was used in the movie.

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