A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange

Directed by

Stanley Kubrick

Produced by

Stanley Kubrick

Written by

Stanley Kubrick

Based on

"A Clockwork Orange"

Anthony Burgess

Music by

Walter Carlos


John Alcott

Editing by

Bill Butler

Running time

137 minutes

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 darkly satirical film directed, produced, and written by Stanley Kubrick. It is based on the 1962 novella by Anthony Burgess. At the time of release, critics gave the film highly positive reviews, although the public had mixed opinions of it. A Clockwork Orange was also very controversial for its fusion of strong sexual content and graphic violence, which some say even inspired copycat crimes the few years after the film's release. Today, it is considered one of Kubrick's best works, as well as a fan favorite; many like the film as much as or more than 2001: A Space Odyssey.


The film takes place in a futuristic Britain that is years ahead of the film's time of release. While doing this, it makes social, political, and economic commentary on the dystopian society that lives in this futuristic era. Alex DeLarge leads a horrific crime spree with his "droogs", Pete, Georgie, and Dim. They are one of many youth gangs in future Britain. Their crimes are usually involved with violence and sexual abuse. The youth gang also takes drugs. After Alex is arrested and beaten, he is sentenced to 14 years incarceration.

Two years into the sentence, he volunteers for the "Ludovico technique", an aversion therapy used to prevent all means of violence. The actual technique consists of drugging him, strapping him to a chair, propping his eyelids open, and forcing him to watch violent content. The therapy is supposed to cure within two weeks.

Interpretation and analysisEdit

A Clockwork Orange's main theme is the conflict of which is more important: morality or freedom of choice. When Alex volunteers for the aversion therapy by choice, he is drugged, strapped to a chair, and forced to watch violent content. He is thought to be cured and moral because of the Ludovico treatment, but not by choice. Therefore, his goodness is involuntary. This is why he has become the titular clockwork orange; organic on the outside, mechanical on the inside.

People have also wondered why Alex has a strange love for the composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the film, and does not like any type of music at all in the book.


A Clockwork Orange was nominated for a number of awards and also won many:

Academy Awards:

  • Best Director (Stanley Kubrick) - Nominated
  • Best Film Editing (Bill Butler) - Nominated
  • Best Picture - Nominated
  • Best Adapted Screenplay (Stanley Kubrick) - Nominated

BAFTA Awards:

  • Film Award for Best Art Direction (John Barry)
  • Best Cinematography (John Alcott)
  • Best Direction (Stanley Kubrick)
  • Best Film
  • Best Film Editing (William Butler)
  • Best Screenplay (Stanley Kubrick)
  • Best Soundtrack (Brian Blamey, John Jordan, Bill Rowe)

Golden Globes:

  • Best Director: Motion Picture (Stanley Kubrick) - Nominated
  • Best Motion Picture: Drama - Nominated
  • Best Motion Picture Actor: Drama (Malcolm McDowell) - Nominated

Kubrick also won other directorial awards (from the Directors Guild of America, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle which also gave the Best Film award). Overtime, A Clockwork Orange was faced with much recognition from the AFI (American Film Institute):

100 Years...100 Movies 46
100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary) 70
100 Years...100 Thrills 21

100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains


10 Top Ten: "Science-Fiction" Category 4

Home media releaseEdit

A Clockwork Orange has had a large number of releases on both Blu-ray and DVD. First, it was released on one-disc as part of the Stanley Kubrick Collection. Next, it was digitally remastered and given a re-issue. Six years later in 2007, there was a two-disc special edition of the film.

The same year, a one-disc Blu-ray of the film was released. Four years later, the film was released in a two-disc 40th anniversary Digi-book + Blu-ray + Digital Copy.

Cover Art GalleryEdit