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A CLOCKWORK ORANGE The Facts

Stanley Kubrick once said "If Malcolm [McDowell] hadn't been available I probably wouldn't have made the film."

 
Kubrick insisted the milk in the milk dispensers were emptied, washed, and refilled every hour (the milk curdled under the studio lights).

The budget for the film was $2 million.

When Alex and the droogs enter the Korova Milkbar, there are many paintings on the wall, one of a naked woman. This same painting appears in The Shining (1980), also directed by Stanley Kubrick.

In the book, Alex's last name is never revealed. "DeLarge" could be a reference to a line in the book in which Alex calls himself "Alexander the Large" while raping two 10-year-old girls (in the movie they are much older).

The newspaper article gives Alex's last name as "Burgess".

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 stageshow, and he also nearly drowned when his breathing apparatus failed while being held underwater in the trough scene.

The snake, Basil, was introduced into the film by Kubrick when he found out McDowell had a fear of reptiles.

The film rights were sold for "a few hundred dollars", but then resold for a much larger amount. Before director Stanley Kubrick became involved in the film, several different casts were considered for Alex and his droogs: girls in miniskirts, old-age pensioners, and The Rolling Stones.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (also directed by Kubrick) soundtrack is highly visible in record store.

The tape that Alex removes from his stereo in order to play Beethoven bears the name of fictitious artist Goggly Gogol, mentioned later by one of the popsicle girls on the music store.

The book that Frank Alexander is working on when Alex and his droogs break into is home is called "A Clockwork Orange". Author Anthony Burgess uses a pun on the Malay word "Ourang". Burgess lived for several years in Malaya. The attack on his wife was based on an attack on Burgess' wife by four American GIs during WWII, which caused her to miscarry.

The name of the film, A Clockwork Orange, is based on a colloquial British expression, "as queer as a clockwork orange," meaning a mechanical piece of fruit. The title was almost completely lost on American audiences.

The photomontage when Alex clobbers the old lady are mostly the paintings the old lady has hanging in her room.

Alexander's bodyguard was played by professional bodybuilder David Prowse. Even so, he was near exhaustion after the repeated takes of him carrying Alexander and his wheelchair down the stairs.

Many phallic references: snake crawling between the legs of the woman in the poster, the popsicles held by the girls in the record store, the tip of Alex's walking stick, the object used by Alex to kill the woman.

To film Alex's suicide attempt from his own perspective, six Newman Sinclair cameras were thrown off a building until one finally landed pointing downwards.

Malcolm Mcdowell chose to sing "Singin' In The Rain" during the rape scene, because it was the only song he knew all the lyrics to.

Kubrick deliberately made continuity errors just before the author worked out who Alex is. The dishes on the table move around and the level of wine in the glasses change between shots to give a feeling of disorientation to the viewer.

The film was withdrawn voluntarily by Kubrick from the United Kingdom after being criticized as too violent. Kubrick has stated that the film will be released there only after his death.

The film leaves out chapter 21 of the book, where Alex starts thinking about getting married and settling down. Burgess said: "A vindication of free will had become an exaltation of the urge to sin. I was worried. The British version of the book shows Alex growing up and putting violence by as a childish toy; Kubrick confessed that he did not know this version: an American, though settled in England, he had followed the only version that Americans were permitted to know. I cursed Eric Swenson of W. W. Norton (the US publisher)."

Alex is given "Serum 114" when he undergoes the Ludovico treatment. This number is also seen in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964) on the B-52 message decoder.

Dim and Pete as policemen have badge numbers 665 and 667. This makes Alex, in the middle, 666.

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.

Many of Alex's slang words are taken from Russian, including droog (friend), malchick (boy), korova (cow), and moloko (milk).

Facts courtesy of Internet Movie Database and Warner Bros.
 

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