In 1962, Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange was published for the first time. This novel was an anti-utopian fable about the near future, where teenage gangs habitually terrorize the inhabitants of a shabby metropolis. The novel deals with the main focus that man is a sinner but not sufficiently a sinner to deserve the calamities that are heaped upon him. It is a comic novel about a man's tragic lot. (Bergonzi 152).
In 1971, Stanley Kubrick turned Burgess' novel into a 136 minute, color motion picture produced by Warner Brothers. The movie starred Malcolm McDowell as the young gangster guilty of rape and murder. Kubrick was both writer and director.
Stanley Kubrick was born July 26, 1928 in the Bronx, New York. He is an accomplished director with other ground breaking movies under his belt, such as The Shining, Paths of Glory, and 2001 A Space Odyssey. His films have one common theme- the dehumanization of mankind. He is also known for his symmetric image composition and long "zooming out" and/or "zooming in" sequences. Kubrick constructs three-way conflicts and utilizes the techinique of extreme close-ups of intensely emotional faces. An interesting note is that Kubrick often uses the number 114 in his movies. In Clockwork Orange, Alex is given "Serum 114" when he undergoes Ludovico treatment. (Internet Movie Database 1) Some critics claim that it is due to the brilliance of Kubrick that Clockwork Orange was so successful. In his book The Science Fiction and Fantasy Handbook, Alan Frank writes, "Had the movie been the work of a lesser film maker, it is unlikely that it would have had the reception it received; as it is, [Kubrick's] brutalization of Burgess...
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...reated a controversial film that brought the novel of Anthony Burgess to life. The violence and rapes were forced on the watcher and the nature of mankind as a sinner was driven into the minds of those who sat through the 136 minute film. Bibliography
A Clockwork Orange .
Beck, Michael and Thomas Waites. Cineman Syndicate. 1979. Received from America Online on April 18, 1997.
Bergonzi, Bernard, Contemporary Novelists.1976.
Cohen, Alexander J., Clockwork Orange and the Aestheticization of Violence. Accessed April 28, 1997 from the A Clockwork Orange homepage.
Gottlieb, Sidney, Masterplots II.1987.
Shipman, David. A Pictorial History of Science Fiction Films. In and Out of this World. Hamlyn Publishing, Middlesex, 1985.
Utting, Bryce. A Clockwork Orange discussion notes. Accessed April 25, 1997 from A Clockwork Orange home page.