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A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]

228 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, John Clive
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess
  • Producers: Stanley Kubrick, Bernard Williams, Max L. Raab, Si Litvinoff
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, French, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sept. 2001
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MHNI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,982 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Stanley Kubrick's controversial film triggered copycat violence on its initial release and as a result the director withdrew the film from circulation in Britain, keeping it suppressed right up to his death in 1999. The film follows sadistic punk Alex (Malcolm McDowell) as he takes his gang on a rape and murder spree, showing absolutely no mercy to any of his victims. When he is eventually captured, the authorities subject him to a series of experiments designed to rid him of his violent tendencies.

From Amazon.co.uk

The controversy that surrounded Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Anthony Burgess's dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange while the film was out of circulation suggested that it was like Romper Stomper: a glamorisation of the violent, virile lifestyle of its teenage protagonist, with a hypocritical gloss of condemnation to mask delight in rape and ultra-violence. Actually, it is as fable-like and abstract as The Pilgrim's Progress, with characters deliberately played as goonish sitcom creations. The anarchic rampage of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a bowler-hatted juvenile delinquent of the future, is all over at the end of the first act. Apprehended by equally brutal authorities, he changes from defiant thug to cringing bootlicker, volunteering for a behaviourist experiment that removes his capacity to do evil.

It's all stylised: from Burgess' invented pidgin Russian (snarled unforgettably by McDowell) to 2001-style slow tracks through sculpturally perfect sets (as with many Kubrick movies, the story could be told through decor alone) and exaggerated, grotesque performances on a par with those of Dr Strangelove (especially from Patrick Magee and Aubrey Morris). Made in 1971, based on a novel from 1962, A Clockwork Orange resonates across the years. Its future is now quaint, with Magee pecking out "subversive literature" on a giant IBM typewriter and "lovely, lovely Ludwig Van" on mini-cassette tapes. However, the world of "Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North" is very much with us: a housing estate where classical murals are obscenely vandalised, passers-by are rare and yobs loll about with nothing better to do than hurt people.

On the DVD: The extras are skimpy, with just an impressionist trailer in the style of the film used to brainwash Alex and a list of awards for which Clockwork Orange was nominated and awarded. The box promises soundtracks in English, French and Italian and subtitles in ten languages, but the disc just has two English soundtracks (mono and Dolby Surround 5.1) and two sets of English subtitles. The terrific-looking "digitally restored and remastered" print is letterboxed at 1.66:1 and on a widescreen TV plays best at 14:9. The film looks as good as it ever has, with rich stable colours (especially and appropriately the orangey-red of the credits and the blood) and a clarity that highlights previously unnoticed details such as Alex's gouged eyeball cufflinks and enables you to read the newspaper articles which flash by. The 5.1 soundtrack option is amazingly rich, benefiting the nuances of performance as much as the classical/electronic music score and the subtly unsettling sound effects. --Kim Newman

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jake on 7 July 2011
Format: DVD
I'm 18 and i love movies, i only just watched this the other day, because i'm a big fan of Full Metal Jacket and The Shining. And wow. This is what cinema is about, the first 20 minutes are mesmerizing you just sit there and watch iconic image after iconic image. People still go on about how the movie is sick(obviously people who have never seen the movie and just believe the films past bad reputation). But they couldn't be more wrong, although some of the violence is mesmerizing to look at, Kubrick clearly wasn't just turning violence into fun, there is a deeper message, which you should be able to figure out for yourself when you watch the movie. Anyway, the directing is obviously amazing, just some incredible shots. The acting is great on all counts, of course the standout is Malcolm McDowell who gives the performance of a lifetime and it is something that will be remembered forever. He actually made me feel sorry for Alex, who is one sick individual, and i actually started rooting for him to get cured of what the government had done to him. It really shows you what a joke the Oscars are when you consider this movie and his performance got no recognition from the academy. I don't know what else to say, if you love cinema then you need to see this movie at some point.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Johnson on 16 July 2005
Format: DVD
Kubrick is a director who hit the heights in so many genres that it's hard to imagine anyone else ever managing to surpass him. From comedy (Dr. Strangelove) to horror (The Shining) everything is done with a style that was his own and just makes the films compelling.
A Clockwork Orange represents Kubrick at the absolute top of his skills with some wonderful acting, especially from McDowell, supporting that.
A Clockwork Orange is about the adventures of a youth called Alex and initially his gang of 'droogs' until he ends up in prison and the film looks at what happens to him following that. The language used is brilliant (lifted straight out of the book) and represented Burgess'idea of what youthspeak would be like at the time.
It is worth noting that there is some extreme violence featured and you should expect to be shocked in places (watching a woman getting raped is never going to be easy) and indeed spawned copycat attacks at the films release leading to Kubrick having it pulled from UK cinemas. Following his death however it was re-released which allows any serious film fan to enjoy this masterpiece.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mr. James West on 3 May 2010
Format: Blu-ray
This review is for the bluray.

This film could so easily fall victim to its own hype because of its history, the reaction to its unveiling, the oscars, the was it banned or just withdrawn? - but it manages to rise above that and stand as a monument to its era, with a message on crime and punishment, that still has something to say to us today. Despite coming out in 1971 it somehow screams 'sixties' to me.

I've never seen this film before. As a teenager I read the book, at least twice. Even then I was part enthralled, part repelled; by the casual violence, the state intervention and the end result. So I recently bought the bluray and my reaction was pretty much the same. The film has a mesmeric quality about it. The 'ultraviolence,' the exclusive language, the use of music and the strange clothes. It was very carefully choreographed, particularly in the fighting and rape scenes, which for me at least gave a detached view, almost like watching a musical. The scenes in the milk bar were very much stranger than anything I managed to imagine from the book. If you haven't seen it you are definitely missing an experience you wont forget quickly.

Picture Quality was pretty good for a film of this age. Colours were good, particularly flesh tones, and the contrast was very good with the white clothes and strong coloured interiors. Some of the household interiors were quite psychedelic. Grain is evident much of the time, but for me at least it didn't detract from enjoyment of the film. It seemed to lend it an authentic feel.

Audio quality was good - there is an uncompressed pcm 5.1 track as well as a dolby digital 5.1 one. Sound is biased towards the front and dialogue is clear and distinct throughout. The music is also quite mesmerising.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By luvstuff on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD
It only occurred to me very recently that I should watch A Clockwork Orange and after watching it I can only say that I am sorry that I waited so long to see it. I have always been very curious about the film as the fact that it was withdrawn from the UK built up so much mystery around it.

It is quite a difficult film to watch as the expectation you have leaves you with a feeling that you are going to be let down. However, thankfully this wasn't the case for me as I was quite mesmerised by what I can only call a true work of art. Unfortunately I have not read the book so I can't compare it to the film. This is a film that operates on many levels and explores a lot of ideas. I think the film is primarily concerned with ideas surrounding volition, control, violence (sexual and non sexual), fantasy and psychopathy.

The plot follows Alex a sociopath who ends up being a kind of antihero by the latter stages of the film. Alex is a character who as the famous tagline for the film states has made rape, Beethoven and violence his hobbies. I can't help wondering if this isn't reference to Adolf Hitler who was well known for his love of classical music (Wagner). The opening scene is nothing short of stunning. There then follows equally impressive scenes of ultra stylish yet very disturbing violence. The plot moves from a point where Alex is in complete control to one where he is vulnerable and he finally becomes a victim not a perpetrator of violence. I think that the thing that is most worrying about the film is that the moral order is not restored by the end. Although Alex suffers a bit this is not because he is genuinely guilty for his offences it is only due to the behavioural psychology treatment he receives which causes him to feel pain.
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