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A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]

4.5 out of 5 stars 278 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, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian, Bulgarian
  • 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 - 1.66:1
  • 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 (278 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MHNI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,379 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

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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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
SOme love this film, some just like it but do not consider it as high and perfect as many others Kubrick's films.
The first time I saw it I didn't get how great this is, but just got the impressive violence and some black humor. As I grew up and started to make connections with other Kubrick films, and also developed a more mature and richer critic approach to cinema, I started to appreciate the ambiguity, the thoughtprovoking spirit, the density of cultural references of this film and the art of Kubrick cinema. Still I think this is one of coldest and merely detached, all-brain and no-heart films of the Master. Which is not bad, but just explain why I don't watch it so often as other films of his. Still it is something that you can not avoid, a film that tells about violence and modern amorality more than many essays and other supposedly anti-violence films. The blu ray is quite remarkable.
A film to watch with eyes and brain, but not heart. Exactly like Alex, the main character
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By Moon Star TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Nov. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Kubrick at his finest. It's a disturbing movie in parts, even by today's brutal standards - dark and twisted with detached casual hyper-violence that is terrifying in its delivery. But its also funny in parts, captivating and thought provoking and, at times, beautiful and poetic. The psychedelic imagery, surreal scenery and eccentric characters add to its depth. Throw in some outstanding acting and a message that is probably more relevant today than it was at the time of the film's release and you have a great film, even if it is difficult to watch at times. Certainly not family viewing, but a fantastic iconic film with a strong message and scenes that will be ingrained into your brain for years to come...
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Format: DVD
"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence". Strange beginning for a movie, don't you think?. Disregarding that, that's the way in which this movie starts, and more or less what you can expect from the rest of "A Clockwork Orange".
This film tells the story of Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell), a teenager that has his own gang, and that does all kind of despicable things, from robbery and battery to rape, all without remorse of any kind. This band of outlaws has its own slang ("nadsat", a mixture of English and Russian) and dress code, and only one law: violence. Due to a fall out with the rest of the gang, Alex is caught by the police after commiting murder, and condemned to spend 14 years in jail.
Looking for a way to get out of jail early, Alex volunteers for a ground-breaking experiment, that supposedly transforms criminals into law-abiding citizens. He is chosen, and "conditioned" against violence, the end result being that he feels nauseous merely by the idea of committing a violent or sexual act. A secondary effect is that he now hates the music he had always loved, Beethoven's 9th symphony.
As a consequence of all this, Alex gets an early release from jail, and is thrown into the world without any kind of defense mechanism. The truth is, he has to be a model citizen because he doesn't have any other option. In a way, Alex is like a machine (a "clockwork orange"), because his actions are preordained. But how will the world treat this new Alex?.
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