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October 1994


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"David H. Adler" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Oct 1994 01:37:08 -0500
text/plain (37 lines)
>The title "A Clockwork Orange," is said to come from a slang term which
>Kubrick grew up with in Britain.  Older people there would describe someone
>as being "queer as a clockwork orange."  Kubrick describes the term as
>meaning an inanimate object that has the outward appearence of animation.
I hate to say this, but a lot of this is off the mark (sorry!).
The title comes, not from Kubrick (who *didn't* grow up in the UK), but
from Anthony Burgess, who wrote the novel upon which the film was based. It
is the title of a book by the author that Alex and his droogs beat, and who
later takes Alex in. This bit of info, interestingly enough, is not in the
Also, in response to the post that started this thread, I do not believe
that the final image is any indication that Alex is now in any way more
civilized than at the beginning of the film (although the fact that the
image involves just sex - no violence - may indicate some "improvment"). It
has been my thought for years that one of the ideas being presented in the
film is the horror of totalitarianism. Specifically, the idea that, as
horrible as Alex is, he is preferable to having the government control your
mind. So I feel that, at the end, Alex is still someone to keep an eye on.
To bring these two threads together, I should point out that, in the
original version of the novel (which was not available in the US for many
years), there was a chapter at the end wherein Alex talks about wanting to
settle down and raise a family - essentially becoming a respectable
citizen! Yikes! Given my thoughts above, you can understand why I'm glad
Kubrick decided to ignore that chapter.
Well, that's my two cents. Viddy well, little brother.
David H. Adler - [log in to unmask]: "perhaps the Monty Python scholar in
America today."-New Yorker, 13mar89
"There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this
line." --- Oscar Levant