A Clockwork Orange (film)

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A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film about a violent gang of teenagers in a futuristic Britain, whose leader is captured and given aversion therapy to combat his violent tendencies.

Written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess.
Being the adventures of a young man ... who couldn't resist pretty girls ... or a bit of the old ultra-violence ... went to jail, was re-conditioned ... and came out a different young man ... or was he? - taglines

Alex de Large

  • [voiceover] 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.
  • [voiceover] It was around by the derelict casino that we came across Billyboy and his four droogs. They were getting ready to perform a little of the old in-out, in-out on a weepy young devotchka they had there.
  • Ho, ho, ho! Well if it isn't fat stinking billy goat Billy Boy in poison! How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, ya eunuch jelly thou!
  • [voiceover] The Durango-95 purred away real horrorshow - a nice, warm, vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts. Soon, it was trees and dark, my brothers, with real country dark. We fillied around for a while with other travellers of the night, playing hogs of the road. Then we headed West. What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick, and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultra-violence.
  • Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.
  • [voiceover] We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some small energy expenditure, O my brothers. So we got rid of the auto and stopped off at the Korova for a nightcap.
  • [voiceover] And it was like for a moment, O my brothers, some great bird had flown into the milkbar and I felt all the malenky little hairs on my plott standing endwise and the shivers crawling up like slow malenky lizards and then down again. Because I knew what she sang. It was a bit from the glorious Ninth, by Ludwig van.
  • It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van.
  • [While listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony] Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!
  • Appy-polly-loggies. I had something of a pain in my gulliver so I had to sleep. I was not awakened when I gave orders for awakening.
  • A bit cold and pointless, isn't it, my lovely? What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
  • [voiceover] As we walked along the flatblock marina, I was calm on the outside but thinking all the time. So now it was to be Georgie the General, saying what we should do, and what not to do, and Dim as his mindless, grinning bulldog. But, suddenly, I viddied that thinking was for the gloopy ones, and that the oomny ones used like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid. There was a window open, with a stereo on, and I viddied right at once what to do.
  • [voiceover] I had not cut into any of Dim's main cables and so, with the help of a clean tashtook, the red, red krovvy soon stopped, and it did not take long to quieten the two wounded soldiers, down in the snug of the Duke of New York. Now they knew who was Master and Leader. Sheep, thought I, but a real leader knows always when like to give and show generous to his unders.
  • Initiative comes to thems that wait.
  • Hi-hi-hi-hi there! Naughty, naughty, naughty. You filthy old soomka.
  • I'm blind, you bastards. I'm blind. I'm blind, you bastards. I can't see. O, you bastards! I'm blind!
  • This is the real weepy and like tragic part of the story beginning. O my brothers and only friends. After a trial with judges and a jury, and some very hard words spoken against your friend and humble narrator, he was sentenced to fourteen years in Staja No. 84F, among smelly perverts and hardened prestoopnicks, the shock sending my dadda beating his bruised and krovvy rookers against unfair Bog in his Heaven, and my mum boohoohooing in her mother's grief, at her only child and son of her bosom like letting everybody down real horrowshow.
  • [voiceover] It had not been edifying, indeed not, being in this hellhole and human zoo for two years now, being kicked and tolchocked by brutal warders, and meeting leering criminals and perverts, ready to dribble all over a luscious young malchick like your storyteller.
  • [voiceover] It was my rabbit to help the prison charlie (chaplain) with the Sunday service. He was a bolshy great burly bastard, but he was very fond of myself, me being very young, and also now very interested in the big book.
  • [voiceover] I read all about the scourging and the crowning with thorns and I could viddy myself helping in and even taking charge of the tolchocking and the nailing in, being dressed in the height of Roman fashion. I didn't so much like the latter part of the book, which is more like all preachy talking than fighting and the old in-out. I liked the parts where these old yahoodies tolchock each other and then drink their Hebrew vino, and getting onto the bed with their wives' handmaidens. That kept me going.
  • [voiceover] And viddy films, I would. Where I was taken to, brothers, was like no sinny I ever viddied before. I was bound up in a straitjacket and my gulliver was strapped to a headrest with like wires running away from it. Then they clamped like lidlocks on my eyes so that I could not shut them no matter how hard I tried. It seemed a bit crazy to me, but I let them get on with what they wanted to get on with. If I was to be a free young malchick again in a fortnight's time, I would put up with much in the meantime, O my brothers. So far, the first film was a very good, professional piece of sinny, like it was done in Hollywood. The sounds were real horrorshow. You could slooshy the screams and moans very realistic, and you could even get the heavy breathing and panting of the tolchocking malchicks at the same time. And then, what do you know, soon our dear old friend, the red, red vino on tap, the same in all places like it's put out by the same big firm, began to flow. It was beautiful. It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen. Now all the time I was watching this, I was beginning to get very aware of like not feeling all that well, and this I put down to all the rich food and vitamins, but I tried to forget this, concentrating on the next film which jumped right away on a young devotchka who was being given the old in-out, in-out first by one malchick, then another, then another...When it came to the sixth or seventh malchick, leering and smecking and then going into it, I began to feel really sick. But I could not shut my glazzies. And even if I tried to move my glazz-balls about, I still could not get out of the line of fire of this picture.
  • [voiceover] It was the next day, brothers, and I had truly done my best, morning and afternoon, to play it their way and sit, like a horrorshow co-operative malchick, in the chair of torture, while they flashed nasty bits of ultra-violence on the screen. Though not on the soundtrack, my brothers. The only sound being music. Then I noticed in all my pain and sickness what music it was that like cracked and boomed - it was Ludwig van - Ninth Symphony, fourth movement.
  • You've proved to me that all this ultra-violence and killing is wrong, wrong, and terribly wrong. I've learned my lesson, sir. I see now what I've never seen before. I'm cured, praise God!...I see that it's wrong! It's wrong because it's like against society. It's wrong because everybody has the right to live and be happy without being tolchocked and knifed.
  • [voiceover] And, O my brothers, would you believe your faithful friend and long suffering narrator pushed out his red yahzik a mile-and-a-half to lick the grahzny, vonny boots...The horrible killing sickness had whooshed up, and turned the like joy of battle into a feeling I was going to snuff it.
  • [voiceover] She came towards me with the light like it was the like light of heavenly grace, and the first thing that flashed into my gulliver was that I'd like to have her right down there on the floor with the old in-out, real savage. But as quick as a shot came the sickness, like a detective that had been watching around the corner and now followed to make his arrest.
  • [to his Mum and Dad] Right, I'm leaving now. You won't ever viddy me no more. I'll make me own way. Thank you very much. Let it lie heavy on your consciences.
  • [voiceover] Then there was like a sea of dirty smelly old men, trying to get at your Humble Narrator, with their feeble rookers and horny old claws. It was old age having a go at youth, and I daren't do a single, solitary thing, O my brothers, it being better to be hit at like that than want to sick and feel that horrible pain.
  • [voiceover] Where was I to go, who had no home and no money? I cried for myself. Home, home, home. It was home I was wanting and it was Home I came to, brothers, not realizing in the state I was in, where I was and had been before. And would you believe it. O my brothers and only friends there was your Faithful Narrator being held helpless, like a babe in arms, and suddenly realizing where he was and why 'Home' on the gate had looked so familiar. But I knew I was safe. I knew he would not remember me. For in those carefree days, I and my so-called droogs wore our maskies, which were like real horrorshow disguises.
  • I can't listen to the Ninth anymore at all. When I hear the Ninth, I get like this funny feeling and then, all I can think about is like trying to snuff it...death, I mean...I just want to die peacefully, like, with no pain.
  • [voiceover] I woke up. The pain and sickness all over me like an animal. Then I realized what it was. The music coming up from the floor was our old friend, Ludwig van, and the dreaded Ninth Symphony.
  • [voiceover] Suddenly, I viddied what I had to do, and what I had wanted to do, and that was to do myself in; to snuff it, to blast off for ever out of this wicked, cruel world. One moment of pain perhaps and, then, sleep for ever, and ever and ever.
  • [voiceover] I jumped, O my brothers, and I fell hard, but I did not snuff it. If I had snuffed it, I would not be here to tell what I have told. I came back to life, after a long black, black gap of what might have been a million years.
  • Well, like all these doctors were playing around with my gulliver, you know, like the inside of my brain. I seemed to have this dream over and over again.
  • Do you know what you can do with that watch? - Stick it up your arse.
  • No time for the old in-out, love, I've just come to read the meter.
  • Eggiwegs! I would like... to smash them!
  • I have suffered the tortures of the damned, sir.
  • [last line of the film] I was cured all right.

Mr. Deltoid

  • You watch out, little Alex, because next time it's not going to be the Corrective School anymore. Next time, it's going to be the barry place and all my work ruined. If you've no respect for your horrible self, you at least might have some for me who's sweated over you. A big black mark, I tell you, for every one we don't reclaim. A confession of failure for every one of you who ends up in the stripy hole.
  • You are now a murderer, little Alex. A murderer...I've just come from the hospital. Your victim has died...It will be your own torture. I hope to God it will torture you to madness.


  • Excellent. He's enterprising, aggressive, outgoing, young, bold, vicious. He'll do...He's perfect. I want his records sent to me. This vicious young hoodlum will be transformed out of all recognition.
  • As I was saying, Alex, you can be instrumental in changing the public verdict. Do you understand, Alex? Have I made myself clear?
  • Tomorrow, we send him out with confidence into the world again, as decent a lad as you would meet on a May morning. What a change is here, ladies and gentlemen, from the wretched hoodlum the State committed to unprofitable punishment some two years ago. Unchanged after two years. Unchanged, do I say? - not quite. Prison taught him the false smile, the rubbed hand of hypocrisy, the fawning, greased obsequious leer. Other vices it taught him, as well as confirming in those he had long practiced before. Our party promised to restore law and order and to make the streets safe again for the ordinary peace-loving citizen. This pledge is now about to become a reality. Ladies and gentlemen, today is an historic moment. The problem of criminal violence is soon to be a thing of the past. But enough of words. Actions speak louder than. Action now. Observe all.
  • Our subject is impelled towards the good by paradoxically being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these, the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude. Any questions?

Dr. Brodsky

  • Very soon now, the drug will cause the subject to experience a death-like paralysis, together with deep feelings of terror and helplessness. One of our early test subjects described it as being like death, a sense of stifling or drowning, and it is during this period we have found that the subject will make his most rewarding associations between his catastrophic experience-environment and the violence he sees.
  • [to Alex] Violence is a very horrible thing. That's what you're learning now. Your body is learning it...You felt ill this afternoon because you're getting better. You see, when we are healthy, we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. You're becoming healthy, that's all. By this time tomorrow, you'll be healthier still.


  • I've heard about you. I know what you've done. Breaking the hearts of your poor grieving parents. So you're back, eh? You're back to make life a misery for your lovely parents once more, is that it?
  • You've been like a father and mother to me. Well, it wouldn't be fair now or right, I mean, for me to go off and leave you two to the tender mercies of this young monster, who's been like no real son at all. Look, he's weeping now. But that's all his craft and artfulness. Let him go and find a room somewhere else. Let him learn the errors of his way, and that a bad boy like he's been doesn't deserve such a good mum and dad as he's had...You've made others suffer. It's only right that you should suffer proper.

Mr. Alexander

  • I know you! Isn't it your picture in the newspapers? Didn't I see you on the video this morning? Are you not the poor victim of this horrible new technique?
  • Recruiting brutal young roughs into the police, proposing debilitating and will-sapping techniques of conditioning. Oh, we've seen it all before in other countries. The thin end of the wedge. Before we know where we are, we shall have the full apparatus of totalitarianism. This young boy is a living witness to these diabolical proposals. The people - the common people - must know, must see. There are great traditions of liberty to defend. The tradition of liberty is all. The common people will let it go. Oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life - that is why they must be led, sir, driven, pushed!!


  • Policeman: [to Deltoid] If you'd care to give him a bash in the chops, sir, don't mind us. We'll hold him down. He must be a great disappointment to you, sir.
  • Chief Guard: [to Alex] You are now 655321, and it is your duty to memorize that number.
  • Chaplain: What's it going to be then? Is it going to be in and out of institutions like this, though more in than out for most of you? Or are you going to attend to the Divine Word and realize the punishments that await unrepentant sinners in the next world as well as this? A lot of idiots you are, selling your birthright for a saucer of cold porridge, the thrill of theft, of violence, the urge to live easy. Well, I ask you, what is it worth? When we have undeniable proof, yes, incontrovertible evidence that Hell exists. I know, I know, my friends. I have been informed in visions that there is a place darker than any prison, hotter than any flame of human fire, where souls of unrepentant criminal sinners like yourselves. Don't you laugh, damn you, don't you laugh. I say like yourselves, scream in endless and unendurable agony. Their skin rotting and peeling, a fireball spinning in their screaming guts. I know, oh yes, I know.
  • Prison Governor: The new ridiculous ideas have come at last and orders are orders...The new view is that we turn the bad into good. All of which seems to me to be grossly unjust...You are to be reformed.
  • Tramp: This is the poisonous young swine that near done me in. Him and his friends, they beat me and kicked me and punched me. Stop him, stop him. They laughed at my blood and my moans. This murderous young pig.


Alex: [voiceover] One thing I could never stand was to see a filthy, dirty old drunkie, howling away at the filthy songs of his fathers and going blerp, blerp in between, as it might be a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts. I could never stand to see anyone like that, whatever his age might be, but more especially when he was real old like this one was.
[The boys stop and applaud the Tramp's singing]
Tramp: Can you spare some cutter, me brothers?
[Alex rams his club into the tramp's stomach]
Tramp: Go on, do me in, you bastard cowards. I don't want to live anyway...not in a stinking world like this.
Alex: Oh...and what's so stinking about it?
Tramp: It's a stinking world because there's no law and order any more. It's a stinking world because it lets the young get onto the old, like you done. Oh...it's no world for an old man any longer. What sort of a world is it at all? Men on the moon, and men spinning around the earth, and there's not no attention paid to earthly law and order no more.

[Alex has just struck Dim on the legs for ridiculing a woman's singing of Beethoven]
Dim: What did you do that for?
Alex: For being a bastard with no manners, you haven't a dook of an idea how to comport yourself public-wise, O my brother!
Dim: I don't like you should do what you've done and I'm not your brother no more and wouldn't want to be.
Alex: Watch that, do watch that O Dim, if to continue to be on live thou, dost wist?
Dim: Yarbles! Great bolshy yarblockos to you. I'll meet you with chain or nozh or britva anytime. I'm not having you aiming tolchocks at me reasonless. It stands to reason, I won't have it.
Alex: A nozh scrap anytime you say.
[long pause]
Dim: Doobiedoob, a bit tired maybe, best not to say more. Bedways is rightways now, so best we go homeways and get a bit of spatchka. Right-right?

Dad: I wonder, where exactly is it he goes to work of evenings?
Mum: Well, like he says, it's mostly odd things he does, helping like, here and there as it might be.

Deltoid: There was a bit of a nastiness last night, yes. Some very extreme nastiness, yes. A few of a certain Billyboy's friends were ambulanced off late, yes? Your name was mentioned, the word has got thru to me by the usual channels. Certain friends of yours were named also. Oh, nobody can prove anything about anybody as usual, but I'm warning you, little Alex, being a good friend to you as always, the one man in this sore and sick community who wants to save you from yourself!
[he strikes Alex sharply in the groin]
Deltoid: What gets into you all? We study the problem. We've been studying it for damn well near a century, yes, but we get no further with our studies. You've got a good home here, good loving parents, you've got not too bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside of you?
Alex: Nobody's got anything on me, brother, sir. I've been out of the rookers of the millicents for a long time now.
Deltoid: That's just what worries me. A bit too long to be safe. You're about due now by my reckoning. That's why I'm warning you, little Alex, to keep your handsome young proboscis out of the dirt. Do I make myself clear?
Alex: As an unmuddied lake, sir. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me, sir.

Alex: Let's get things nice and sparkling clear. This sarcasm, if I may call it such, does not become you, O my little brothers. As I am your droog and leader, I am entitled to know what goes on, eh? Now then, Dim, what does that great big horsy gape of a grin portend?
Georgie: All right, no more picking on Dim, brother. That's part of the new way.
Alex: New way? What's this about a new way? There's been some very large talk behind my sleeping back, and no error.
Georgie: Well, if you must have it, have it then. We go around, shop crasting and the like, coming out with a pitiful rookerful of money each.
Dim: Pitiful rookerful.
Georgie: And there's Will the English, in the Muscleman coffee mesto, saying he can fence anything that any malchick tries to crast. The shiny stuff, the ice, the big, big, big money is available, is what Will the English says.
Dim: Big, big money.
Alex: And what will you do with the big, big, big money? Have you not everything you need? Have you not everything you need? If you need a motor car, you pluck it from the trees. If you need pretty polly, you take it.
Georgie: Brother, you think and talk sometimes like a little child.

Alex: I won't say a single solitary slovo unless I have my lawyer here. I know the law, you bastards.
Inspector: We'll have to show our little friend Alex here that we know the law too, but that knowing the law isn't everything.

Deltoid: Dear, dear, this boy does look a mess, doesn't he? Just look at the state of him.
Policeman: Love's young nightmare, like.
Inspector: Violence makes violence. He resisted his lawful arrestors.
Deltoid: This is the end of the line for me.

Chaplain: The Governor has grave doubts about it [aversion therapy] and I have heard that there are very serious dangers involved.
Alex: I don't care about the dangers, Father. I just want to be good. I want for the rest of my life to be one act of goodness.
Chaplain: The question is whether or not this technique really makes a man good. Goodness comes from within. Goodness is chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
Alex: I don't understand about the whys and wherefores, Father. I only know I want to be good.
Chaplain: Be patient, my son. Put your trust in the Lord.

Minister: Cram criminals together and what do you get - concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment.
Governor: I agree, sir, what we need are larger prisons - more money.
Minister: Not a chance, my dear fellow. The Government can't be concerned any longer with outmoded penological theories. Soon we may be needing all our prison space for political offenders. Common criminals like these are best dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that's all. Full implementation in a year's time. Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their so-called punishment.
Alex: You're absolutely right, sir.
Minister: What is your crime?
Alex: The accidental killing of a person, sir.

Alex: It's a sin..using Ludwig van like that. He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music.
Dr. Brodsky: It can't be helped. Here's the punishment element perhaps. The Governor ought to be pleased...I'm sorry, Alex, this is for your own good. You'll have to bear with us for a while. You must take your chance, boy. The choice has been all yours.

Chaplain: Choice! The boy has no real choice, has he? Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrong-doer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.
Minister: Padre, these are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime. And with relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons. He will be your true Christian, ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify. Sick to the very heart at the thought even of killing a fly. Reclamation, joy before the angels of God. The point is that it works!
Alex: [voice-over] And the very next day, your Friend and Humble Narrator was a free man.

Dad: Are you all right, lad?
Mum: Dad...it's the treatment.
Joe: Well, it's disgusting. I mean, it's enough to put you off your food.
Mum: Oh leave him be, Joe, it's the treatment.

[Alex encounters his old friends Dim and Georgie, who are now policemen]
Alex: It's impossible! I can't believe it!
Georgie: Evidence of the ol' glazzies! Nothing up our sleeves, no magic little Alex! A job for two who are now of job age! The police!

Alex: The old days are dead and gone. For what I did in the past, I've been punished...I've been cured.
Dim: This is to make sure you stay cured.
[he and Georgie beat Alex bloody and half-drown him]

Alex: Your wife, sir, is she away?
Mr. Alexander: NO, SHE'S DEAD!
Alex: I'm sorry to hear about that, sir.
Mr. Alexander: She was very badly raped, you see. We were assaulted by a gang of vicious young hoodlums in this house, in this very room you are sitting in now. I was left a helpless cripple, but for her, the agony was too great. The doctors said it was pneumonia because it happened some months later during a flu epidemic. The doctors told me it was pneumonia but I knew what it was. A victim of the modern age - poor, poor girl. And now, you, another victim of the modern age, but you can be helped.

Conspirator: Do you still feel suicidal?
Alex: Well, put it this way, I feel very low in myself. I can't see much in the future, and I feel that any second something terrible is going to happen to me. [slumps into spaghetti]

Minister: We tried to help you. We followed recommendations which were made to us that turned out to be wrong. An inquiry will place the responsibility where it belongs. We want you to regard us as friends. We put you right. You are getting the best of treatment. We never wished you harm, but there are some who did, and do, and I think you know who those are. There are certain people who wanted to use you for political ends. They would have been glad to have you dead, for they thought they could then blame it all on the Government. There is also a certain man, a writer of subversive literature, who has been howling for your blood. He has been mad with desire to stick a knife into you but you are safe from him now. We put him away. He found out that you had done wrong to him. At least he believed you had done wrong. He formed this idea in his head that you had been responsible for the death of someone near and dear to him. He was a menace. We put him away for his own protection, and also for yours...We are interested in you and when you leave here you will have no worries. We shall see to everything - a good job on a good salary.
Alex: What job and how much?
Minister: You must have an interesting job with a salary which you would regard as adequate, not only for the job that you're going to do, and in compensation for what you believe you have suffered, but also because you are helping us.
Alex: Helping you, sir?
Minister: We always help our friends, don't we? It is no secret that this Government has lost a lot of popularity because of you, my boy. There are some who think that at the next election, we shall be out. The press has chosen to take a very unfavorable view of what we tried to do. But public opinion has a way of changing, and you...you can be instrumental in changing the public's verdict. Do you understand, Alex? Do I make myself clear?
Alex: As an unmuddied lake, Fred. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me, Fred.

See also

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