A Clockwork Orange: The First 25 Years

  • Yvonne Ng


TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER ITS FIRST RELEASE in New York on 20th December 1971, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, adapted from the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess, has acquired a prominent place in the history of cinema. However, at the time of its release, it generated much controversy and was heavily criticised in its artistic, political and social dimensions. A New York Times reviewer called it "a marvelously executed, sensationalist, confused and finally corrupt piece of pop trivia, signifying nothing."(1) Next, Fred M. Hechinger, an American liberal, accused the film of promoting fascist ideology.(2) In March 1972, the Detroit News refused to give advertising and publicity space to X-rated films, judging them to be of "pornographic nature" and instituted its policy with A Clockwork Orange.(3) On the other hand, the film was also nominated for four 1971 Academy Awards and it received the 1971 New York Film...