The Making of A Clockwork Orange (And a Musical Detour)

From a cinema point of view, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) has a lot to answer for. Banned in the UK for decades and criticized as overly violent, it was nevertheless a hugely influential film.

And I’m not just talking about cinema; it was massively influential on music. To wit:

  • Portions of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character were inspired by some of the imagery and attitudes displayed in the movie.
  • The all-electronic score, composed by Walter Carlos, became a template for all kinds of proto-electronica bands in the 1970s.
  • I can think of several bands that took their name from scenes in the film (Heaven 17, Haircut 100, Moloko, Malchicks, Ultra Violence, Korovo Milk Bar, for example)
  • Alex, the main character, is a music fan–albeit one of classical music, especially Beethoven. He fantasizes about violence and rape while listening to music.
  • A pivotal scene takes place in a record store.
  • Dozens of music videos copped from the film. (Click here for some examples)

If you haven’t seen A Clockwork Orange, you should. If you have, you’ll be interested in this documentary on the making of the film.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “The Making of A Clockwork Orange (And a Musical Detour)

  • July 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    It's not the UK banned it, it's that Kubrick withdrew it from the UK market after a series of cases where the film was referenced as an influence and because of the threats to both he and his wife… and then when he died, UK distribution happened again.

    “There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?” – Dick Cavett


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