Shot-by-Shot Analysis
Part Five

Go to TOC for this film ( (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).


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Alex Transferred into the Care of the Ludovico Medical Facility, Shots 324 through 332
Alex Begins His Treatment with Serum 114, Shots 333 through 342
Alex Described as "Chosen" and Serum-114's Relationship to CRM-114 The programming for Alex to make his suicidal leap as programmed in the Ludovico Cinema.
The First Round at the Ludovico Cinema, Shots 343 through 362
The Second Meeting with Brodsky in Alex's Room at the Ludovico Facility, Shots 363 through 368
The Second Round of Films in the Ludovico Cinema, Shots 369 through 407
Comparing the first and second rounds of films.
The Projection Light
Overture to the Sun/Son, Shots 408 through 453
The testing of Alex's reformation into the perfect Christian.
Richard III


324 LS Exterior Ludovico Medical Facility. (1:07:18)

A Clockwork Orange - The Ludovico Facility

Cut to Alex being marched to the modern, sterile, Luduvico Medical Facility which is similar in feel to 18-A Linear North, both severe behemoths of concrete. He is escorted by the Chief Guard, handcuffed to another officer.

The scene was shot at Brunel University, as was Alex in the cinema, the lobby of 18A-Linear North, and the hospital room in which Alex stays while having his Ludovico treatments. Brunel is an example of Brutalist Architecture, and I would imagine Kubrick chose this type of architecture not only for its appearance but for the name, buildings of this sort dominating the few exterior shots, and those shots done in such a way that we see little else than these heavy, lumbering, great slabs of concrete (I love Brutalist architecture, by the way, which doesn't get a lot of respect). We viewed much the same outside Alex's home at 18A-Linear North and at the marina. Most notably, what wasn't from the school of Brutalist Architecture was the prison, perhaps because it represents the old view, the eye for an eye view, while the Brutalist is to be aligned with the new.

ALEX (VO): The next morning I was taken to the Ludovico Medical Facility, outside the town center, and I felt a malenky bit sad having to say goodbye to the old staja, as you always will when you leave a place you've like gotten used to.

They enter the facility through already open doors.

CHIEF GUARD: Right. Halt the prisoner.

The camera pans left as the Chief Guard turns in his military manner and steps forward to address the doctor his already waiting at a reception desk, a Ludovico guard standing ready to receive Alex.

CHIEF GUARD: Good morning, sir, I'm Chief Officer Barnes. I've got six double five three two one on a transfer from Parkmoor to the Ludovico Center, sir!

325 MS The doctor, a receptionist and a Ludovico guard at the Enquiries desk. (1:07:47)

A Clockwork Orange - The Ludovico Facility

DOCTOR ALCOTT: Good morning. Yes, we've been expecting you. I'm Dr. Alcott.

326 MS Chief Guard, Alex and the other officer beyond. (1:07:51)

CHIEF GUARD (looking at his clipboard): Dr. Alcott. Very good, sir.

He advances out of frame left.

327 LS Enquiries desk, the Chief Guard approaching. (1:07:58)

CHIEF GUARD: Are you prepared to accept the prisoner, sir?

DOCTOR ALCOTT: Yes, of course.

The doctor's response is somewhat condescending in tone, the relaxed attitude in sharp contrast to the chief guard's clipped militarism, but also one of overweening authority.

CHIEF GUARD: Well, I wondered if you'd mind signing these transfer documents, sir.

328 MS Chief Guard with Doctor Alcott at the desk. (1:08:08)

CHIEF GUARD: There, sir.

The doctor signs.

CHIEF GUARD (flipping to another document): And there, sir. And there. Thank you, sir.

The chief guard hands the doctors his copies and faces Alex who is off screen.

CHIEF GUARD: Prison escort move forward.

Shot 326

Shot 327

Shot 328

329 LS The prison escort bringing Alex forward. (1:08:55)


Alex stomps with enthusiastic, dancerly, exaggerated zeal.

A Clockwork Orange - The medical facility

CHIEF GUARD (to the doctor): Excuse me, sir. (He moves to unlock Alex from the escort, but his key ready, hesitates.) Is that the officer that is to take charge of the prisoner, sir?

The doctor nodding, the prison guard, a large person, steps forward and takes Alex by the left arm.

330 MCU Chief Guard unlocking Alex. (1:09:20)

CHIEF GUARD (to the doctor): If I might offer a word of advice, doc, you'll have to watch this one. A right brutal bastard he has been, and will be again, in spite of all his sucking up to the prison chaplain and reading the Bible.

DOCTOR ALCOTT (removing his glasses): Oh, I think we can manage things. Charlie, will you show the young man to his room now.

CHARLIE: Right, sir. Come this way, please.

331 MS Charlie leading Alex off screen left. (1:09:40)

332 CU Chief Guard glaring after Alex. (1:09:43)

Shot 330

Shot 331

Shot 332

The music which has been playing throughout, another of the Pomp and Circumstance pieces, fades.

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333 LS Interior hospital ward, Charlie standing guard in the narrow hall. (1:09:46)

We hear footsteps and a female doctor in a white coat and orange cravat enters from the left. A nurse follows behind her carrying a tray.

DOCTOR BRANOM: Good morning, Charlie.

CHARLIE: Good morning, doctor.

He reaches to open the door behind him and the camera follows the doctor and nurse into Alex's room where we see him lounging comfortably in his bed with its blue spread, reading the newspaper, his breakfast food tray on his lap.

DOCTOR BRANOM: Good morning, Alex, I'm Dr. Branom, Dr. Brodsky's assistant.

ALEX: Good morning, missus. Lovely day, isn't it?

DOCTOR BRANOM: Yes, indeed it is. May I take that?

The doctor takes the magazine Alex is reading and his tray and moves them to a side table.

DOCTOR BRANOM: How are you feeling this morning?

ALEX: Fine. Fine.


She seats herself on his bed. At the prison, the place of the "old view", we had several instances of Alex having to stand behind the white line that was symbolic of his status as a prisoner. Here, we have a blue line that runs down the center of Alex's blue bedspread, and Dr. Brodsky seating herself to one side of it while Alex is on the other.

A Clockwork Orange - Alex's room at the Lucovico medical facility

DOCTOR BRANOM: Now in a few minutes you'll meet...

334 MS Dr. Branom from behind Alex's left shoulder. (1:10:10)

A Clockwork Orange - The Ludovico Facility

DOCTOR BRANOM: ...Dr. Brodsky and we'll begin your treatment.

335 CU Medical tray holding hypo needles, cotton swabs and a vial of Exp./Serum No. 114 (1:10:12)

DOCTOR BRANOM: You're a very lucky boy to have been chosen.

The camera zooms in on the bottom of serum as she says "chosen".

A Clockwork Orange - 114

ALEX: I realize that, Missus, and I'm very grateful to all concerned.

336 MS Dr. Branom from behind Alex's left shoulder. (1:10:21)

DOCTOR BRANOM: We're going to friends then, aren't we, Alex?

A Clockwork Orange - The Ludovico Facility

ALEX: I hope so, missus.

337 CU Hypodermic needle being inserted into the top of the bottle. (1:10:24)

We hear the hypo being inserted through the rubber into the bottle.

A Clockwork Orange - The vial

At the place of the insertion of the needle a highlight halo is formed

ALEX: What's the hypo for, then? Going to send me to sleep?

DOCTOR BRANOM (laughing): Oh, no, nothing of the sort.

338 MS Alex from behind Dr. Branom. (1:10:31)

ALEX: Vitamins, will it be then?

DOCTOR BRANOM: Something like that.

339 MS Dr. Branom from behind Alex, the nurse behind her. (1:10:34)

DOCTOR BRANOM: You're a little undernourished, so after each meal we're going to give you a shot. Roll over on your right side, please, loosen your pajama pants, and pull them halfway down.

340 MS Alex from behind Dr. Branom. (1:10:44)

Alex unties the string of his pants, grinning, and turns on his side.

ALEX (as the doctor gives him his shot): What exactly is the treatment here going to be, then?

341 MS Dr. Branom from behind Alex, the nurse behind her. (1:10:57)

DOCTOR BRANOM: Oh, it's quite simple really. We're just going to show you some films.

ALEX: You mean like going to the pictures?

DOCTOR BRANOM: Something like that.

342 CU Alex. (1:11:06)

Shot 338

Shot 339

Shot 340

Shot 341

Shot 342

ALEX: Well, that's good. I like to viddy the old films, now and again.

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Much is made of Kubrick's using CRM-114 or a version thereof somewhere in most of his films. In this one the CRM-114 is expressed in the Serum-114, this perhaps reinforced in the name of the drink the boys were specified as having at the beginning of the film, back at the bar, Drencrom, which is one of Burgess' Nadsat language terms and means "drug". The name of the Ludovico drug that Alex received wasn't referred to in Burgess' book, nor was it specified as a "serum". In no place in Burgess' book is a serum mentioned. The Drencrom (crom being drug) becomes our connection point between CRM-114 and the drug that is Serum-114.

ChRM, in Hebrew, means "chosen", as in secluded, devoted to religious purposes, especially destruction, and I think it's of importance here as the shot of the vial of Serum-114 occurs at the same time that Alex is being told he's quite lucky to have been chosen.

Again, in Dr. Strangelove the use of CRM is in conjunction with seclusion, meaning the lone, damaged jet which could not be contacted and turned back from delivering its bomb.

As the Kubrick fan knows, there's a history behind Kubrick and 114. Turning to Dr. Strangelove and Peter Bryant's book Red Alert:

"To ensure the enemy cannot plant false transmissions and fake orders, once the attack orders have been passed and acknowledged the CRM 114 is to be switched into the receiver circuit. The three code letters of the period are to be set on the alphabet dials of the CRM 114, which will then block any transmissions other than those preceded by the set letters from being fed into the receiver."

Or, as it is put in Wikipedia:

The C.R.M. 114 Discriminator is a fictional piece of critical radio equipment...the destruction of which prevents the crew of a B-52 from hearing the recall code that would stop them from dropping their atomic bombs on the U.S.S.R.

So, the CRM 114 was not an invention of Kubrick's. But he liked it. A lot. And it homophonically becomes here Serum 114.

The word "chosen" was used several times in Burgess' book but there was never this particular dialogue with Branom in which Alex was told he was lucky to be chosen, or that he was chosen at all, so it is Kubrick who has inserted this dialogue overlaying the vial of Serum-114.

ChRM-114 ties in directly with Alex's conditioning to make the suicidal leap from the window to his death, though an opposing political force negotiates it in the end. During the 2nd round of films Alex is shown, the Nazi films, he is presented footage of parachutists leaping from Nazi planes, the number on the most prominent plane being 0141, a permutation of 114.

141 is the gematria of MTzVH, meaning a commandment.

From Wikipedia:

It is a word used in Judaism to refer to the 613 commandments given in the Torah (at Har Sinai, Where all the Jews accepted the Torah, Saying "We will do, and we will listen") and the seven rabbinic commandments instituted later for a total of 620. According to the teachings of Judaism, all moral laws are, or are derived from, divine commandments.

The secondary meaning of Hebrew mitzvah, as with English "commandment," refers to a moral deed performed as a religious duty. As such, the term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness. The tertiary meaning of mitzvah also refers to the fulfillment of a mitzvah.

We will do, and we will listen. Alex will do, he will listen.

Having observed the parachutists leaping from the plane numbered 141, while listening to Beethoven, does Alex later, tormented by Beethoven, intuit his desire to snuff it and make his suicidal leap from the window.

See 114, Dr. Strangelove, and Lolita Collide in Scenic.

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343 MS A doctor leaning over Alex who is strapped in a chair at the front of an auditorium. (1:11:11)

To the rear of the auditorium are about 12 individuals in white coats. A projector light at the rear star flares the camera.

A Clockwork Orange - The theater

ALEX (VO): And viddy films I would. Where I was taken to, Brothers, was like no cine I ever viddied before.

344 CU Alex's eyes being propped open with metal prongs. (1:11:20:)

A Clockwork Orange - The whites of Alex's eyes

ALEX: I was bound up in a straight jacket and my gulliver was strapped to a headrest with like wires running away from it. Then they clamped like lid locks 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, oh my Brothers.

345 MS Alex in the chair at the front of the theater. (1:11:50)

Alex's eyes are locked open, reminding of the eyeballs he wore on his cuffs when he was the one doing the assaulting. His right eye is locked open first, which is the one upon which he had worn the decorative false eyelashes. When we've a glimpse of the whites of his eyes as they are locked, the painting of the red booted woman in the Cat Woman's home is also called to mind, the one in which we could only see the whites of the woman's eyes, as if they had been ripped out, but instead of bloody sockets there was only white with blood running from them.

The doctor now sits beside Alex, applying drops to his eyes to keep them from drying out.

346 LS The physicians seated at the theater's rear. (1:12:03)

We see the physicians to the rear of the room. Within the discordant but not unpleasant synthetic music that plays, we hear a woman's voice screaming, "Let me go, no!" But the sound of it is garbled. As the music continues it becomes more harmonious.

347 MS Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Branom. (1:12:07)

We see the two doctors sitting before equipment with lit numbers running quickly by. Dr. Brodsky wears a blue shirt with a blue velvet bow tie.

348 Action on the movie screen, MS of a man being kicked down stairs. (1:12:10)

A person in boots somewhat like those of Alex and his droogs, and a shirt and pants and codpiece similar to their garb, kicks a man in a suit down a metal fire escape and grabs him by the throat.

ALEX (VO): So far the first film was a very good professional piece of cine like it was done in Hollywood.

349 Action on the movie screen. MS of the man at the bottom of the stairs being grabbed by three droogs. (1:12:17)

The man in the gray suit and purple tie bleeding all about the face, blood staining the front of his clothes, the droogs pick him up. Some hold him from behind while the others continue to pound him senseless. Though the clothing is like what had been worn by Alex and the droogs, there is something about it all that feels not quite right, just as their costume hats--Napoleonic and baroque and early colonial--seem too much a costume rather than authentic gang garb, and the long hair looks like wigs. One has the feeling of watching narcs masquerading as druggies or dealers. Of policemen acting and dressing like what they believe the gang members to act and dress like, but they instead are thug policemen.

They each wear a wristwatch prominently displayed.

The book made it very clear this violence was so realistic--much harsher than anything shown here--that Alex was perplexed how it could have been acted, but had to assume it was acted as it was being shown him by authority, by government. But the implication was that it was real.

ALEX (VO): The sounds were real horror show. You could slooshie the screams and moans, very realistic. You could even get the heavy breathing and panting of the tolchcoking malchicks...

350 CU Alex watching, drops being applied. (1:12:26)

ALEX (VO): the same time. And then what do you know, soon our dear old friend the red red...

Shot 345

Shot 346

Shot 347

Shot 348

Shot 349

Shot 350

351 MS The movie screen droogs continuing to beat up the man in the gray suit. (1:12:33)

We see behind, on the brick wall, the letters NOE. The N and O are in bright red and the E in a dark red.

A Clockwork Orange - The movie gang

ALEX (VO): ...vino on tap, the same in all places, like it was put out by the same big firm...

352 CU The bloodied face of the man being beaten. (1:12:39)

ALEX (VO): ...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.

Kubrick, from the credits on, makes pointed use of two different shades of red in this film--a fire engine red and a burgundy red. We see the two different shades in the NOE on the brick. The NO is more fire engine red, while the E is more burgundy. Beside the NOE on the brick is a smear of mauve color that is much the same as the color of the carpet in Alex's bedroom at 18A-Linear North, and the curtains at the old Casino.

353 CU Alex. (1:12:52)

A Clockwork Orange - Eyes pried open

ALEX (VO): 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...

354 MS Droogs on movie screen raping a woman in a bright pink wig. (1:13:09)

ALEX (VO): ...which jumped right away on a young devotchka who was being given the old in-out, in-out...

355 MS Another angle of droogs on movie screen raping the woman. (1:13:15)

ALEX (VO): ...first by one malchick...

356 MS Another angle of droogs on movie screen raping the woman, another man atop her. (1:13:18)

ALEX (VO): ...then another...

357 MS Another angle of droogs on movie screen raping the woman, another man atop her. (1:13:20)

ALEX (VO): ...then another.

358 MS Alex at the front of the theater, attended by the doctor with the drops. (1:13:23)

Alex burps uncomfortably.

ALEX (VO): When it came to the sixth or seventh malchick leering and smecking (burps onscreen) and going into it, I began to feel really sick.

359 CU Alex. (1:13:35)

ALEX (VO): But I could not shut me glassies. And even if I tried to move my glassballs about (burps onscreen), I still could not get out of the line of fire of this picture.

ALEX: Let me up. I'm going to be sick. Get something for me to be sick in!

360 CU Dr. Brodsky.(1:13:58)

ALEX (distant, from the front of the theater): I'm going to be sick.

DOCTOR BRODSKY (to his peers): Very soon, now, the drug will cause the subject to experience a deathlike paralysis together with deep feelings of terror and helplessness.

ALEX (off screen, distant): Please, I can't stand it any more...

DOCTOR BRODSKY: One of our earlier test subjects described it as being like death, a sense of stifling or drowning.

Shot 354

Shot 355

Shot 356

Shot 357

Shot 358

Shot 359

Shot 360

Shot 361

Shot 362

361 CU Dr. Branom. (1:14:20)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: And it is during this period we've found the subject...

362 CU Dr. Brodsky. (1:14:24)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: ...will make his most rewarding associations between his catastrophic experience, environment and the violence he sees.

ALEX (off screen): glassies!

Brodsky's relation that Alex will soon be feeling a sense of stifling or drowning that is like death foretells the later scene in which Alex will be nearly drowned by Georgie Boy and Dim.

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363 CU Dr. Branom in Alex's room. (1:14:33)

DOCTOR BRANOM: Dr. Brodsky is pleased with you. You've made a very positive response.

364 MS Dr. Branom seated before Alex who rests in his bed. (1:14:40)

They both drink cups of coffee or tea.

DOCTOR BRANOM: Now, tomorrow, there will be two sessions, of course, morning and afternoon.

ALEX (appalled): You mean I have to viddy two sessions in one day?

DOCTOR BRANOM: I imagine you'll be feeling a little bit limp by the end of the day, but we have to be hard on you. You...

365 CU Alex. 1:14:53

DOCTOR BRANOM: ...have to be cured.

ALEX: It was horrible.

366 CU Dr. Branom. (1:14:57)

DOCTOR BRANOM: Of course it was horrible. Violence is a very horrible thing. That's what you're learning now, your body's learning it.

367 MS Dr. Brannon seated before Alex lying in his bed. (1:15:04)

ALEX: I just don't understand about feeling sick the way I did. I never used to feel sick before. I used to feel like the very opposite. I mean, doing it or watching it I used to feel real horrorshow.

Shot 362

Shot 364

Shot 365

Shot 366

Shot 367

Shot 368

368 CU Dr. Branom. (1:15:14)

DOCTOR BRANOM: You felt ill this afternoon because you're getting better. You see, when we're 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.

A Clockwork Orange - Orange tie

The doctor wears an orange-toned tie. When Alex is done with his treatment he will ironically be confronted again by many of those he earlier harmed, most of this coincidental, and the color orange will play in each of those scenes, usually worn by the person who now assaults or wrongs him.

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369 Film of Hitler walking through a veritable sea of Nazi troops. (1:15:31)

A Clockwork Orange - Alex watching the Ludovico cinema

370 Film of Hitler walking through a veritable sea of Nazi troops, opposing view showing also the grandstand, eagles and swastikas. (1:15:39)

A Clockwork Orange - Alex watching the Ludovico cinema

Beethoven's 9th symphony, the 4th movement, begins.

371 Footage of Nazis marching, each holding a banner with swastika. (1:15:44)

372 Footage of Nazis blowing horns, swastika armbands on their sleeves. (1:15:49)

373 Footage of the leader of a Nazi marching band. (1:15:52)

374 Footage of planes. (1:15:52)

375 Footage of planes. (1:15:54)

376 Footage of a diving plane dropping bombs. (1:15:57)

377 Footage, from a plane, of military vehicles on a road. (1:16:00>

378 Footage from a plane of missiles being shot. (1:16:02)

379 Footage of missiles. (1:16:03)

Shot 371

Shot 372

Shot 373

Shot 374

Shot 375

Shot 376

Shot 377

Shot 378

Shot 379

380 Footage of planes with parachutists leaping. (1:16:05)

A Clockwork Orange - 0141 and the leap

This is the first footage of the parachutists in the film. On the side of the plane is a 141, a permutation of Serum-114. Though a permutation, it's possible that this 141 is intended to be a visual link between the Serum-114 and the CRM-114 of the bomber in Dr. Strangelove.

The Nazi symbolism returns us to the confrontation between Alex and his droogs and Billie Boy and his gang at the Casino, Billie Boy having been adorned with the Nazi Iron Cross and the Iron Eagle.

381 MS Footage of parachutists leaping from a plane. (1:16:08)

382 Footage from POV of tank going through a field of flowers. 1:16:10

383 Footage of a building exploding. (1:16:13)

384 Footage of Nazi soldiers breaking in a door. (1:16:14)

385 Footage of the Barmaley Fountain in bombed out Stalingrad. (1:16:17)

The Barmaley Fountain needs some elucidation here. It shows several children dancing in a round about a crocodile in a devastated Stalingrad, and it is a famous bit of footage, but the Russian fairy tale that served as inspiration for the fountain fits well with the film. Not having access to the fairy tale and having to rely only on Wikipedia, the best I can gather is that in the story of Barmaley and a Doctor Aybolit, Barmaley was a nasty pirate. Doctor Aybolit, being burned in a fire by Barmaley, beckoned a crocodile to swallow Barmaley so he could no longer menace children. This was done but when Barmaley later promised to change he was released from his crocodile prison.

386 CU Alex. (1:16:22)

ALEX: 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 cooperative 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 my pain and sickness what music it was that like cracked and boomed.

387 CU Nazi eagle statue, its claws gripping a wreathed swastika. (1:16:52)

ALEX: It was Ludwig Van's Ninth Symphony, fourth movement.

388 CU Alex's right eye. (1:16:52)

Cut to a close-up of Alex's locked open eye, Alex screaming.

389 CU Alex. (1:17:03)

Alex continues to scream.

Note that Kubrick first focuses on the eagle's claws before the pan down to the swastika in the wreath. The talons become the metal tines holding Alex's eyes open.

ALEX: No, no!

390 MS Alex bound in his chair at the front of the theater. (1:17:13)

ALEX: Stop it, stop it, please! I beg you! It's a sin!

Shot 381

Shot 382

Shot 383

Shot 384

Shot 385

Shot 386

Shot 387

Shot 388

Shot 389

Shot 390

391 MS Doctor Branom and Doctor Brodsky. (1:17:17)

A Clockwork Orange - Doctors Branom and Brodsky

Branom's black and white tie today echoes the straps that hold Alex in his chair.

ALEX: It's a sin! It's a sin! It's a sin! It's a sin! It's a sin!

DOCTOR BRODSKY (leaning forward): Sin? What's all this about sin?

392 MS Alex bound in the chair at the front of the theater. (1:17:28)

ALEX: Using Ludwig Van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!

393 CU Doctor Branom. (1:17:37)

DOCTOR BRANOM: Are you referring to the background score?

394 CU Alex. (1:17:41)

ALEX: Yes!

395 CU Doctor Branom. (1:17:41)

DOCTOR BRANOM: You've heard Beethoven before?

396 CU Alex. (1:17:44)

ALEX: Yes!

397 CU Dr. Brodsky. (1:17:46)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: So you're keen on music!

398 CU Alex. (1:17:48)

ALEX: Yes!!

399 MS Doctor Branom and Doctor Brodsky. (1:17:51)

Branom looking at Brodsky with what seems a real trace of concern, Brodsky says it can't be helped.

DOCTOR BRODSKY: Can't be helped. Here's the punishment element perhaps. The governor ought to be pleased. (He calls out to Alex.) I'm sorry, Alex! This is for your own good! You'll have to bear with us for a while.

400 MS Alex in the chair at the front of the theater. (1:18:12)

ALEX: But it's not fair! It's not fair I should feel ill when I hear lovely, lovely Ludwig Van.

401 CU Dr. Brodsky. (1:18:19)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: You must take your chance, boy!

402 CU Dr. Branom. (1:18:22)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: The choice has been all yours!

403 MS Alex in the chair at the front of the theater. (1:18:25)

ALEX: You needn't take it any further, sir! You've proved to me that all this ultra-violence and killing is wrong! Wrong! Terribly wrong!

404 CU Alex. (1:18:35)

ALEX: I've learned my lesson, sir! I see now what I've never seen before! I'm cured! Praise God!

405 CU Dr. Brodsky. (1:18:44)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: You're not cured yet, boy.

406 CU Alex. (1:18:47)

ALEX: But, sirs, missus! 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 tochoked and knifed.

Shot 392

Shot 393

Shot 394

Shot 395

Shot 396

Shot 397

Shot 398

Shot 399

Shot 400

Shot 401

Shot 402

Shot 403

Shot 404

Shot 405

Shot 406

Shot 407

407 CU Dr. Brodsky. (1:19:04)

DOCTOR BRODSKY: No, no, boy, you really must leave it to us, and be cheerful about it. In less than a fortnight now you'll be a free man.

The first round of films were all color and Alex's delight was most dramatically aroused by the blood, which was met with nausea due violent impulse and the drug working upon him. Those films were also replications of violence that would be associated with his gang life, the actors dressed in costumes similar to what Alex and his droogs would wear. Burgess' book left some question as to whether the films were staged or actual as there was no editing so that some of the most grotesque effects and consequences of the extreme violence could seemingly not have been artificial. Kubrick, instead, allows the audience to briefly see a special effects blood bag worn by an abused actor.

This next round of film is real life, historical, some of it more ideological, expressed with symbols, rather than only violence. Another difference from the first round is that the images are all black and white (in the DVD there is a blue cast but I don't know if that was there originally). As if to complement this, Brodsky, who had been formerly dressed in an orange tie, now wears a tie with a large black and white diamond pattern, which also recalls the straps that hold Alex in his seat.

The music used in the first round of films had no beat and no defined melody. However, with the second round of films the Beethoven 9th symphony fourth movement is used, though it was Beethoven's 5th symphony in the book.

Burgess makes clear that those who apply the Ludovico cure are themselves diabolical, emotionless clockworks, unaffected by the arts and perceiving music only as an artificial manner of heightening emotion. The blue light that backs Brodsky and Branom may remind of the blue light the electrified Alex's profile in his beating of the Irish man.

"Music," said Dr. Brodsky, like musing. "So you're keen on music. I know nothing about it myself. It's a useful emotional heightener, that's all I know. What do you think about that, eh, Branom?"

"It can't be helped," said Dr. Branom. "Each man kills the thing he loves, as the poet-prisoner said. Here's the punishment element, perhaps. The Governor ought to be pleased."


"Grahzny bratchnies," I said, like snivelling. Then I said: "I don't mind about the ultra-violence and all that cal. I can put up with that. But it's not fair on the music. It's not fair I should feel ill when I'm slooshying lovely Ludwig van and G. F. Handel and others. All that shows you're an evil lot of bastards and I shall never forgive you sods."

They both looked a bit thoughtful. Then Dr. Brodsky said: "Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence--the act of love, for instance; music, for instance. You must take your chance, boy. The choice has been all yours."

Kubrick makes less clear that not only is Alex being thus treated to react with petrifying revulsion against violence, but against any emphatic emotion at all, and physical intimacy. He does communicate the cruelty of the doctors hrough their obliviousness to Alex's being deprived of any sort of passion, condemned to a tepid existence, a living death.

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The projection light, slightly off center screen, viewed beyond Alex at the back of the room, repeats a similar light observed in other scenes in the film, including the one in which Alex and his Droogs enter the milk bar after their assault on HOME, and is also viewed beyond the cat woman at her mansion. That light in her room was actually a spiral of numerous bulbs.

A Clockwork Orange - Goggly eyes

A Clockwork Orange - Entry to the milk bar

A Clockwork Orange - The cat woman

The projection light, accompanying Alex's treatment, as we see it from the POV of the screen, puts the audience in the position of being what is projected upon the screen and staring back at that projection. The audience has comprehended itself as viewing, but instead becomes what is viewed, Alex ogling us in horror on the busted fourth wall of his screen, staring back at us as we stare at him. The film has repeatedly blurred the boundaries of what is stage and what is reality with the use of theatrical settings and lights. The breaking of those boundaries is only now pointedly transferred to the audience via the projection light. With this in mind, looking back over the film, we can recognize the times previous a similar light has been brightly glaring out of the center of the screen into our eyes. Considering that the Oedipal myth deals with rigorously predetermined fate, which is not to be outsmarted, and that the pyramid shapes utilized bring in possibly the "all seeing" eye, instead of that eye being one that only views, it too is as a projector playing out its stories, if all is preordained, like a clockwork orange, mechanical and without freedom or choice, counter Dr. Brodsky's assurance that Alex will emerge a free man. The dilemma of whether or not man is a free creature is a repeated concern in Kubrick's films.

If we review again the scene of Alex in his chair in the Ludovico cinema, his eyelids locked, he staring at us, the projection light above, we realize we have not just a repeat of other scenes in which a light glares out of the screen at us but that Alex's lidlocked eyes are those of the poster at the Karova which is a version of the Kilroy was here pictoglyph but inverted. Again, with the omnipresent Kilroy, we bring in again the idea of the all-seeing, omnipresent eye.

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408 LS Audience in an auditorium facing a stage. (1:19:13)

A Clockwork Orange - The theater

An overture could be said to introduce and set tone, and we've had used in the film the overture for "The Thieving Magpie" and the "William Tell Overture". Now we have "Overture to the Sun" which has a Renaissance feel and thus suggests renewal, rebirth, fitting with the notion that Alex, having undergone the Ludovico treatment (via which he had "died", the feelings he experienced being as death) is a new man.

The movie had begun with a repeated use of light to mimic stage lights accompanying the violence of Alex and his droogs. In the book there had been inserted the uncertainty as to whether or not the violence Alex witnessed in the films was staged. Now we go to a literal stage and Alex being escorted through a door and up to it to stand on exhibit before the audience. A stage light is turned on him, blinding him, so that he raises his hand against it in an effort to see the audience. The Minister of the Interior rises and approaches the stage.

409 MS The Minister of the Interior, Alex beyond. (1:19:50)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: Ladies and gentlemen, at this stage we introduce the subject himself. He is, as you will perceive, fit and well nourished. He comes straight from a night's sleep and a good breakfast, undrugged, unhypnotized.

410 LS The audience from behind the Minister of the Interior. (1:20:05)

We view the Prison Chaplain, Chief Guard, Prison Governor, Doctor Brodsky and Doctor Branom.

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: Tomorrow, we send him out, with confidence, into the world again, as decent a lad as you would meet on a May morning.

411 LS The Minister of the Interior from behind the audience, Alex beyond. (1:20:13)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: 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...

412 MS Minister of the Interior, Alex beyond. (1:20:29)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: Unchanged, I say--not quite. Prison taught him the false smile, the rubbed hands of hypocrisy...

413 MCU The Chief Guard looking on uncomfortably. (1:20:34)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: ...the fawning greased obsequies leer. Other vices it taught him, as well as confirming in him those he had long practiced before.

414 MS The Minister of the Interior, Alex beyond. (1:20:45)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: 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!

415 MS The prison chaplain, chief guard and prison governor. (1:21:16)

All applaud mildly except for the chief guard.

416 MS The Minister of the Interior taking his seat. (1:21:22)

JR. MINISTER: Our necks are out a long way on this one, Minister.

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: I have complete faith in Brodsky. If the polls are right, we have nothing to lose.

417 LS Alex on the stage. (1:21:37)

To the strains of "Overture to the Sun", a man enters the stage from behind the blue curtain at the rear, approaches Alex, faces him and begins verbally abusing him.

ACTOR: Hello, heap of dirt. Eeew, you don't wash much, do ya, judging by the horrible smell.

418 LS from behind Alex and the actor, looking into the blue light. (1:21:51)

ALEX (laughing): Why'd you say that, brother? I showered this morning.

ACTOR: Oh, he had a shower this morning. You trying to call me a liar?

ALEX: No, brother.

419 MS The actor and Alex. (1:22:02)

ACTOR: You must think I'm awfully stupid. (He slaps Alex.)

ALEX: Why did you do that brother? I've never done wrong to you.

ACTOR: You want to know why I did that? Well, you see...

420 LS The actor and Alex. (1:22:19)

ACTOR (stomping Alex' foot): I do this! (Grab's Alex nose.) And that! (Grab's Alex's ear.) And this! Because I don't like your horrible type!

Alex, who had been hopping on one foot, holding his injured one, is pushed by the actor, falling onto his back, the actor stomping on his chest with his foot.

ACTOR: And if you want to start something, if you want to start, well, you just go ahead! Go on! Please, do!!

421 MCU Alex on his back, his hands grasping the foot digging into his chest. (1:22:30)

Alex burps, struggling, unable to defend himself.

ACTOR: Go on! Go on!

ALEX: I'm going to be sick. I'm gonna be sick.

ACTOR (stomping Alex's chest): You're going to be sick, are ya?

ALEX: I'm going to be sick. Please, let me get up.

422 MS The actor from Alex's POV. (1:22:40)

ACTOR: You wanna get up? Now, you listen to me. If you wanna get up, you're gonna do something for me. (Alex burps off screen.) Here, here. (Lifts the sole of his shoe over the camera.) You see that? You see that shoe?

423 MCU Alex on his back, the shoe in his face. (1:22:59)

ACTOR: Well, I want you to lick it. Go on!

424 CU Satisfied smile of the Chief Guard. (1:23:03)

ACTOR: Lick it!

Alex burps and gags.

425 CU Alex. (1:23:08)

ALEX: And, oh 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. (He belches.)

ACTOR: And, again!

ALEX: The horrible, killing sickness had wooshed up and turned the like joy of...

426 MS The Minister of the Interior, Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Branom. (1:23:26)

Shot 409

Shot 410

Shot 411

Shot 412

Shot 413

Shot 414

Shot 415

Shot 416

Shot 417

Shot 418

Shot 419

Shot 420

Shot 421

Shot 422

Shot 423

Shot 424

Shot 425

Shot 426

Alex' licking the shoe seems to be presaged in the Cat Woman's home by the painting of the woman licking a blue nipple. This may seem a stretch, but his next confrontation with the partially nude woman is certainly presaged by another painting in the Cat Woman's home.

ALEX: ...battle into a feeling I was going to snuff it.

ACTOR: And again! Nice and clean.

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: Thank you very much.

427 LS The actor and Alex from before the curtain. (1:23:37)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: That will do very well.

ACTOR (relaxing and walking to the center of the stage, the spotlight following): Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much.

The actor takes his bow, to applause, and exits, gesturing to Alex as if to another actor deserving of applause.

A Clockwork Orange - Blue light on the stage

428 MS A half naked, statuesque woman with violet-blond hair enters the stage from behind the blue curtain. (1:23:55)

The Clockwork Orange theme plays.

429 MS The chaplain, chief guard and prison governor look on, both startled and riveted. (1:23:59)

430 MS Alex on the stage floor, looking up at the woman. (1:24:05)

431 MS The woman in soft focus advancing. (1:24:10)

We watch from apparently Alex's POV, her eyes on his, or just above his head.

432 MS Alex on the stage floor, looking up at the woman. (1:24:29)

Alex rises to his knees.

433 MCU The woman.

434 MCU The chief guard, entranced, mouth hanging open. (1:24:50)

435 LS Alex on his knees before the woman as she stops before him, the blue spotlight shining between them. (1:24:55)

ALEX: She came towards me. With the light like it was, the like light of...

436 MCU The woman from Alex' POV below.

ALEX: ...heavenly grace, and the first thing that flashed into me gulliver was that I'd like to have her right down there on the floor...

437 MS Alex before the woman. (1:25:07)

ALEX ...with the old in-out, real savage.

Alex reaches his hands up toward her breasts.

438 MCU The woman from Alex's POV, gazing down on him from between her breasts. (1:25:14)

His hands enter the frame, reaching up...

439 MCU Alex from the POV of the woman. (1:25:23)

He belches sickeningly as his hands near her breasts.

His hands reaching for her breasts remind of the painting in the cat woman's house, the three breasts hanging from the seeming wire and the hand of the man in white reaching for one of them as there appears to explode around him blue-white rays.

ALEX: But quick as a shot came the sickness, like a detective that had been waiting around the corner...

440 MCU Alex before the woman, the light shining on them from beyond. (1:25:32)

ALEX: ...and now followed to make his arrest.

Belching in his illness, Alex lowers his hands and crumples at the woman's feet.

441 MS The Minister of the Interior, Doctor Brodsky and Doctor Branom. (1:25:42)


442 LS The actress from behind Alex. (1:25:49)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: Thank you very much!

The actress bows several times to overwhelming applause.

443 LS The actress bowing into the spotlight as the Minister of the Interior approaches the stage, Alex in the foreground crumpled in the dark on the ground. (1:25:56)

We see that all are applauding but for the prison chaplain.

Shot 428

Shot 429

Shot 430

Shot 431

Shot 432

Shot 433

Shot 434

Shot 435

Shot 436

Shot 437

Shot 438

Shot 439

Shot 440

Shot 441

Shot 442

Shot 443

Alex' confrontation with the woman is portrayed by the painting in the Cat Woman's home of the man seemingly being slammed into rays of blue light while reaching out to touch breasts hanging on a line.

A Clockwork Orange - Cat woman with the painting behind

A Clockwork Orange - Painting of  breasts hanging from line

444 LS From behind the actress. (1:25:59)

Silhouetted by the bright light, she backs up, takes a last bow, then turns and exits.

The blue light is to be compared with the light which had shown behind the droogs as they beat the Irish bum, and the blue light above the common of 18-A Linear North as Alex passed the triangle shaped enclosure on his way home after the invasion of HOME.

A Clockwork Orange - Blue light on the stage 2

A Clockwork Orange - Bum and the droogs

A Clockwork Orange - The housing project

What we observe with each of these instances of blue light is that it is at the apex of a triangle--from the stage it is observed at the vanishing point of a triangle of light, in the scene of the Irish bum it is light combined with the vanishing point of a path, then in the scene at 18A-Linear North it is observed as a non-radiant light above a triangular form. As with the projection light, we thus return to the idea of the all-seeing eye, but this blue light is used in producing sharp delineations of shadow and light.

445 MCU The Chief Guard clapping enthusiastically. (1:26:05)

446 LS from behind Alex of the Minister of the Interior before the stage, clapping. (1:26:08)

As the Minister moves toward Alex then turns and faces the audience, the spotlight follows, engulfing both him and Alex, who moves and sits at the front of the stage.

447 MS The Minister of the Interior and Alex from the POV of the audience. (1:26:15)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (to Alex): Not feeling too bad, now, are you?

ALEX (burping): No, sir. Feel really great, sir.


ALEX: Was it all right, sir? Did I do well, sir?

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (patting his shoulder): Fine, my boy. Absolutely fine. (Turning to the audience.) You see, ladies and gentlemen...

One may be reminded of the notion, held by some, that temptation is an act of deity as a test.

Kubrick here is illuminating the indistinct boundaries between sanctioned violence and independent, concerned with violence as sanctioned by "deity" and/or the state. Those who commit violence against Alex, on the stage, instructed to do so by the state, are thus absolved of any and all responsibility for their actions. We've the same problem with all determined and predetermined acts of deity or fate, most pointedly stated in the person of Judas who betrayed Christ. He was bound to act as he did, his betrayal was essential. When Christ on the cross absolves his crucifiers with the words "they know not what they do" this has not so much to do with their crucifying the son of god, and that they would not do so if they knew he was the son of god, but that they are clockwork oranges working in a mechanical way, fulfilling destiny.

Kubrick carries this predetermination over also to Alex, the "chosen", who is now the perfected Christian, unable to retaliate, absolutely passive. Whereas in prison we had observed his fantasy of inflicting violence on Christ, Alex is now the one "ready to be crucified rather than crucify". He has no choice but to turn the other cheek.

448 LS Minister of the Interior and Alex from behind, the light shining upon them. (1:26:28)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: ...our subject is impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being compelled towards evil. The intention to act violently, then, is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these, the subject has to switch to a diametrically...

449 MCU The chief guard struggling to comprehend. (1:26:45)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: ...opposed attitude. Any questions.


450 MS The Minister of the Interior and Alex from the POV of the audience, the prison chaplain rising and joining them. (1:26:52)

The Prison Chaplain grasps Alex's left shoulder and turns to the audience.

PRISON CHAPLAIN: 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...

451 CU Alex. (1:27:08)

PRISON CHAPLAIN: ...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 OF THE INTERIOR: Padre, these are subtleties. We are not concerned with motive, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime.

AUDIENCE (applauding): Here, here!

452 LS from behind Alex, the prison chaplain and the Minister of the Interior. (1:27:28)

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: And with relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons.

Shot 445

Shot 446

Shot 447

Shot 448

Shot 449

Shot 450

Shot 451

Shot 452

453 CU Alex. (1:27:34)

Alex smiles up at the Minister of the Interior as the Minister grasps his other shoulder.

A Clockwork Orange - The two ministers gripping Alex's shoulders

Kubrick emphasizes now the two ministers by having each grip a shoulder of Alex.

MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR: 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 (VO): And the very next day, your friend and humble narrator, was a free man.

Alex gazes preeningly at the audience as applause fills the room. His eyes glitter as blue as the spotlight that shone upon him while he was being abused.

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Kubrick compared Alex to Richard III of Shakespeare's play. Which makes me wonder if it is in The Tragedy of King Richard the Third we may find the reason for The Overture to the Sun.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Approx 8600 words or 17 single-spaced pages. A 66 minute read at 130 wpm.

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