Shot-by-Shot Analysis
Table of Contents


For the real film buff, I've gone through and listed shots, images from each, and length of time of shots. Because I raised myself on the old Evergreen Black Cat cinema books which took pains to do the same and loved studying them. And because that is the only way I felt I could really begin to do a good, involved analysis of Kubrick's films, which are very complex internally, and also all the films being related to one another.

Kubrick's films elicit a lot of whys and wherefores, "What does this mean?", because he included so many seeming puzzles inviting review, mysteries that demanded second and third notice, editing quirks and both subtle and obvious shifts in staging. My analyses haven't much to do with the psychology, but look at Kubrick's choices of stories, music, places he filmed, staging, the differences between the literature and the script that made it onto celluloid and how he chose to edit it all together, carrying themes from film to film, and based on these elements I dip into a variety of possible influences.

Links Below to Sections on this Page:

Table of Contents for this Analysis
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8
Supplemental posts
Notes on the Analyses (Disclaimer)

An In-depth Shot-by-shot Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's Film A Clockwork Orange - Table of Contents

TOC and Supplemental Posts | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Films Home

Part One

Credits, Shots 1 through 3
On the "Funeral Music for Queen Mary" and blood as redemption. Mary's husband, William of Orange, and the Orange Lodge.
The Orange on Red
The Two Shades of Red
Introducing the Milk Bar and Alex and His Droogs, Shot 4
The Mannequin Furniture
Women as Portrayed in the Opening Scene
The Irish Bum, Shots 5 through 12
The Irish and orange. A glimpse of Alex's rage which distinguishes him from his peers.
The Subway Tunnel
The Casino, Shots 13 through 42
The famous theater of the Principality of Orange (Arauncio) and theatricality in A Clockwork Orange. "The Thieving Magpie". A ballet. A history of violence as condoned by the big heads.
From Himberama to Wonderama
Joyriding, Shots 43 through 51
The Durango.
The Joke in "Then We Headed West"
Home, Shots 52 through 78
The orange globe. The bookcases and the hidden blackboards. Singing in the rain and the secret singer. Burgess as the writer. Alexander and Alex.
The Great Bird, Shots 79 through 92
Kilroy. The Ode to Joy and brotherhood. Lucy
On the Blackboards and Some Correspondences Between the Milk Bar, the Tunnel, and HOME
SKYBREAK, Mondrian and Opening Credits, Prison and Van Gogh

Part Two

Alex's Home, Shots 93 through 137
18 A Linear North and the cubist blackboard. The mural. Alex's bedroom and HOME. Alex's thieving of clockworks. The relationship of Cat Ballou to A Clockwork Orange and use of imagery from. The theatrical dancing Christs. Vampirism and blood religion.
One Million Years B.C.
Dracula and the Frankenstein of Lolita.
A Pain in the Gulliver, Shots 138 through 152
The golden apartment. Beethoven's death portrait alongside the "breathing" Beethoven. Decoding the tumbler lock. The roulette wheel. Mr. Deltoid and the extra set of teeth.
The Little Things
The Parting of the Earth
The March Through the Drug Store, Shots 153 through 154
Love is Colder Than Death. The relationship of Fahey's The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death to A Clockwork Orange.
Der Rosenkavalier, Love is Coder than Death, and the Chelsea Drug Store
"Ned Kelly" and the Sculptural Suit at HOME
The William Tell Overture and the Invisible Bowman, Shot 155
The rainbow phallus women as a gate to change, as with the rainbow women in Eyes Wide Shut.
Gillian Hills, the Threesome, and Blow-Up
Funeral Parade of Roses, its Oedipal theme, bloody eyes, and the equating of cinema with drugs for the eyes.

Part Three

Alex Unseated as Leader Shots 156 through 1169
The Pram and the declaration of a move from infancy to manhood.
The Marina, Shots 170 through 185
Where Alex viddies the difference between inspiration and thought. A comparison with 2001. Comparing Dim's cut to Jack's in The Shining. Comparing to Lolita.
The Duke of York Pub, shots 186 through 190
The Duke of York, the Orangemen, and the Battle of the Diamond
The Diamonds
The Art at the Cat Woman's
Differences between original art and what is viewed at the Cat Woman's.
The Rocking Machine
The Avengers show, "The House that Jack Built" which was filmed at the Shenley Lodge, also used for the Cat Woman scene. A comparison of that episode with certain themes in A Clockwork Orange. Magical Mystery Tour and the Colored Aerial Landscape Footage in 2001
The Cat Woman and a Change in Fortune, Shots 191 through 247
The paintings as oracles and scenes from Alex's life. The cat woman as sphinx. A comparison with Eyes Wide Shut. The sphinx and the chariot.
In Police Custody, Shots 248 through 264
Alex stripped of his bloody eye cufflinks.
Violence in A Clockwork Orange
The Use of the Overture and its Relationship to Concealing, Redemptive Blood

Part Four

The Incarceration of Alex, Shots 265 through 283
Comparing the prison receiving area with HOME. Time arrest. White lines of restraint.
Kubrick's Eyes
The Prison Chapel, Shots 284 through 295
The twin blackboards of HOME merged in the single prison blackboard. The tale of Jacob and Esau. The red band.
Conversation on Free Will in the Prison Library, Shots 296 through 306
The necessity of the persecutor of the persecuted Christ. The catechism of revelation.
Alex Asks for the Experimental Treatment in Order to Get Out of Prison, Shots 307 through 313
The Minister of the Interior. The pyramid and circle in the exercise yard. On Pomp and Circumstance, Othello and Lodovico. Lodovico the humanist. The theme of false appearances and erroneous blame.On the literature on the desk in Alex's prison cell and that on the desk of the prison governor. "The Strange Old Camera" and its ability to revive the past.
The Prison Governor's Office - Alex Signs for the Ludovico Treatment, Shots 314 through 323
On the new view as opposed to the old eye for an eye.

Part Five

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

Part Six

Alex Revisits 18A-Linear North, Shots 454 through 496
The art work as an oracle and mirror of Alex's life. What will he do now. The newspapers. The lighthouse keeper.
Alex Revisits the Irish Bum, Shots 497 through 528
The mural as representing the embankment. Alex as 666. 100 Cheyne Walk and Antonioni's Blow-up.
Notes on the Mural
Decoding the mural at 18A-Linear North. The parcel and the note which Alex delivers to the clerk at the music store. Another look at The William Tell Overture and its relationship to the mural and embankment. .
Leviathan and Alex as 666

Part Seven

The Near Drowning of Alex, Shots 529 through 534
On the symbolic versus literalism. 114 and its permutations in the timeline of the film, Alex's drowning during 1:41 and its connection with the mention of the feeling of drowning during 1:14.
The Return to HOME, Shots 535 through 550
On the bodybuilder.
Singing in the Rain Redux, Shots 551 through 554
Spaghetti and Wine for Alex, Shots 555 through 588
Alex Takes a Flying Leap, Shots 589 through 595
A comparison of the inspiration for Alex's suicidal leap with the programming Alex receives in the book. Ode to Joy as a death song. The suicide scherzo, Alex's leap and the dancing Christs. The Divine Edgar.

Part Eight

Alex Resurrected, Shots 596 through 597
The hermetic pelican and the red blood of the dragon.
Alex Makes the Papers Again, Prompting a Visit From His Parents, Shots 598 through 60
Art, reconciliation and the great work. On paisley and Basel and basilisks. The gift basket. Alex Burgess.
The Psychiatrist, Shots 608 through 640
The Duke of York pub and the psychiatrist. Humbert Humbert's Divine Edgar's Ulalume and Psyche. A comparison of the subject of deja vu in A Clockwork Orange and in The Shining. Memory and forgetfulness.
An Understanding Between Friends, Shots 641 through
Comparing the bars of light to the restraining lines in prison. A round of applause.
What about that ending?
Dušan Makavejev's 1965 film Man is Not a Bird
How it All Plays Together

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Supplemental Posts

On "Singing in the Rain" and "The William Tell Overture"

Joseph Losey's The Damned, or These are The Damned, or Hallucination, an analysis (at the end I reflect on one scene in particular and if we may see some influence on A Clockwork Orange).

Reflecting on 400 Blows and A Clockwork Orange, in which I explore Kubrick's making a seeming reference to 400 Blows, which takes us ultimately to Vigo's Zero for Conduct and Lindsay Anderson's If.

The Relationship Between the Chess Game in 2001, Dave’s Dinner in the Room Beyond the Infinite, and Danny on the Reversed Rug in The Shining, with notes also on Clockwork Orange

The Mystery of the Moving Glass in Tarkovsky's Stalker (Comparing Also Tarkovsky's Use of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" with Kubrick's Use of the Same in "A Clockwork Orange)

Nietzsche, The Shining, and The White Man's Burden, in which I discuss also the role of women in other films of Kubrick's.

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Notes on the Analyses

Are you one of the league who find Kubrick's cinema fascinating and wonderful but are also confused by seeming peculiarities? Are you certain those often under-the-radar-over-the-head weirdnesses must mean something? Or maybe you're just curious? Here's my request. That you, please, think in terms of art with intention, which isn't conspiracy and has nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Would you think of music composed of unspoken themes as being conspiracy? What's difficult is teasing out the artist's conscious intention as versus accidental as versus the viewer's role as an active pilgrim walking the road that art provides to accessing the unconscious and mythic, the vast knowledge that has been archived in your brain from birth forward of symbols and metaphors and archetypes through navigating the warehouse of such that is actively and passively feeding you in the cultures of everyday society. As an author and artist, I know what it is to hope for at least a few such pilgrims, confident they are the minority, that most think in terms of being only entertained, and to attempt to compose for both. Even with those who are just wanting a good story, or who want to dissect a film for practical good-cinema purposes, the majority would likely admit that it is the inherent mystery in Kubrick's films that functions as their primary gravity. It is that sense of something deeper, a subterranean coherence that provides the glue, that compels individuals to return and perhaps begin to move, without their even realizing it, from a passive state into a more active, participatory role where art becomes a transformative experience rather than just visual popcorn. For that matter, even a simple detective story can actively engage the viewer, and Kubrick's films have a touch of the detective genre to them. For instance, at the end of The Shining Kubrick zooms in on Jack seemingly appearing in an old photograph of The Overlook, and he is holding what looks like a little slip of paper, a little rectangle of white in the palm of his hand, as if displaying it for us, but what is it? One is compelled to try to solve the mystery of Jack in the photo, what could be in his hand, so one watches the movie again. That's the sleuthing, detective part of watching Kubrick's films.

The most important thing which must be kept in mind with Kubrick's films is there is the surface or principle story and then the internal or sub-story. In many of his films, if we're really paying attention, set elements pretty much immediately destroy the surface naturalism. One may not notice this deconstruction the first, second or third time one watches the film. Through constructive disorientation and disconnectedness, and sleight of hand as to where our eye focuses, Kubrick, the magician, intentionally obfuscates and reveals these elements that betray the overt and naturalistic story line as being artifice, a studio fiction that rests upon something both more solid and also bizarre. The surface story lines are the principle ones, but they are maintained and supported by the sub rosa dialogue. These deconstructive elements are plainly there, alongside his tremendous effort to make things look real and believable, and play with a purposeful sense of disorientation that when locked into exposes a puzzle that annihilates the sense of reality. This destruction of the film's naturalistic story line is difficult enough to conceive of and accept, and it's easy enough to stop at this point and decide these puzzling aspects of Kubrick's films are errors. But they are not. They are part of the art of a director cleverly designing the overt story line to be unimpeded by an internal story that tears it apart. Indeed, the sub rosa elements of the internal story may be discreet but they are enough in evidence to complicate the surface story with an aura of attractive, indefinable mystery, which is one of the reasons viewers return to Kubrick again and again. To work with the "reason" and "why" of the internal story line is to try to settle into Kubrick's sensibility, examining how these internal stories form a dialogue in his oeuvre with repeating themes and ideas, elaborated upon from film to film. The internal stories haven't a "plot"; they aren't that kind of story. Instead, you have to be willing to deal with comprehending the themes and ideas represented in them as ultimately forming a different terrain for the setting of the surface story, guiding and interacting with the overt story and giving it a new form in the hands of the participant viewer who is engaged rather than a passive recipient.

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Link to the main TOC page for all the analyses