When Stanley Kubrick began directing A Clockwork Orange, he was an established name among respected directors which produced their films in Hollywood. His signature on films can be easily distinguished from other styles because he applied to films a touch of different and sometimes the absurd. By the time he started producing A Clockwork Orange, he had already made 11 films in his 20 years as a director like Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, and of course, the most critically acclaimed film from him, 2001: A Space Odyssey. After he finished directing A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick would only direct another 4 films over the next 28 years , leaving his last film, Eyes Wide Shut to be finished by Steven Spielberg, his friend.
On the film’s poster it could be read “Being the adventures of a young man, whose principle interests are violence, rape, and Beethoven. Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange”. Even from the poster, which was the first contact the viewer had with the film, Kubrick wants to leave the feeling that something fitting the pattern of normality, something just doesn’t fit. The way the movie is presented even from the poster is due to A Clockwork Orange being a film dealing extensively with the cultural decadence of society, specifically with the idea of the ultra-violent persons that arise from different social working classes combined with the ethical and moral corruption of state members. Moreover, the film focuses on the decline of liberty and on the imposition of a certain kind of morality.
In order to fully comprehend the impact of A Clockwork Orange, it is important to firstly understand the film in the social context in which it was produced, specifically the year 1971.
From 1950 until late 1960s it was a period which, in the words of Arthur Marwick, was defining “a retreat from the social controls imposed in the Victorian era by evangelicalism and non-conformity.” It can be also said that there are many instances which stand to prove that this era was one which contained many liberal reforms and a drastic social change. The liberalisation reform is very well exemplified in "The Betting and Gaming Act" of 1960, which...