A Clockwork Orange Becoming Reality Says Malcolm McDowell

February 3, 2016


44 years after its release, one of the most famous dystopian cult classics “A Clockwork Orange” is now more real and more present than it ever.

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Only today do we realize just how prescient this story actually was back in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic endeavor depicts a dystopian reality not too different from the world today.

“A world in which all older people stayed indoors with their televisions on,” Malcolm McDowell told during an interview for the News.

“And that’s basically what happened. It’s just the young people out there doing drugs — and he foretold all this before the drug explosion.”

How the Idea was Born

The book was released in 1962, which was way “before huge gang violence and drugs happened,” McDowell said. “I don’t see any aversion therapy, thank God, but it’s amazing how there’s so many people incarcerated in America. We are so backward in our thinking, we are so medieval.”

The actor also reminisced about his encounters with Burgess and talked about how the writer first came up with the idea for this grim dystopian vision of our future so vividly painted with white, black and that certain shade of ultra-viole(n)t.

“He told me it came to him while he was in Moscow on an exchange visit. He was sitting in a coffee bar on a warm night near the window with a group of Russian friends, when a menacing group of “Muscovite thugs” creepily pressed their faces against the window.”

This experience apparently triggered the idea for the book, as well as for the creation of Nadsat, the strange English/Russian/Yiddish slang language used by the youth of “A Clockwork Orange.”

“Nobody comments about Anthony Burgess anymore, but he is the real genius here,” said McDowell.