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Trivia / A Clockwork Orange

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    List of common Natsat words 
  • Bezoomny: "mad" from the Russian безумный, bezumnyj‎.
  • Creech: "shout/scream" from the Russian кричать, krichat.
  • Cutter: "money" from rhyming slang "bread and butter".
  • Devotchka: "girl" from the Russian девочкa, devochka.
  • Dratsing: "fighting" from the Russian драться, dratʹsja.
  • Droog: "friend" from the Russian друг, drug.
  • Govoreet: "speak" from the Russian говорить, govorit.
  • Grahzny: "dirty" from the Russian грязный, grjaznyj‎.
  • Gulliver: "head" from the Russian голова, golova.
  • Horrorshow: "good" from the Russian хорошо, khorosho.
  • Korova: "cow" from Russian корова, korova.
  • Lewdies: "people" from the Russian люди, lyudi.
  • Litso: "face" from the Russian лицо, lico.
  • Malchick: "boy" from the Russian мальчик, mal'chik.
  • Malenky: "little" from the Russian маленький, malenʹkij‎.
  • Millicents: "police" from the Russian милиционер, milicioner from the same root word as militia.
  • Moloko: Russian молоко, "milk".
  • Nadsat itself comes from the Russian suffix equivalent of '-teen', -надцать nadtsat.
  • Otchkies: "eyeglasses/spectacles" from the Russian очки, ochki.
  • Pony: "understand" from the Russian понимать, ponimat.
  • Ptitsa: "girl" from the Russian птица, ptica meaning "bird".
  • Rooker: "hand/arm" from the Russian руки, ruki.
  • Rot: "mouth" from the Russian рот, rot.
  • Sharries: "buttocks" from the Russian шары, shary, literally "spheres".
  • Slooshy: "to hear/listen" from the Russian слушать, slushat.
  • Slovo: "word" from the Russian слово, slovo.
  • Smeck: "laugh" from the Russian смех, smex, literally "laughter".
  • Starry: "ancient/old" from the Russian старый, staryj‎.
  • Tolchock: "push/hit" from the Russian толчок, tolchok.
  • Veck: "person" from the Russian человек, chelovek.
  • Veshch: "thing" from the Russian вещь, veshch.
  • Viddy: "see" from the Russian видеть, videt.
  • Yarbles: "testicles" from the Russian яблоко, jabloko, literally "apple".
  • Zoobies: "teeth" from the Russian зубы, zuby.


  • Black Sheep Hit: Thanks to the film, A Clockwork Orange is the book Burgess is most well-known for, when it is not really representative of his work, nor is it considered by either Burgess himself or other critics to be among his best works (that includes Earthly Powers and his novels on Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare).
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  • Creator Backlash: In an introduction to a later edition of the book, the author called it "pornographic" and an "embarrassment." He considers its main entertainment value to be from "raping and ripping." Elsewhere, he reflected that he "should not have written this book" due to the dangers of it being misinterpreted. He was also peeved that it was his most famous work, when he felt he had written better books, and that the wider public only knew him as the man who wrote the book upon which Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange was based.
  • Creator Breakdown: Burgess was paranoid that he was dying of a brain tumor, so he cranked it out in less than a month.
  • Executive Meddling: In a reversal of the "Hollywood Ending" stereotype, American publishers insisted that the last chapter (where Alex decides to stop being a criminal and raise a family) be removed to make the novel more depressing.
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  • Inspiration for the Work: Burgess claimed that the novel's inspiration was his first wife Lynne's beating by a gang of drunken American servicemen stationed in England during World War II. She subsequently miscarried.
  • Trope Namer;
  • Working Title: The Plank in Your Eye.


  • Accidentally Correct Writing: While mini-cassettes never took off as a music medium, the music store Alex visits almost seems to have anticipated the return of vinyl records some 40 years later. Ditto for Alex's apartment, now that elements of 1970's decor have found their way back into style as well.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • When Malcolm McDowell, a cricket fan, came in for a costume fitting with his gear, including protective cup, Stanley Kubrick told him to keep them out and incorporate his white shirt and cup into the costume. When McDowell started to dress by putting the jockstrap under his pants, Kubrick told him it would look better over his trousers instead, and the look made it into the final movie.
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    • Steven Berkoff came up with the idea of his character chewing gum, because he felt it was so unlike the image of the British bobby.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Banned in China:
    • Banned in Ireland.
    • Kubrick himself got it banned in the United Kingdom until he died.
    • The Brazilian dictatorship banned it for 6 years, until a version censoring the nudity came to theaters.
  • BFI Top 100 British Films: #81.
  • Creator Backlash: The film was the subject of much media hype linking it to violent crimes. After Stanley Kubrick received death threats, along with hearing of the news of two copycat crimes involving the rape of a Dutch girl in the hands of men singing "Singin' in the Rain" and the beating of a 16 year old boy who, while dressed as Alex, beat another boy, he withdrew the film from screening in the UK, even suing arthouse theatres that tried to show it. The ban was only lifted after Kubrick's death.
    • Gene Kelly did not like the film's take on "Singin' on the Rain" so much that when he met Malcolm McDowell at a party some years later, Kelly turned and walked away in disgust, but mostly because Stanley Kubrick went cheap, didn't keep his word and never actually payed Kelly for the song.
  • Dawson Casting: Malcolm McDowell was 27 during filming. Though Alex's age is never given, he's still supposed to be attending school in the beginning of the film. According to the DVD Commentary, Michael Tarn, who played Pete, was the only actor of the four Droogs who was still a teenager, being 19 at the time of filming.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Anthony Burgess himself was critical of the film, for what he saw as its glorification of sex and violence.
    • He was unhappy that Kubrick omitted the book's final chapter (as had the first American edition of the book), which gave Alex some redemption, wanting to give up his old violent ways and looking forward to having a wife and a son, whom he hopes does not turn out like him. The fact that he had sold the film rights for a pittance and stood to gain nothing from the film's success probably didn't warm him to it much either.
    • What really upset him was Kubrick's behaviour since during production and in the run-up to the release, Kubrick had courteously asked Burgess help for the promotion but when the backlash arrived, Burgess was made to answer questions by the media while Kubrick holed up his Reclusive Artist shtick, which Burgess, not without justice, saw as a cheap move and he didn't like the fact that he had to spend more time than he wished for a movie he didn't care for, based on a book that he didn't like, for more or less no gain and without any thanks.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Malcolm McDowell had actually scratched his cornea during filming, and thus the man with the eye drops during the Ludovico Technique was an actual medical practitioner. McDowell developed a lasting hatred for eye-drops from filming this scene. Years later, he had to get surgery on his eyes because the retinas were detaching. He believes the two events are related.
    M.M.: No way. I'm an actor, damn it. This is torture, this is medieval torture! Then the doctor came up and said there will be no hurt. Liar! ...Then they anesthetized my eye. They had all the latest techniques, they poked the corner of my eye with a handkerchief.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Averted. It is often claimed that Malcolm McDowell nearly drowned when his breathing apparatus failed during filming of the waterboarding scene. This is not true. Daily records indicate that the scene was filmed in repeated takes with no stoppage from equipment failure. McDowell has never reported a near drowning, while he does report many similar close calls in other scenes.
  • From Entertainment to Education: At least one math tutor, who was a criminology teacher in a Hadera, Israel high school would show his students A Clockwork Orange in a show of interdisciplinary instruction.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The trailer contains a scene where Basil the snake leaves Alex's room. This doesn't happen in the film.
  • No Stunt Double: Adrienne Corri as Mrs Alexander was cast after two actresses had already withdrawn from the role, because she was willing to spend hours naked on set balanced on Warren Clarke's shoulder while Kubrick decided which shot he liked the best. According to Malcolm McDowell, before they shot the scene, she joked "Well, Malcolm, you're about to find out that I'm a real redhead."
  • The Red Stapler: Sales of Beethoven's 9th Symphony went up after the film.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • The Droogs' MO for breaking into houses is to knock on doors reporting an accident and ask to use the telephone. These days it would be more suspicious that no one involved in the supposed accident has a cellphone.
    • Micro Compact Cassettes are used by Alex, which never caught on as a music medium, being mostly used for small personal recorders and answering machines. Nowadays, it would be either a CD or just part of a digital playlist. The film did predict the continuing popularity of vinyl records in the 21st century, though.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The scene with Alex dancing while he sings "Singin' in the Rain" was the result of Stanley Kubrick finding the scene too conventional and asking actor Malcolm McDowell to improvise. Interestingly, Kubrick only told McDowell to try dancing, not singing. McDowell did, then spontaneously started singing the song. Kubrick liked it so much that, as soon as the take was over, he immediately left the set to secure the rights to the song and worked it in the plot.
    • The scene in which Alex "pops" his mouth open for the minister to feed him is entirely improvised, as Kubrick got incredibly bored filming the scene; Malcolm McDowell then started acting silly to keep the crew's attention focused. Considering it was used in the film, it's probably safe to say it worked.
  • What Could Have Been:

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