Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” was influential in shaping the cinematic world. The 1971 classic is a bit of everything, from social satire to dystopian thriller and sci-fi drama. Now, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the film is making its long-awaited debut on 4K Ultra HD.
Set in a future England, “A Clockwork Orange” follows Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang of “Droogs,” who spend their nights terrorizing the streets. But after Alex is jailed for murder, he’s subjected to a brutal behavior modification technique in order to regain his freedom. But back on the streets as a defenseless man who abhors violence, Alex becomes a victim of his old ways.
When compared to the 40th anniversary Blu-ray release from just 10 years ago, the enhancements this time around are stunning, for both the video and audio. The most notable visual improvements come in the vibrant colors and their improved contrast and saturation.
When it comes to bonus features, anyone who previously scooped a Blu-ray restoration of the film may be disappointed, as there is nothing new or unique to this release. Instead, the features – while extensive – are all previously released.
Let’s take a look!
Special Features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital
- Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman
- Still Tickin’: The Return of Clockwork Orange – This 44-minute documentary from 2000 examines the controversy that has surrounded the film since its release, as well as its cultural impact in the years since.
- Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange – A 28-minute look behind-the-scenes at the making of “A Clockwork Orange” as well as its theatrical release.
- Turning Like Clockwork – This 26-minute documentary examines the state of the world at the release of “A Clockwork Orange,” and the impact the film’s “ultraviolence” had on it.
- O Lucky Malcolm! – This extensive 86-minute documentary examines the life and career of “A Clockwork Orange” star Malcolm McDowell. The featurette dives far deeper than just this Kubrick classic through interviews with McDowell and other Hollywood stars.
- Malcolm McDowell Looks Back – Another Malcolm-centric bonus feature, this extra is a 10-minute interview with McDowell as he reflects on “A Clockwork Orange” and his career.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.