Clockwork Orange

Date: 1974

Region: Europe

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Language, Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence

Medium: Film Video

Artist: Stanley Kubrick (1928 - 1999)

Confronting Bodies: Local police authorities and the concerned public

Date of Action: 1974

Location: Great Britain

Description of Artwork: The film, based on a book of the same name, takes place in a future England and follows a teenaged gang leader who enjoys rape and ultraviolence. He volunteers for a rehabilitation program which removes his desire for violence, but leaves him suicidal.

The Incident: The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) had released the film uncut with the X rating, but received a number of complaints that the film would damage society by inspiring teenagers to violence. Through out 1972 and 1973, police linked cases of teenage violence to Clockwork Orange. Simply having the culprit admit to reading the book was enough proof for the public that the film was a bad influence.

In response to the uproar it was causing in Britain, Kubrick had the film withdrawn from the country, even though it had already been running for 61 weeks there.

Results of Incident: It was not until Kubrick's death in 1999 that the film was legally permitted to be shown in Britain.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.