Censuring The Censors


Rod W coordinates and maintains these entries. He also maintains The Chopping List, a comprehensive guide to movies which have been censored in Australia.



Clockwork Orange, A

Quoting from Tim Lucas' Video Watchdog column in GoreZone magazine (Issue #21, Spring 1992)...

"Of all the major, star-billed productions threatened with X ratings in 1971, only Stanley Kubrick's name-above-the-title "A Clockwork Orange" - with no established stars - made it to the screen with its outlaw pedigree brazenly intact. This colourful adaptation of Anthony Burgess' dystopian science fiction novel opened in limited release, and proved to be enormously popular with critics and audiences alike. This greeting - the greatest acceptance an X film had enjoyed since John Schlesinger's "Midnight Cowboy" two years before - led Warners to lobby Kubrick with speculations of how much more popular the film might be if made accessible to teenage audiences. Kubrick was able to qualify his 138-minute film for a more lenient rating by removing only 17 sexual seconds; this softer version replaced the X within its first year of release, and the forfeited snippets have never been recovered."

According to the BBFC Database, the film was submitted on December 15, 1971 for cinema release at a running time of 136m25s and classified X without cuts.

After Kubrick's passing (having been withdrawn from circulation at the director's request) it was resubmitted for a cinema classification on December 9, 1999 at a running time of 136m25s and classified '18' without cuts.

It was subsequently classified '18' for video & DVD release without cuts at a running time of 130m54s on July 20, 2000. This version EXACTLY replicates the cinema version, allowing for the 4% loss attributable to a PAL transfer.

As the R4 disc was released BEFORE the R2 version, I would seriously doubt that our version has been mastered from the modified R1 edition. The R4 disc runs for 131m09s (at PAL speed of course) and is COMPLETELY uncut.

The "Ludovico" rape scene is intact. Cuts to the US print were trims to obscure lower frontal nudity (pubic region) in the initial rape scene, shortening of the comically sped up sex scene in the mid passage of the film, and a minor trim to McDowell's examination when incarcerated so as to obscure a fleeting shot of his genitals.

I can categorically state for a fact that the R4 DVD of Kubrick's film is completely uncut.