A Clockwork Orange (film) - Differences Between The Film and The Novel

Differences Between The Film and The Novel

Kubrick's film is relatively faithful to the Burgess novel, omitting only the final, positive chapter, wherein Alex matures and outgrows sociopathy. Whereas the film ends with Alex offered an open-ended government job — implying he remains a sociopath at heart — the novel ends with Alex's positive change in character. This plot discrepancy occurred because Kubrick based his screenplay upon the novel's American edition, its final chapter deleted on insistence of the American publisher. He claimed not to have read the complete, original version of the novel until he had almost finished writing the screenplay, and that he never considered using it. The introduction to the 1996 edition of A Clockwork Orange, says that Kubrick found the end of the original edition too blandly optimistic and unrealistic.

  • Critic Randy Rasmussen has argued that the government in the film is in considerable shambles and in a state of desperation while the government in the novel is quite strong and self-confident. The former reflects Kubrick's preoccupation with the theme of acts of self-interest masked as simply following procedure.
    One example of this would be differences in the portrayal of P.R. Deltoid, Alex's "post-corrective advisor". In the novel, P.R. Deltoid appears to have some moral authority (although not enough to prevent Alex from lying to him or engaging in crime, despite his protests). In the film, Deltoid is slightly sadistic and seems to have a sexual interest in Alex, interviewing him in his parents' bedroom and smacking him in the crotch.
  • In the film, Alex has a pet snake. There is no mention of this in the novel. This was added by Kubrick due to Malcolm McDowell's fear of snakes.
  • In the novel, F. Alexander recognises Alex through a number of careless references to the previous attack (e.g., his wife then claiming they did not have a telephone). In the film, Alex is recognised when singing the song 'Singing in the Rain' in the bath, which he had hauntingly done whilst attacking F. Alexander's wife. The song does not appear at all in the book, as it was an improvisation by actor Malcolm McDowell when Kubrick complained that the rape scene was too "stiff".
  • In the novel, Alex is offered up for the treatment after killing a fellow inmate that was sexually harassing him. In the film, this scene was cut out and, instead of Alex practically volunteering for the procedure, he was simply selected by the head of the government due to speaking out of turn.
  • In the novel, Alex drugs and rapes two ten-year-old girls. In the film, the girls are young adults that seem to have consensual, playful sex with him, with no suggestion of using any drugs and without any violence.
  • In the novel, the writer was working on a manuscript called A Clockwork Orange when Alex and his gang are breaking into his house. In the movie, the title of the manuscript is not visible, leaving no literal reference to the title of the movie. Some explanations of the title are offered in the Analysis section of the novel.
  • Early in the film, Alex and his droogs brutally attack a drunk, homeless man. Later, when Alex is returned to society, he is recognized by the same man. The homeless man gathers several other homeless men to beat Alex, who is unable to defend himself. These scenes do not appear in the book, but there is a similar scene in which an elderly man heading home from the library is beaten and his books destroyed by the droogs. After Alex is returned to society, he decides he wants to kill himself and goes to a library to find a book on how to do it. There, he is recognized by the man he had beaten and is attacked by him and a gang of other old library patrons.
  • Alex is beaten nearly to death by the police after his rehabilitation. In the film, the policemen are his former droogs, Dim and Georgie. In the book, instead of Georgie, who was said to have been killed, the second officer is Billy Boy, the leader of the opposing gang that Alex and his droogs fought earlier, both in the movie and the book. This is a significant difference because Dim and Georgie had only been mocked and humiliated by Alex before his treatment and Billy Boy had nearly been killed, which implies the beating that Alex received from him was probably much more savage and hateful.

Read more about this topic:  A Clockwork Orange (film)

Famous quotes containing the words differences between the, differences between, differences and/or film:

    What strikes many twin researchers now is not how much identical twins are alike, but rather how different they are, given the same genetic makeup....Multiples don’t walk around in lockstep, talking in unison, thinking identical thoughts. The bond for normal twins, whether they are identical or fraternal, is based on how they, as individuals who are keenly aware of the differences between them, learn to relate to one another.
    Pamela Patrick Novotny (20th century)

    The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous.... Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed. Art kills only the dead.
    Harold Rosenberg (1906–1978)

    The mother must teach her son how to respect and follow the rules. She must teach him how to compete successfully with the other boys. And she must teach him how to find a woman to take care of him and finish the job she began of training him how to live in a family. But no matter how good a job a woman does in teaching a boy how to be a man, he knows that she is not the real thing, and so he tends to exaggerate the differences between men and women that she embodies.
    Frank Pittman (20th century)

    Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
    Ingmar Bergman (b. 1918)