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  1. #1
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    Has anybody got any stories about watching A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs during their original release in the cinemas? what was the weather like? did you realise that you were watching a classic the first time around? Was there a huge queue outside and what cinema did you see it in? can you remember the adverts or B features? Any stories of the era will be fantastic to read even if you had a drink on a stick and a raspberry ripple to eat during the film!

  2. #2
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    Well I'd have been too young to see it in 1971, what with being just 4 years of age.



    But I grew up hearing lots of tales about how it corrupted the country and lots of horrific things happened due to people seeing this film.



    So it became a kind of urban legend and fingers of blame were always pointed it's way.



    Then it got re-released and yes it is pretty violent at times, but the most shocking thing is that what you see has pretty much come true.



    We have the droogs, their called chavs. We have the flat blocks or run down council estates and tower blocks where many a chav lives.



    Plus the criminal doesn't really get punished any more and it's the victim who nearly always comes off worst.



    So say what you will, but this film was a warning of a future that we're now living in today.




  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    I remember seeing Clockwork Orange in a cinema in the 80s and, to be honest, I was pretty bored. Boys playing dress-up and being brutal - whoop-de-doo.



    I should add, I've never been a Kubrick fan. His stuff always looks a bit 'amateur hour' to me.

  4. #4
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    I was much to young to see it on its initial release but I do remember the Clockwork Orange Milk Marketing Board cinema ad that ran for years, as I remember it featured the crew and cast enjoying a refreshing glass of moloko.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I ran A Clockwork Orange in 1973 and thought it was dreadful. I can't remember what the weather was like, but the supporting film was an equally boring "X" certificate colour cartoon entitled Kama Sutra Rides Again.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I was a young herbert at the time and Clockwork Orange came out and it was a very big deal indeed. The first generation of skinhead was very prominent, not to be confused with the later Oi type skinheads and they thought the film was absolutely fantastic. "Straw Dogs" was in East London another X rated flick, Clockwork Orange was a cultural phenomenon (?) !

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Ireland fluddite's Avatar
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    Me and my mates were 13 at the time - far too young to get into the cinema screenings - so we bought the reissued-on-the-back-of the film-publicity novels instead, and used to take great delight in reading out the most sexually explicit/violent bits during break/lunchtime/particularly boring lessons. Several copies got confiscated and no doubt ended up being read in the staffroom alongside Skinhead, Suedehead, Chopper and other similar delights.



    Burgess' novel remains infinitely superior to Kubrick's interior-designer "vision" IMHO - and the effort involved in learning to read Nadsat certainly provided (and continues to provide) a wide range of flick horrorshow alternatives to the usual Anglo-Saxon when one is moved to get sweary....

  8. #8
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    name='fluddite']. Several copies got confiscated and no doubt ended up being read in the staffroom alongside Skinhead, Suedehead, Chopper and other similar delights.



    ....


    At my school, Skinhead, Suedehead and Chopper were regularly confiscated but Clockwork Orange was OK with the staff because it was by a "proper" writer.



    The most noticable effect of the film was a whole mass of idiots on the terraces of Southend UTD wearing white boiler suits.

  9. #9
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    I saw both A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs in the cinema on there initial (first run ) cinema release but was well below age then as I sneaked in. can not remember much as I was about 9 years old at the time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: United States Reeldigger's Avatar
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    A Clockwork Orange was Kubrick's first movie after 2001 so it was a very big deal indeed, at least for me. I took a bus into Manhattan on its opening day because in those days most major films only played in a couple of first run theaters and never in the suburbs where I lived. I wanted so to love it but, as usual, Kubrick's clinical coolness got in the way. I liked it well enough but not nearly as much as the New York critics who raved about it. The film probably isn't quite as well regarded these days.



    The original soundtrack, with all those wonderful Walter/Wendy Carlos synthesizer tracks, got a quite a few spins on the turntable at the time. I happily bought it again years later when it was finally released on CD. Still have it!

  11. #11
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    I saw both films on their release. No particular memories of Clockwork Orange, and I've never particularly wanted to see it again - although I do still love the soundtrack CD. Straw Dogs, on the other hand, was an extraordinary experience. The last 20 minutes or so are still pretty gripping when you're watching it at home on a DVD.. but, on a big screen and with a packed audience all rooting for Hoffman, it was something else again.

  12. #12
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    I saw A Clockwork Orange on its opening day, first performance, at the Warner West End cinema, the downstairs auditorium with the enormous lampshades on the ceiling. The cinema was absolutely jam-packed and the film not only had the Kubrick-2001 imprimatur, it also had the scent of controversy raging around it. I think like most Kubrick fans, the movie was something of a let down first time round - anticipation can be a real killer - and I think many of us that day became a bit bored once Alex was imprisoned. There was a souvenir brochure on sale, which was withdrawn the very next day for reasons I have never discovered. I also remember something else: a car, a very rare and special car, a Monteverdi, was parked right outside the cinema. I've seen the picture many times and think it's just a bit too flash harry, look-at-me nowadays.



    Straw Dogs I saw at the Paramount, first day - that was downstairs at the old Zulu-dome or the Plaza as some call it. Oddly enough for such a controversial picture (Alex Walker was in the highest of dudgeons about it) it went down fairly calmly and many laughed at the early scenes of Cornish yokeldom. I've seen the picture several times and find it changes according to one's mood. Sometimes powerful, sometimes repellent, always overwrought.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    It's very interesting how serious film fans viewed the picture on release. As teeenagers we were elated and thought the droogs were the greatest thing since the Dr. Marten boot. They were more like a rock group than a set of actors.

  14. #14
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    I was living in York when A Clockwork Orange was released. I'd been a cinema nut for a few years by then and definitely a Kubrick fan. For example, I had been trying to catch up with 'Paths Of Glory' for a long time without success, when I suddenly found out it was going to be shown on Granada ITV late on a Friday evening. So naturally (!) I booked a room with TV in the Midland Hotel in Manchester for that night and that was my first viewing of 'Paths Of Glory', complete with commercial breaks! (I've seen it many times since then of course.) I was young and single in those days, but everyone at work thought I was slightly mad!



    Anyway, I travelled down to London on the first Saturday after ACO had opened and saw it at the Warner West End (where I think it remained for something like two years until Kubrick withdrew it from UK distribution). I was anticipating something special and I wasn't disappointed - it was a great experience. I think I saw it another two or three times locally over the next few weeks.



    'Straw Dogs' was much less of an event for me, and my feelings about it are still quite ambivalent. I don't regard it as one of Peckinpah's greatest achievements - for me 'The Wild Bunch' remains his masterpiece.

  15. #15
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    Saw A Clockwork Orange for the first time in 1973 at my university's weekly film showing. It was cold and clear outside. Why do I remember that? Because I had to wait in line forever to get inside. Once in, every seat was taken, the aisles filled, and people were literally sitting on the window sills. A fire marshall was brought in but was too frightened to tell anybody to leave. The screening itself was eye opening for me. My reaction to the film has altered/evolved over the years, but that first time watching the lid locks has remained vivid in my memory.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    I saw both films when they came out.



    Clockwork Orange - I was not particularly impressed, in fact it was the music that remained memorable.



    Straw Dogs - I thought it was unpleasant and haven't seen it since,.



    The only time I have been in the cinema when members of the audience walked out in disgust was during a screening of a double bill - Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Sextette!

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