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Monday, 6 December, 1999, 14:43 GMT
Clockwork Orange returns uncut
Stanley Kubrick: Withdrew the film in 1973


Stanley Kubrick's controversial A Clockwork Orange will be shown uncut when it is released in the UK for the first time in 27 years.

The British Board of Film Classification has granted the film, which depicts violent scenes of rape and robbery, an 18 certificate.

It was originally classified X - the forerunner to the 18 certificate - in 1973, but a furious Kubrick withdrew the film from British cinemas in 1973 after protests about its portrayal of violence.

The director, who died in March, insisted the film was meant to be a warning against violence.

Outside the UK, the film has continued to be shown and is available on video and DVD in the US and other countries.

A Clockwork Orange was rated X in 1971
Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, the plot centres on a Alex, a futuristic teenager played by Malcolm MacDowell, who takes part in acts of highly choreographed violence. It included a gang rape to music from Rossini and a mugging to the tune of Singing In The Rain.

A number of rapes and murders in the early 1970s were linked to the film, including a sex attack in Lancashire carried out by a gang chanting the Gene Kelly song. Kubrick became a target for hate mail and abusive phone calls.

But the BBFC said the scenes were acceptable under its guidelines, and it felt that the film was unlikely to inspire copycat attacks.

"Despite the notoriety, the board does not consider that concerns expressed at the time of the film's original release, about its possible influence on young people, are a serious issue now," it said in a statement.

The film's distributor, Warner Brothers, said the fears over the film were "ridiculous" and it had been discussing the possibility of re-releasing the film with Kubrick before his death.

"I had been speaking to Stanley about the possibilty of rescreening the film as it was one of the great films of all time," a spokesman said.

"I believe, as do his family, that he would be happy to see it back on at the cinema. We are all very excited."

The film is due to be rereleased some time in the spring.

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See also:
09 Mar 99 |  UK
Kubrick: A film odyssey
01 Dec 99 |  UK
Blacklisting: A sure way to the top
16 Jul 99 |  Entertainment
Eyes wide open for Kubrick finale
12 Mar 99 |  UK
Hollywood stars join Kubrick mourners

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