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Malcom McDowell (1943 - )

Related: If - Caligula - Clockwork Orange - British cinema - actor

Malcolm McDowell, photo unidentified


Malcolm McDowell (born June 13, 1943) is a British actor. He was born Malcolm John Taylor in Leeds, England. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_McDowell [Aug 2005]

If.... (1968) - Lindsay Anderson

If.... (1968) - Lindsay Anderson [Amazon.com]

If.... is a cult film by British director Lindsay Anderson. In the film, students at an English public school revolt bloodily against the establishment around them. It starred Malcolm McDowell, Arthur Lowe, Peter Jeffrey, Richard Warwick, David Wood, and Christine Noonan.

It was filmed at the time of the student uprisings in Paris in 1968. Cheltenham College, Anderson's old school, was used for outside locations.

The movie has surrealist stretches interspersed throughout and is often compared to Jean Vigo's French classic Zéro de Conduite.

It won the 1969 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2004 the magazine Total Film named it the 16th greatest British movie of all time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If...._%28film%29 [Aug 2005]

A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick

Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon.com]

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell as Alex and featuring a soundtrack by Wendy Carlos. It would appear, from one of Burgess' later novels, The Clockwork Testament, that Burgess himself may not have been too pleased by the adaptation that made it to the screen.

Rated X on its original release in the United States, the film was nonetheless nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (it lost to The French Connection) and reinvigorated sales for recordings of Beethoven's ninth symphony. Later, a censored R-rated version was also released in the US; both the original X-rated and the later R-rated version are today available on VHS and DVD. Notably, the MPAA has since reclassified the X-rated version of the film to R. The film was rated C (for "condemned") by the United States Catholic Conference's Office for Film and Broadcasting because of its explicit sexual and violent content (such a rating conceptually forbade Catholics from seeing the film so rated; the "condemned" rating was abolished in 1982, and since then films deemed by the conference to have unacceptable levels of sex and/or violence have been rated O, meaning "morally offensive").

In Britain the sexual violence in the film was considered extreme at the time, with the press blaming the influence of the film for an attack on a homeless person. It was widely believed that Kubrick's annoyance at this response led to him withdrawing the film from distribution in the United Kingdom. However, in a television documentary made after Kubrick's death, his widow Christiane confirmed rumours that Kubrick had withdrawn A Clockwork Orange from UK distribution on police advice after threats were made against Kubrick and his family. (The source of the threats was not discussed.) That Warner Bros. acceded to Kubrick's request to withdraw the film is an indication of the remarkable relationship Kubrick had with the studio, particularly the executive Terry Semel. Whatever the reason for the film's withdrawal, it could not easily be seen in Britain for some 27 years, until after Kubrick's death.

In 2004 the magazine Total Film named A Clockwork Orange the eleventh greatest British film of all time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clockwork_Orange#Film_adaptation [Feb 2005]

Caligula (1979) - Tinto Brass

Caligula (1979) - Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione [Amazon.com]

Caligula is a 1979 film directed by Tinto Brass (with additional scenes directed by Bob Guccione), about the Roman Emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus; also known as "Caligula". Caligula is loosely based on a screenplay by Gore Vidal and co-financed by Penthouse magazine. The producers were Guccione and Franco Rosselini. The film advertised itself as "the most controversial film in history. Only one movie dares to show the perversion behind Imperial Rome...".

Caligula was unrated when shown in theaters in certain jurisdictions because it contained several scenes with sexually and violently explicit content, including orgies, masturbation, fellatio, anal fisting, beheading prisoners using a lawn-mower-type device (which is unlikely to have existed in reality), and slamming an infant onto stone steps like a ragged doll. It was highly controversial, and considered by some objectors to be pornographic. It would certainly have received an X rating from the MPAA. It was censored in several countries, an original runtime of 156 minutes (which, itself, was cut down from the Cannes 210 minute version, which may still exist somewhere as a bootleg) was reduced to 102, in the US, and 103, in the UK.

Guccione eventually did authorize an R-rated cut, which earned the film wider distribution. Though the controversy over the film's content drew large crowds, virtually none of the most excessive scenes were included in the R version.

Both the R-rated version and a 156-minute cut have been released to DVD. The original, 210-minute version is not available.

It was followed by an unofficial sequel, called Caligula II - Messalina, Messalina. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caligula_%28film%29 [Aug 2004]

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