“A Clockwork Orange” is an electric, dark satire on youth, violence, and how society handles – or mishandles – both. It’s brilliantly directed and impossible to forget… which is almost a downside when the film has scenes you would absolutely love. favorite to forget. Sadly, the cynicism and horror of “A Clockwork Orange” is etched in our memories.
Alex DeLarge and his droogs engage in a lot of “ultra-violence,” but one scene has always stood out as particularly intense – the brutal home invasion that caps off Alex’s big night in town. The ensuing beatings and rape are hard enough to watch without sound, but when you add in Alex’s exuberant rendition of “Singin’ in the Rain,” the scene becomes even more twisted. In That Moment In, Dan Viau called the scene the film’s most memorable, writing, “It’s the only time I can remember fast-forwarding a movie out of disgust. The innocence of the music associated with sexualized violence and the joyous pleasure of the aggressor was too much to take in. I just couldn’t put these contrasting images together.
The scene became even more notorious when (per PBS) it apparently influenced an actual sexual assault case, a case where the crime also featured a gruesome performance of “Singin’ in the Rain.” Stanley Kubrick opted to pull the film from any UK release, where protests against it – and coverage of potentially linked “copycat” cases – have garnered the most attention.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available. Visit the National Rape, Abuse and Incest Network website or contact the RAINN National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).