New Interview: Malcolm McDowell On 'Clockwork Orange' Torture & Controversy

By DAVID WEINER

April 04, 2014

In Part 2 of ETonline's exclusive sit-down with A Clockwork Orange legend Malcolm McDowell, the actor defends director Stanley Kubrick's decision to pull the film from U.K. theaters during its first run back in 1971 following a string of copycat crimes, and reveals that the eye torture he endured for the film's Ludovico Technique was indeed just that -- torture. Watch the video...

"I didn't feel it at the time, my eyes were anesthetized," says McDowell, now 70 years old, of the 10-minute take that he endured for the film, his eyes forced open with metal clamps. "In the car going home -- I don't know if you've ever scratched your corneas, you don't want to do it -- I don't think I've ever experienced pain like that before. It was horrible. It was like being cut with razor blades."

Related Video: The Secrets of 'Room 237'

In Clockwork, McDowell stars as Alex, a young, Beethoven-loving, good-time-having hooligan with a tendency to commit "ultra-violence" along with his "droog" pals in future England. When he's caught in the act and accused of murder, he volunteers for a radical experiment that may have far-worse consequences than he ever imagined.

Presented by Tegan Summer's Prospect House Entertainment in partnership with Glendale Arts, the "In Person" Malcolm McDowell Series of Q&A Screenings continues on April 8 with Time After Time (moderated by Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols), and on April 15 with Star Trek: Generations (moderated by Michael Dorn, aka Lt. Commander Worf). 

CLICK HERE for Part 1 of our A Clockwork Orange interview with Malcolm McDowell.

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