A Clockwork Orange, 1971

Director

Cast



visit the film locations

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

The campus of Brunel University is on Kingston Lane off Hillingdon Hill about a mile south of Uxbridge (tube: Uxbridge), Greater London.

Trivia

With a lick of paint and a few geraniums, Thamesmead South could hardly look more different as the backdrop to 1996’s sweet little gay romance Beautiful Thing.

Not far from the subway location, you can find the spot where Chas (James Fox) phones his gang boss Harry Flowers in another controversial British classic, Performance

A Clockwork Orange location: Binsey Walk, Thamesmead South, London SE2

A Clockwork Orange location: ‘Flat Block Marina’: Binsey Walk, Thamesmead South, London SE2

Set vaguely in the north of England, judging by the accents, A Clockwork Orange was made almost entirely on location around London and the Home Counties (the southeastern counties surrounding the capital), with notoriously travel-phobic director Stanley Kubrick choosing locations from architectural guides.

For many years, Kubrick’s refusal to allow the film to be shown in the UK gave his blackly comic version of Anthony Burgess’ novel about free will and control an undeserved reputation as a fearsome video nasty.

Virtually the only purpose-built set, the ‘Korova Milk Bar’, was constructed in a factory just off Borehamwood High Street near to the MGM Studios (where 2001: A Space Odyssey had been shot).

A Clockwork Orange location: Tavy Bridge Centre, Thamesmead South, London SE2

A Clockwork Orange location: ‘Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North’: Tavy Bridge Centre, Thamesmead South, London SE2

The grim housing estate of Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is part of the unspeakable concrete disaster that is Thamesmead South, a vast, dismal, windswept collection of tower blocks connected by intimidating walkways. The exterior of his glum home is the Tavy Bridge Centre.

The benighted subway, where the Droogs attack the old tramp, can be found over in West London. It’s a tough call – choosing between the four near-identical subways leading down beneath the traffic island dominated by the huge circular advertising installation on Trinity Road, Wandsworth, deserted, unswept and extremely unnerving. I'm finally convinced that it's the southern underpass, between Trinity Road and Swandon Way.

A Clockwork Orange location: Trinity Road, Wandsworth, London SW18

A Clockwork Orange location: The attack on the tramp in the sinister subway: Trinity Road, Wandsworth, London SW18

The ‘Flat Block Marina’ is Thamesmead’s artificially created Southmere Lake. Alex reasserts his dominance over fellow Droogs here by dumping Dim in the water and slicing his outstretched hand at Binsey Walk on the Lake’s western shore overlooked by the tower blocks of Yarnton Way.

More futuristic cityscapes (subsequently cut from the film) filmed in the sixties concrete shopping centre of Friar’s Square in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Another urban disaster, the centre was closed down in 1990 and drastically remodelled as a much more friendly redbrick indoor mall.

The derelict casino in which the two gangs clash was on Taggs Island near Hampton Court. It was demolished shortly after filming.

The interior of Alex’s apartment in ‘Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North’ is a flat in the village of Elstree – not far from the Borehamwood location. Kubrick, ever the perfectionist, moved out the couple who lived here and spent £5,000 on redecoration. With filming over and the flat restored to its original state, they returned only to be moved out again so two close-ups could be shot.

‘Woodmere Health Farm’, home of Miss Weathers, the cat lady (Miriam Karlin), is Shenley Lodge, Rectory Lane, Shenley, in the Hertfordshire countryside.

Also in Hertfordshire is the interior used for ‘Home’, Patrick Magee’s futuristic pad and site of the notorious ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ rape of Adrienne Corri (when the two met in Hollywood, Gene Kelly allegedly snubbed Kubrick for the use of this number in the scene), why is Skybreak, tucked invisibly away in the tiny village of Warren Radlett, Hertfordshire. The exterior was a modernistic house in Oxfordshire.

A Clockwork Orange film location: McDonalds, Kings Road, London SW3

A Clockwork Orange location: Alex picks up girls in the record store: McDonalds, Kings Road, London SW3

Fast sex to fast food: the très Sixties chrome and glass Chelsea Drugstore, which stood on the Kings Road at the northwest corner of Royal Avenue, became record shop, where Alex picks up two girls for a spot of high speed ‘in and out’. The shop closed in the Seventies and is now a branch of McDonalds.

The bizarre ‘Duke of New York’ pub was the Old Leather Bottle, 76 Stonegrove, Edgware. It became The Bottle and Dragon, before being closed down in October 2002 and converted into flats.

A Clockwork Orange location: Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex

A Clockwork Orange location: Alex undergoes aversion therapy at the ‘Ludovico Medical Facility’: Brunel University, Uxbridge, Greater London

The ‘Ludovico Medical Facility’, where Alex undergoes the gross aversion therapy, is the campus of Brunel University in Uxbridge, Greater London. The giant overhanging concrete monstrosity is the Lecture Centre in the middle of campus, opposite which Alex is received into the Art Centre. The campus is on Kingston Lane off Hillingdon Hill about a mile south of Uxbridge (tube: Uxbridge).

A Clockwork Orange location: Albert Bridge, Chelsea Embankment, London SW3

A Clockwork Orange location: the tramps’ revenge: Albert Bridge, Chelsea Embankment, London SW3

The newly defenceless Alex meets an earlier victim on the Chelsea Embankment at Oakley Street, Chelsea, SW3, and it’s here, under Albert Bridge that the tramps take their revenge.

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