A Clockwork Orange: 11 Behind-The-Scenes Facts You May Not Know About Stanley Kubrick’s Movie

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A Clockwork Orange: 11 Behind-The-Scenes Facts You May Not Know About Stanley Kubrick's Movie

As You Would Expect, The Drowning Scene Wasn’t Exactly A Picnic Either

Throughout his legendary career, Stanley Kubrick frequently constructed shots that made audiences wonder, “How they hell did he do that?” and the drowning sequence in A Clockwork Orange is a perfect example. Late in the movie, Alex’s head is held down in a water-filled trough for literally a full minute in an unbroken shot, and it’s a legitimately scary thing to witness. And, surprise, surprise, it wasn’t exactly a pleasure cruise to film either. 

Malcolm McDowell was able to breathe under water thanks to a hidden oxygen tank, but what you don’t necessarily pick up on is the fact that the scene was shot in the middle of winter in England, and it was freezing cold outside. Furthermore, the brownish color of the water was provided by dissolved Bovril (a meat extract), which apparently smelled revolting. The cherry on top? Kubrick asked McDowell to do more than 20 takes.