Weirdly enough, the Chinese government kept the ending, meaning that Jaden, the wicked American born of a woman presumably out of wedlock, won the big tournament. I'm not sure what kind of message this sends the Chinese public, but at the end of the day, the Chinese censored-movie business is still a business. And God knows those were some cool action scenes.
Publishers Remove Final Chapter of A Clockwork Orange, Alex Never Redeems Himself
After raping a woman, murdering another, and ruining Beethoven for classical music enthusiasts everywhere, Alex, the main character/sociopath in Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange, eventually transforms into a very good boy indeed. But not because of the infamous "force him to watch violence until he hates violence" experiment shown:
The real torture is being forced to sit in the front row, where the image looks wonky.
No, in this version, Alex renounces violence by -- wait for it -- growing up. Now mellowed out and mature, he pledges to settle down, start a family, and only kill people if they really, really deserve it. How's that for a character arc?
Then Came the Censors:
When Burgess tried to release his book in the U.S. in the mid-'60s, the publishers decided that optimism and hope weren't realistic enough. As they saw it, masochistic American audiences wouldn't "get" Alex's redemption. After all, villains don't magically evolve into pleasant, law-abiding citizens: They stay evil for all eternity and occasionally go into politics.
"I partake in all kinds of intolerance. Except, of course, lactose intolerance."
And just like that, American publishers simply deleted the chapter. No clever editing, no forced rewriting, nothing. For over 20 years, American editions of A Clockwork Orange ended the moment Alex realized he had much more violence and rape to commit, thereby emphasizing the novel's pessimistic tone (and increasing the chances for a possible sequel). And thanks to Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film based on it, the censored Clockwork Orange is far more famous than the original. So, you might have lost the battle, Burgess, but you also lost the war.
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
No eye clamps necessary. This guy just loves watching violence.
Jason Iannone is totally cool with children hearing the clean version of "My Name Is." Agree with him or else via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
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