May 23, 2011

Cricket’s Clockwork connection

Akhila Ranganna

What’s the connection between a set of pristine, genteel cricket whites and the violent anarchy of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange? Actor Malcolm McDowell, who played the role of the psychopath Alex in the cult classic, has revealed that his ultra-stylish look in the film – in full whites with a giant codpiece - was inspired by his cricket gear. Actor and director were pondering over the charismatic delinquent’s possible costumes when McDowell said, “Well, I've got my cricket gear in the car. We could try that.” Kubrick loved how McDowell looked in the crisp white uniform and suggested that he wear the outfit's groin protector on the outside. The outfit and makeup went on to make Alex one of Hollywood's most memorable menacing young on-screen hooligans. The film was recently re-screened at the Cannes Film Festival ahead of a special 40th anniversary release.

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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