Starring Anthony Sharp as

Minister of the Interior

in A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange is a brutal Stanley Kubrick film, based on the Anthony Burgess novel. In the near future society is in decay, and the streets are overrun by violent gangs. The government has a new heavy-handed test project, designed to re-program these renegades, in order to free up the overcrowded prisons to make space for political prisoners.
Alex Malcolm McDowell as Alex in A Clockwork Orange: "What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolent." Deltoid Aubrey Morris as Deltoid in A Clockwork Orange: "What gets into you all? We study the problem. We've been studying it for damn well near a century, yes, but we get no further with our studies. You've got a good home here, good loving parents, you've got not too bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside of you?" Minister of the Interior Anthony Sharp as Minister of the Interior in A Clockwork Orange: "Public opinion has a way of changing."
A Clockwork Orange
Minister of the Interior
Anthony Sharp

The Minister of the Interior is most definitely an establishment man. He is on the lookout for a likely candidate (hapless victim) for his personal mind-programming project using the Ludovico technique (something akin to aversion therapy). He chooses Alex, and in this choice lies the seeds of the project’s failure.

A Clockwork Orange – Minister Quotes

The government minister discovers a likely subject for his ground-breaking brainwashing project:

Minister: Cram criminals together and what do you get – concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment.

Governor: I agree, sir, what we need are larger prisons – more money.

Minister: Not a chance, my dear fellow. The Government can’t be concerned any longer with outmoded penological theories. Soon we may be needing all our prison space for political offenders. Common criminals like these are best dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that’s all. Full implementation in a year’s time. Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their so-called punishment.

Alex: You’re absolutely right, sir.

Chief Guard: Shut your bleedin’ hole!

Minister: Who said that?

Alex: I did, sir.

Minster: What is your crime?

Alex: The accidental killing of a person, sir.

Chief Guard Barnes: He brutally murdered a woman, sir, in furtherance of theft. Fourteen years, sir!

Minister: Excellent. He’s enterprising, aggressive, outgoing, young, bold, vicious. He’ll do.

Governor: Well, fine, we could still look at C-block…

Minister: No, no, no. That’s enough. He’s perfect. I want his records sent to me. This vicious young hoodlum will be transformed out of all recognition.

Alex: Thank you very much for this chance, sir.

Minister: Let’s hope you make the most of it, my boy.

The Minister introduces the results of his program, to the public:

Minister: Our subject is impelled towards the good by paradoxically being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these, the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude. Any questions?

Minister: Tomorrow, we send him out with confidence into the world again, as decent a lad as you would meet on a May morning. What a change is here, ladies and gentlemen, from the wretched hoodlum the State committed to unprofitable punishment some two years ago. Unchanged after two years. Unchanged, do I say? – not quite. Prison taught him the false smile, the rubbed hand of hypocrisy, the fawning, greased obsequious leer. Other vices it taught him, as well as confirming in those he had long practiced before.

Our party promised to restore law and order and to make the streets safe again for the ordinary peace-loving citizen. This pledge is now about to become a reality. Ladies and gentlemen, today is an historic moment. The problem of criminal violence is soon to be a thing of the past. But enough of words. Actions speak louder than. Action now. Observe all.

The Minister visits Alex in hospital:

Minister: You seem to have a whole ward to yourself, my boy.

Alex: Yes, sir, and a very lonely place it is too, sir, when I wake up in the middle of the night with my pain.

Minister: Yes… well, good to see you on the mend!

Alex and the minister come to ‘an understanding’:

Minister: [as he feeds Alex morsels of food] We tried to help you. We followed recommendations which were made to us that turned out to be wrong. An inquiry will place the responsibility where it belongs. We want you to regard us as friends. We put you right. You are getting the best of treatment. We never wished you harm, but there are some who did, and do, and I think you know who those are. There are certain people who wanted to use you for political ends. They would have been glad to have you dead, for they thought they could then blame it all on the Government. There is also a certain man, a writer of subversive literature, who has been howling for your blood. He has been mad with desire to stick a knife into you but you are safe from him now. We put him away. He found out that you had done wrong to him. At least he believed you had done wrong. He formed this idea in his head that you had been responsible for the death of someone near and dear to him. He was a menace. We put him away for his own protection, and also for yours…We are interested in you and when you leave here you will have no worries. We shall see to everything – a good job on a good salary.

Alex: What job and how much?

Minister: You must have an interesting job with a salary which you would regard as adequate, not only for the job that you’re going to do, and in compensation for what you believe you have suffered, but also because you are helping us.

Alex: Helping you, sir?

Minster: We always help our friends, don’t we? It is no secret that this Government has lost a lot of popularity because of you, my boy. There are some who think that at the next election, we shall be out. The press has chosen to take a very unfavorable view of what we tried to do. But public opinion has a way of changing, and you…you can be instrumental in changing the public’s verdict. Do you understand, Alex? Do I make myself clear?

Alex: As an unmuddied lake, Fred. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me, Fred.

Minister: Oh, yes. I understand you’re fond of music. I have arranged a little surprise for you.

Alex: Surprise?

Minster: One that I hope that you will like. As a um… how shall we put it? As a symbol of our new understanding. An understanding between two friends.

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