A Clockwork Orange is about Alex Delarge, a 17-year-old sociopath played by Malcolm McDowell who only lives for violence, sexual assault, and classical music. And in one scene, we get to see all three, when McDowell does a gleeful jig in the midst of a gruesome home invasion and gang rape, all while crooning the lyrics to „Singin‘ In The Rain“.
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That part of the scene was improvised by McDowell. Apparently, Kubrick thought that the whole vibe was getting a bit too dark (as rape scenes tend to be), and he asked McDowell to sing a jaunty little something to pick up their spirits. McDowell picked „Singin‘ In The Rain“ because he thought it was „Hollywood’s gift to the world of euphoria,“ and Kubrick agreed.
Of course, they didn’t have the budget to license the song, and no way in hell would Gene Kelly ever agree to it, but that wasn’t a problem. Kubrick simply didn’t pay for it. Besides, merely having your work featured in a Stanley Kubrick film should be more than enough compensation.
No seriously, that’s what Kubrick thought.
1 That Wasn’t A Joke — Ben Stiller Just Forgot His Line In Zoolander
In 2001, Ben Stiller decided to turn a pair of sketches he had directed for the VH1 Fashion Awards years previously into a feature film, presumably to get people to forget about The Cable Guy. The result was Zoolander, starring Stiller as Derek Zoolander, a male fashion model who finds out that being a fashion model isn’t all eating disorders and stupid tiny dogs. Male models are in fact highly trained assassins … with eating disorders and stupid tiny dogs. While on the trail of an evil fashion mogul, Zoolander meets a hand model, Prewett (played by David Duchovny), who knows all about the assassination program. Zoolander asks him why they pick male models to become killers, to which Prewett gives a lengthy and easy-to-follow explanation.
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And Zoolander replies, „But why male models?“
It’s supposed to illustrate how short Zoolander’s attention span is, but it truly illustrates how short Ben Stiller’s attention span is, because the line was really a mistake. During Duchovny’s long monologue, Stiller had forgotten what line he was supposed to say in response, and accidentally repeated the last one he could remember. Duchovny, always a pro, responded in-character, „Are you kidding? I just told you like a minute ago.“ Stiller realized the exchange was pretty funny and worked for the character, so he decided to keep it in the movie. And it goes to show: You can feign stupid all you want, but nothing is funnier than the real thing.
Even with a beginner’s guide to Celtx, you couldn’t write this stuff on purpose. But you can try!
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For more accidental Hollywood magic, check out 6 Iconic Movie Scenes That Happened By Accident and 6 On-Set Mistakes That Led To The Greatest Movie Scenes Ever.
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