S2E33: “Malcolm McDowell Sings In The Rain”

For a film buff, Malcolm McDowell is a kind of movie god.

He played Alex Delarge, “hero” of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece “Clockwork Orange”. Critics pretty much agree that Clockwork is one of the one hundred best movies ever made. Malcolm’s portrayal of Alex is iconic. So are the stories from behind the scenes. Kubrick wasn’t known for being warm and fuzzy with actors. He kinda saw them as useful cogs in his master vision. What was it like working with and for Kubrick? Malcolm will discuss!

Malcolm also appeared in what is arguably the best example ever of “how NOT to make a movie” – The Bob Guccionne-produced catastrophe “Caligula”. Actors like Malcolm, Peter O’Toole, Helen Mirren and John Gielgud signed on to a movie written by Gore Vidal but ended up getting gored by Guccionne who cut outright pornography into the movie over the wishes of his cast. “Caligula” might be an even better example of how NOT to make a movie than Bordello Of Blood.

We’ll talk to Malcolm about “If…” the Lindsay Anderson master work that both introduced Malcolm to cinema and got him the Alex Delarge role. As Kubrick said when he saw Malcolm’s entrance in “If…”, “We’ve found our Alex!” On the one hand, getting the role of a lifetime early in his career helped make Malcolm’s career. On the other, playing Alex typecast Malcolm. He got few leading men parts (other than Time After Time) but plenty of villains.

He played Sauron in Star Trek: Generations – that’s the guy who killed Captain James T. Kirk! You don’t get more villainous than that. In fact, Malcolm got so typecast playing villains that we cast him against type at Tales From The Crypt as “The Reluctant Vampire”.

Malcolm McDowell is truly iconic. The good news is he’s finally found a modicum of peace with the role that made him so.

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