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Kubrick's `Clockwork Orange' will be re-released uncut after 27 years

STANLEY KUBRICK'S film A Clockwork Orange has been granted an 18-certificate and will remain uncut when it is shown legally in this country for the first time in 27 years, it was announced yesterday.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has decided that the film, which depicts violent scenes of rape and robbery, is unlikely to inspire copycat behaviour among young people, as originally feared.

The film is expected to be shown in cinemas across Britain in the spring. A Clockwork Orange was classified `X' without cuts in December 1971 but was withdrawn by Kubrick in 1973 after a storm of protest about its portrayal of violence.

The story features a futuristic teenage thug who takes part in highly choreographed acts of random violence, including gang rapes set to music from Rossini and to the tune of "Singin' in The Rain".

At the time a number of rapes and murders were linked to the film, including a sex attack on girl in Lancashire by a gang chanting the Gene Kelly classic. Kubrick, who died last year, was angered at the film's reception and said that his work was a warning against violence.

The BBFC confirmed the film could be shown in full. "Despite the notoriety, the board does not consider that concerns expressed at the time of the film's original release, about its possible influence on young people, are a serious issue now," it said. "The board is satisfied that the scenes of violence depicted are acceptable under our guidelines."

A spokesman for the film's distributor, Warner Bros, said that Kubrick had discussed the possibility of re-releasing the film before his death last year. "I had been speaking to Stanley about the possibility of re- screening the film as it was one of the great films of all time," the spokesman said.

"I believe, as do his family, that he would be happy to see it back on at the cinema. We are all very excited." The spokesman added that claims that the film had inspired copycat behaviour among viewers were "ridiculous".