Articles | News | Notes


The film's director, the late Lindsay Anderson, was "as near as I've ever met to a genius," said McDowell. Anderson, McDowell explained, helped him find the key to his most famous role: the murderous, rage-filled Alex of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" (also shown at the fest, in a Friday late-night screening). Unsure how to approach the role, the actor showed the screenplay to Anderson. After reading it, the director had a simple word of advice, based on a brief moment in "If ... " "He said, there's a close-up when you're going into the gym to be beaten [by the prefects], and you look at them and smile. That's the way you play the part," McDowell remembered. Asked by an audience member why he's played so many socially deviant characters, he fairly cackled with glee. "I love it! I can do something I'm not allowed to do otherwise."

Peninsula Daily News 9/17/06
by Evan Cael
He discussed the character during an interview with Sedge Thomson, host of National Public Radio's West Coast Live!, on Saturday morning. "Even though Alex is an evil person, you can't be all bad if you like Beethoven,'' McDowell said. Before McDowell landed his first film role in the 1971 anti-establishment film, ``If . . .,'' he said he auditioned for countless roles that never panned out. "I was so lucky to get through that audition. Before that, they always chose the other guy.''
    On Friday, he stopped by Port Townsend High School with Peter Simpson, executive director of the festival, to talk with video and film students. "He became totally engaged with them, I've never seen more still 16 and 17-year-old film students.''  said Simpson. McDowell also attended a viewing of if.... at the Broughton Theatre on Saturday and answered audience questions following the film.



Films and the people who make them will be the stars of the three-day Seventh Annual Port Townsend Film Festival that begins Friday. Special guest Malcolm McDowell, best known for his portrayal of the chilling gang leader and Beethoven enthusiast Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film, ``A Clockwork Orange,'' will be on the scene. Sedge Thomson will interview McDowell on National Public Radio's West Coast Live!, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Upstage Theatre, 923 Washington St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. McDowell, who has appeared in 147 films, will also be on hand for a screening of another movie he's well-known for, ``If.'' (Now they've gone from 40 to 147 films!? Where do they get this stuff? - Alex)


Malcolm McDowell will be the principal guest of honor at the seventh annual Port Townsend Film Festival near Seattle (September 15-17). Two of McDowell's most celebrated films will be screened, Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and Lindsay Anderson's "If," as well as 10 narrative films, six documentaries, 27 shorts and six classics. Producer Mike Kaplan also will be on hand to discuss his 1987 film "The Whales of August" after a screening of the Lillian Gish-Bette Davis starrer, which was Gish's swan song after an 86-year acting career. (Gish later kidded that it took working with La Davis to drive both her and Helen Hayes out of the business; Hayes also did her last acting role in a movie with Davis, the 1985 TV movie "Murder With Mirrors.")

Veteran actor McDowell to star at next month's Port Townsend Film Festival

Port Townsend, WA - Veteran actor Malcolm McDowell will be the featured celebrity guest at next month's Port Townsend Film Festival, organizers announced today. And a Port Townsend woman is one of two people who correctly solved a four-week riddle to identify McDowell and then won a drawing to meet him. Desiree McGowan and Gregory R. Rivett of Snohomish won the festival's Guess-the-Guest contest and will get to hobnob with the actor during the Sept. 15-17 event.
    Their names were randomly drawn from among 34 others who also figured out the cryptic clues that led to the British-born McDowell, who is noted for his performances in A Clockwork Orange, if... and O Lucky Man! - among his more than 40 films and numerous more TV appearances.
    The contest took place during July with clues to McDowell's identity released each week. The first clues were worded in such a way as to discourage use of the Internet to find the answer, said Peter Simpson, festival director. For instance, the first clue - "Howard Schultz [owner and CEO of Starbucks Coffee] has nothing on our guest'' - referred to the fact that McDowell was once a coffee salesman.
    The second clue - "another kind of tailor'' - refers to McDowell's legal name: Malcolm John Taylor.
    In the third clue - ". . . not when'' -- contestants were expected to complete the phrase: "If, not when.''
    if.... (1968) is the title of one of McDowell's most highly regarded films.
    After the first three weeks, no one had correctly guessed McDowell's identity, Simpson said. Then came the fourth and final clue: "Our guest appeared in two films in Entertainment Weekly's list of 25 most controversial films.''
    "Finding that list on Google is easy,'' said Simpson of the popular Internet search engine. "Then all they had to do was search through the list to find two films in which a single performer had appeared. That's a little harder.'' McDowell's two films on that list are A Clockwork Orange (1971), ranked No. 2 and Caligula (1979), No. 24.


This page archived 2006-08 by Alex D. Thrawn for