10 Times Actors Went Too Far (And Improved Movie Scenes)

9. Malcolm McDowell - A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange
Warner Bros.

Okay, A Clockwork Orange is a far cry from Being John Malkovich, but one particular scene in the former film is even more ingenious - and certainly more disturbing - than the Spike Jonze project. Everyone knows the scene if they've seen the film, mainly because it's so distressing that it's tough to forget.

The scene in question sees Malcolm McDowell's sinister and insane Alex break out into song as he and his gang - his "droogs" - attack a man and his wife in their home. Director Stanley Kubrick tried to film the scene a number of different ways, but couldn't get it the way he wanted. The idea of bursting into song was the idea of McDowell's after Kubrick told him to go with his instincts (a rare for Kubrick, but not the last time we'll see it).

The song McDowell went for, though? "Singin' in the Rain." It's a brilliant decision that turns the once happy and light song into a nightmare inducing melody, as Alex commences to viciously assault the couple. And sure, it may be crazy levels of dark and disturbing, but this is a scene made infinitely better and more memorable than anything else that could have taken its place.

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WhatCulture contributor and lover of all things Star Wars, Buffy, zombie, TV and movie. Usually found rambling about how Jack Nicholson is the greatest actor of all time and watching the same six shows on repeat.