Malcolm McDowell hits back in film funding row

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ONE of the stars of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange has hit back in a row over money owed to a Scottish film crew – and revealed he would be keen to live in the Capital.

Malcolm McDowell has insisted he was one of the 
victims in the collapse of his pet project, Monster Butler, a £7 million crime drama based on the true story of Glasgow butler Archibald Hall, who killed five people in the 1970s.

Elaborate sets were built at Gosford House in East Lothian and despite overdue wages and mounting bills, the crew continued working on the project because Mr McDowell, who was one of the producers, gave them a personal assurance they would be paid.

Mr McDowell today said he had been deceived by one of his collaborators, who he accused of providing false assurances that problems over funding for the 2012 shoot would be resolved.

Stressing that payment of staff had always been a primary concern, the actor also said he would move to the Capital in the event of a return to Britain from his base in Los Angeles.

He said: “I have always loved Edinburgh and the people there. If I ever were to move back to the UK, Edinburgh has always been the city I’d like to make my home... we were all lied to and misled.”

Earlier this week it emerged that the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) had come under fire over an invitation sent to Mr McDowell, who is due to attend this year’s event to promote his new film, Bereave. Officials at film union BECTU wanted festival bosses to withdraw the invitation, which they branded “a significant lack of sensitivity” towards Scotland’s freelance film community given anger over non-payment of wages.

EIFF chiefs, however, have snubbed the call and said they were looking forward to welcoming him to the event, which begins later this month.

Mr McDowell insisted he was not to blame for problems surrounding Monster Butler.

“I have spent the last few days reading what the good people of Edinburgh, and the film union BECTU have had to say regarding the film, Monster Butler, and exactly what role I played,” he said.

“I am shocked and disappointed that I would get any blame for the crew not being compensated. I was told one of the investors pulled out, but someone new was stepping in.

“I was always assured by [the colleague] that the situation was being resolved, and production would begin again soon.”

Mr McDowell is best known for his role as Alex – the sociopathic delinquent in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Released in 1971, the film was critically acclaimed and nominated for several prizes, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.