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McDowell on mayhem

Retrospective includes violence, blood and a cherub

“This is very violent, very profane,” Malcolm McDowell warned the audience at Thursday’s unspooling of his “Gangster No. 1.” “So it’s standard fare for me.”

Shown as part of the “Malcolm McDowell: Insolent Angel” retrospective at the Walter Reade Theater, aud for the Paul McGuigan-helmed pic included members of the public as well as Robert Altman.

Pre-screening, there was discussion about the accuracy of the series’ moniker. “He’s a joy to be around, such an anarchic spirit,” pic’s co-star Paul Bettany said of McDowell, who rejoined, “I don’t know whether that totally applies, but I’ll take it.”

Since the blood-soaked pic did have some audience members watching through their fingers, the cherubic McDowell put everyone at ease again during the Q&A with some off-the-cuff storytelling.

“I had a six-minute monologue to an empty chair, which is why I took the part,” he said about the production. “And the fucker cut the scene.”