MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 21,297 this week

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,394 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 10 critic

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 21 Sep 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 24 Oct 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 08 Dec 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 03 Jan 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rude Boy (1980)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young British punk and roadie for The Clash navigates life in socially torn 1970s England.

Directors: Jack Hazan, David Mingay
Stars: Dave Armstrong, Barry Baker, Terry Barry
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Joe Strummer, Steve Jones, Mick Jones
Documentary | Music | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On October 12th 1978 New York Police discovered the lifeless body of a 20 year-old woman, slumped under the bathroom sink in a hotel room. She was dressed in her underwear and had bled to ... See full summary »

Director: Alan G. Parker
Stars: Viviane Albertine, George Ancock, Sophie Boyes
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Documentary on the London punk-rock scene, circa '78.

Director: Don Letts
Stars: Soo Catwoman, Steve Strange, Robin Crocker
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The cream of New York new wave/punk filmed live at CBGB's when the scene was just beginning. Includes performances by Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, the Ramones, Talking Heads, the ... See full summary »

Directors: Ivan Král, Amos Poe
Stars: Blondie, David Byrne, Jayne County
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Alice Bag Band, Alice Bag, Claude Bessey
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, ... See full summary »

Director: Alex Cox
Stars: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.

Director: Don Letts
Stars: Terry Chimes, Terence Dackombe, Topper Headon
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The rise and fall of an all-girl punk rock band in Hollywood in the 1980s.

Director: David Markey
Stars: Jennifer Schwartz, Hilary Rubens, Janet Housden
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon
Jubilee (1978)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Queen Elizabeth I travels to late twentieth-century Britain to discover a tawdry and depressing landscape where life mostly seems aimless and is anyway held cheap. Three post-punk girls ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox
D.O.A. (1980)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Documentary chronicaling the rise and fall of the punk movement with rare interview footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also concert and news footage.

Director: Lech Kowalski
Stars: Stiv Bators, Terry Chimes, The Clash
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Steve Jones ...
The Crook
Paul Cook ...
The Tea-Maker
...
...
The Collaborator (as Johnny Rotten)
Ronald Biggs ...
The Exile (as Ronnie Biggs)
Liz Fraser ...
Woman in Cinema
Jess Conrad ...
Jess
Mary Millington ...
Mary, The Crook's girlfriend
James Aubrey ...
B.J
...
Man
Johnny Shannon ...
Man in Prison Cage
Helen Wellington-Lloyd ...
Helen (as Helen of Troy)
...
Tadpole (kiosk attendant) (as Tenpole Tudor)
Faye Hart ...
Secretary
Edit

Storyline

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular and punk rock in general were an elaborate scam perpetrated by him in order to make "a million pounds." Silly and hard to follow at times, but worth seeing for some excellent Pistols concert footage, some wickedly amusing animated sequences, and Sid Vicious' eerily prophetic performance of "My Way." Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@vt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The staggering story of the group who wrung the neck of rock 'n' roll See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Musical

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Who Killed Bambi?  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marianne Faithfull was to play Sid's mother in the original draft of the film, but backed out at the idea of a sex scene. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of Sid Vicious' Punk rendition of Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra's "My Way", he pulls a revolver out of his pocket and starts shooting at the audience. He fires eight shots, which is more bullets than a revolver can hold. See more »

Quotes

The Embezzler: With the line-up complete, we immediately set about to putting our plan into effect: to swindle ours way to the top of the rock and roll industry. It was a plan that within 2 years was bring us close on a million pounds, and a household name as the most notorious, filthy, disgusting, dirtiest rock and roll band in your bloody world.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Useless, self-indulgent
24 February 2002 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Not only is The Great Rock N Roll Swindle thoroughly inaccurate, but when it comes down to it, not much about it is interesting or even entertaining. Malcolm McLaren apparently squandered the majority of the Sex Pistols earnings on this waste of film, which makes it that much more obnoxious. The intention, from the beginning, was to create a monument to the "genius" of McLaren, who to this day takes full credit for creating punk music, creating the Sex Pistols, and at times even writing all the songs. Viewers follow McLaren to various settings, where he tells his story to his sidekick, a female dwarf, and simply takes credit for one thing after another. One particularly irritating scene has McLaren in an abandoned airplane hangar, waiting for a plane, being hounded by reporters and giving them their "big story". The most entertaining elements of the film are the animated short pieces, however, even these reek of McLaren's overbearing self-importance.

Even as a farce, this film doesn't work. Little about it is entertaining, except for Steve Jones, who is surprisingly decent as a pseudo-detective type person. 20 years later, Julien Temple, who wrote and directed this film, also directed the Sex Pistols documentary "The Filth and the Fury". While that movie is much better and more interesting than "Swindle", it still is full of Temple's "artistic flourishes" that just don't work, like interviewing band members in shadow, as if they are some kind of crime witness trying to hide their identity. An interesting bit of trivia: Film critic Roger Ebert was one of the original scriptwriters for the movie "Who Killed Bambi?", which eventually became "Swindle".


9 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lonely Boy boujoir
Malcolm McLaren's influence? trigger_gospel
Tona De Brett stigger108
Who's that revolting woman with the flies on her face.......?! sbarclay2004
Really that Dirty? boujoir
that song video_freak666
Discuss The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?