MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,104 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 1,472 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 11 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

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 08 Dec 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 27 Apr 2014
 
a list of 34 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 7 months ago
 

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... 

Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Rude Boy (1980)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Ramones Raw (2004)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Climb in the van, buckle your seat belt and hang on tight because you're about to experience life on the road with the founding fathers of punk rock, The Ramones! The band that started it ... See full summary »

Director: John Cafiero
Stars: Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
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
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 | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the punk rock band The Ramones.

Directors: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia
Stars: Rick Rubin, Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin - ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, John Martin
Punk: Attitude (TV Movie 2005)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock.

Director: Don Letts
Stars: K.K. Barrett, Roberta Bayley, Jello Biafra
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

On the edge of the 30th anniversary of punk rock, Punk's Not Dead takes you into the sweaty underground clubs, backyard parties, recording studios, and yes, shopping malls and stadium shows... See full summary »

Director: Susan Dynner
Stars: Craig Aaronson, Colin Abrahall, Adri
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
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Decline of Western Civilization III is a 1998 documentary film that follows the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Stephen Chambers, Flea, Gary Fredo
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 Gimmick: Ok, ready to rock!
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

 
Patch-worked movie about the Sex Pistols is a hit and miss project.
19 November 2003 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

During the Sex Pistols heyday, their manager Malcolm McLaren had an idea to market the band as a noveaux Beatles. From 19776-1980, McLaren spent the band's money trying get the film off the ground. He went through several directors and writers until he finally settled on Julien Temple (a young film-maker). Temple and McLaren himself shot hours and hours of footage, sketches and concert footage. After working on this project for almost four years and with nothing resembling anything like a coherent movie, Temple decided to make a collage out of the footage and re-shot and edited the useful film segments and made a surprisingly entertaining film (considering the tight budget and time restraints). By the time the movie was released, Sid Vicious was dead, John Lydon was in Public Image Limited and Paul Cook and Steve Jones were in a new wave band called the Professionals. Neither of them were even speaking to their former manager. So, at the last minute, Temple decided to make the movie about the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols.

As for the band members, John Lydon didn't want to have anything to do with McLaren's project. Sid Vicious went along because of the money he was promised, ditto for Cook and Jones. The three former band members participated in the film without Lydon. Most of the music for the soundtrack was composed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones, Sid Vicious sang vocals on a few tracks but the music was played by Cook and Jones. Watch for Nancy Spurgen, she makes cameos in several of Sid Vicious sketches. Several scenes from the movie that showed up on the double album soundtrack do not appear in the final cut of the film. Maybe one day they'll release a director's cut of the movie. Yes, that is the Great Train Robbery participant Ronnie Biggs playing himself in the movie. He even sings on a couple of tracks and he's not that bad of a lead vocalist.

Recommended for fans of British punk and of the Sex Pistols.


5 of 8 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:
?