MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 88 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 1,374 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 35 titles
created 21 Oct 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 03 Jan 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 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... 

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
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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 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
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 | 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
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Julien Temple's wartime documentary parody "Punk Can Take It" (1979) - a theatrically released promo for the UK Subs, complete with narration by BBC voice-over veteran John Snagge - paints ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Julia Binstead, John Snagge, Edward Tudor-Pole
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: Marky Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
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
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
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 | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary on punk rock.

Directors: Adam Small, Peter Stuart
Stars: Dennis Danell, Brent Liles, John Macias
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
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 film that incriminates its audience. 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

To receive an 'X' certificate the BBFC required cuts to the final print. Full-frontal shots of 'Sue Catwoman' in Malcolm McLaren's bathroom were optically enhanced to remove images of her lower regions (banned under the Protection of Children Act) and a long shot of her was cut by adding black panties to cover up the offending area. The cinema scene was also cut by removing shots of Steve Jones's genitals during the sex scene with the Brazilian girl and Mary Millington's visible pubic area in her sex scene with Jones. A shot of Sid Vicious waving a flick-knife was moved back into the sequence to avoid equating sex with violence. The BBFC also demanded the inclusion of newspaper headline footage referring to the deaths of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. All later releases feature this same print. 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

Girl with ants on face: The Sex Pistols - a walking abortion. The Sex Pistols are nothing but a bunch of irresponsible half-dead lumps. But the best are born.
The Crook: I was only in it for the birds after the show.
Girl with ants on face: You, Steve Jones, are nothing but a walking dildo doing a good plumbing job. You'd swim through a river of snot, wade nostril deep through a mile of vomit, as long as you thought there was a sexy cunt at the end of it - and those cunts! Daddy's girl! Daddy's girls are in awe of the Sex Pistols! They really believe ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sex and Fame: The Mary Millington Story (1996) 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:
?