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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,505 users  
Reviews: 26 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 »

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

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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:

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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sting appeared in a brief scene as the leader of a gay band The Blow Waves who attempt to kidnap Paul Cook but the footage was cut from the film. It later reappeared in the documentary The Filth and the Fury (2000). 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

Followed by The Filth and the Fury (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I feel swindled every time someone gives this credit...a fan speaks!.
12 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It really surprises me that anyone can say this is remotely important in the pantheon of Punk Rock. It's an incoherent abomination formulated by someone so submerged in his own world he forgot to tell a story of note. The story of The Sex Pistols has now, here in the new millennium, finally been laid down to some semblance of truth, a truth that thankfully shows the manager of the band to be the oblivious money grabber he was. When you watch director Julien Temple's brilliant documentary, The Filth And The Fury, and then come back to this mess of a picture, you wonder how in gods name it has achieved cult status. It's worth {i own it} comes down to the songs and the videos of those tunes, i mean where else are you going to get to see Sid Vicious' videos, ones that show us he would have made a great Punk singer had he not spiralled out of control and met a foggy heroin fuelled death. The animated ending as Friggin In The Riggin plays out is enough to warrant this as a small price purchase, but please folks can we have some focus, i lived it, i still live it in fact, but it's an appalling picture, badly edited, badly told and saved purely by the music alone. Music that the bands manager had no creative input into at all, he shall forever be nameless to me, where once he proclaimed to be a puppet master, time now shows him to purely be a Muppet and most definitely not a master of anything.

The Great Rock And Roll Swindle, 5/10 for the music alone.


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